Success can not be improvised . It is impossible to assert yourself without sacrifice, commitment, determination and, above all, lacking an extraordinary ability to focus on one’s work and objectives . Entrepreneurs, managers, professionals of various kinds, sportsmen, actors: all agree on the fundamental points, on indispensable precepts that have guided their ambitions. There are infinite variables that can influence the path of each one but, in the absence of the right predisposition, the road to failure is already marked from the start. If the point of arrival is obscure (and certainly there are no “magic” guides to enlighten it), following some basic rules can help clarify some aspects that are often overlooked. Let’s see how.
# 1 START AND END YOUR DAY WELL
Starting the day well allows you to manage stress during working hours, ending it in the best way helps to start the next one positively. It is a self-feeding process that will bear fruit in the medium to long term, so it is necessary to establish fundamental habits to be maintained and followed scrupulously. The most important of these habits is to accurately regulate the hours of sleep and those immediately following waking up : sleeping well, for an adequate number of hours and starting the day progressively are tips that are often heard and that are just as often ignored. . What does it mean? It means committing todo not perform usual gestures, apparently innocent but which risk compromising the mood . For example, it is advisable to avoid turning on the phone to scroll through e-mails, social networks and notifications as soon as the alarm goes off: it is an excess of input that, absorbed in the first minutes of wakefulness, does not make you more active but only more frenetic and, at times , definitely nervous. The same should be done before going to sleep : how many times has it happened to get nervous, and then turn over in bed without being able to fall asleep?
# 2 HEALS YOUR BODY AND MIND
It is a direct consequence of the previous point: a good psycho-physical condition is obtained by fighting the stress accumulated during the day or by reducing the loads at scheduled intervals . Eating well and regularly, doing physical activity at the end of the day or on a lunch break, going out with friends or colleagues without returning home at unlikely times, reading, listening to music or watching a movie are all great ways to relax and recharge your batteries. In short: establishing “escapes” from work to devote time to what makes us feel good is just as important as planning and managing commitments.
# 3 ENSURE YOU TO ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
Productivity is about commitment and can only be maximized with experience. Learning to organize your time is a long process that is not acquired in a few days, but understanding how to manage emails, social networks and breaks throughout the day will mark a decisive turning point. The first step is to establish precise moments in which to take a break and distract yourself, forcing yourself to go back to work and focus exclusively on what you are doing.
The productivity curve, in fact, depends on the degree of concentration reached: as a rule, it grows slowly but steadily and enters full capacity after about half an hour. From this it follows thattaking a break every twenty minutes means having to start over each time while, on the contrary, establishing continuous work intervals of about an hour or an hour and a half helps to make the most of concentration without further fatigue.
# 4 IDENTIFY NEEDS, FOCUS ON PRIORITIES AND IGNORE THE SUPERFLUOUS
A common mistake is to approach work without a minimum of strategy and in an approximate way, relying exclusively on instinct or improvisation. To avoid finding yourself confused and overwhelmed by piling up deadlines, set clear and specific goals , whether for the day or the week or month. Plan your commitments and divide them into time blocks in which you will dedicate yourself to a specific aspect of the work to be completed. Only in this way will you be able to identify the priorities and notice the secondary aspects to be dealt with at another time, until you can realize which are negligible problems or completely useless steps that you can simply overlook.
# 5 DON’T PROCRASTIN
If there is a sure way to find yourself with water in your throat, it is to continually postpone what, sooner or later, you will have to do anyway . This happens because a job is very complex or particularly boring, or when we think we have plenty of time to finish it later. Obviously it is a widespread and difficult to modify mental procedure that inexorably leads to conditions of high psycho-physical stress . Learning to deal directly and aggressively with these situations without postponing them over time is extremely complicated, but succeeding in doing so gives a very satisfying and stimulating feeling of strength. Because motivations are the engine of productivity, it is precisely on the tendency to procrastinate that it will be necessary to intervene with determination. A trick? We all have times of the day when we feel most active and productive : some in the mid-morning, some at lunchtime, some in the late afternoon, etc. Well, identify when you reach your moment of super productivity and dedicate it to doing those difficult or boring jobs that you usually put off until the end of the day, the next day or the next. It will take time to acquire this habit but it will pay off any effort.
# 6 TAKE ONE STEP AT A TIME
We are led to believe that multitasking is something absolutely positive and directly connected to productivity. However, that’s not always true. Changing the subject all the time, moving from one job to another completely different, or engaging in multiple activities at the same time risks being a great waste of time and concentration . Of course, it helps to diversify the day and to break the monotony, but the downside is that of being forced to change setting and approach in a “traumatic” way, with the risk of taking more time than necessary to concentrate properly. Think of a student: preparing a history exam and an economics exam at the same time , perhaps passing from one to the other several times on the same dayit means venturing into a radically different field each time that requires a completely different learning method.
So, to avoid confusion and avoidable waste of time, set a theme for your day and focus on just that: doing less together doesn’t mean doing less .
# 7 CARRY FORWARD WITH WORK
Sometimes it happens to finish the scheduled work early and find yourself with nothing to do. Not very often, to be honest, but it happens. The great temptation is to take a long break until the end of the day and sometimes it’s the best thing to do. But if the day hasn’t been particularly busy and the next ones you already know will be full and complicated, getting on with the job will prove to be a wise decision .
Instead of wasting time when you have a lot at your disposal, try to earn it for those moments when you really need it: you will be able to complete more complex projects with greater ease , struggling much less than expected and without reducing yourself to the last with deliveries!