4 Tips for Building Intentional Productivity Habits in 2021

by | Jan 11, 2021 | Productivity Tips

Now that we are in the second week of 2021 it’s time to ask ourselves if we are on the right track with our time management…because when you think about it letting our time manage itself is just not a good idea!

Why is it so important to be intentional when creating productivity habits? When you think about it., time is the one commodity we all have and we cannot change it. We all have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. It is what we do with our time that matters. Our productivity habits are what allow us to exceed expectations when achieving our goals. Taking time to be intentional with our habits will

I am going to ask you to close your eyes for a moment. When you I am going to ask a question and the object is for you to write the first things that come to your mind

Close your eyes and ponder the following questions… Think about your productivity habits and how you will accomplish all of your goals in 2021. Can you see/hear all the things in your mind spinning? Stop!  Take a few breaths and focus on being calm and present right now.  Take a few deep breaths to slow and clear your minds.  Now that your mind has stopped spinning … ask yourself “What do you want to do with your time in 2021? What productivity habits do you want to focus on to stop the spinning & take control of your productivity?

As you open your eyes write the first 4 words / habits that come to your mind.

Writing intentions down is the best place to start. Turning the words into habits is where your productivity will increase. Let’s look at 4 tips to turn your intentions into action!

Tip #1- No self-judgement. Set realistic productivity expectations:

Productivity is all about you! Stop wasting time judging what and how you are doing things. Just because it works for someone else does not mean it will work for you! If there is a habit that works for you keep it up!

Do NOT bring in unrealistic expectations or negative self talk. Instead of judging yourself spend that energy setting realistic expectations. Being honest about how long tasks take and if you have what is needed is critical to taking control of your productivity. Being unrealistic hurts your efforts and is not worth it in the long run.

Note: Be intentional to implement habits that support being more productive with your life flow.

Tip #2- Intentional planning with a daily process pays:

Studies show we spend 10-11 hours or 40% of our day completing repeating habits! Wowza, what an eye opener for me, how about you? If we are going to do the same thing over and over what if we take time to create a daily process to streamline our energy? Identify the key actions (see below for examples) you need to review regularly to come up with your personalized productivity process daily process. On a daily basis when you are logging in to work this is your starting that is not dependent on a specific time but gives you a starting place. This process should not be dependent on a specific time it allows you to create a habit when you get started.

Daily Process Actions:

1) Email / chats / messages

2) To Do List / Action List

3) Project Management tools

4) Calendar

Note: A hidden benefit of a daily process is knowing you can trust in your process. When a ‘did I do that’ thought pops in your mind you can trust in your process, know you did and move on to other productive thoughts.

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Tip #3- Focus on 1 thing… at a time & next action:

Let’s be honest… we have all claimed to be masters of multi-tasking at one time or another in our lives. While there are times when multi-tasking is appropriate we must be honest with ourselves and admit there are some tasks we do better when we focus on 1 thing!

Intentionally scheduling focused time and turning off all notifications will allow you to complete critical tasks in less time with better output. Building the habit of knowing when to focus on 1 thing makes you work smarter not harder.

Speaking of working smarter…. being intentional to Identify the next 1 thing for a project will also save thinking time when you come back to it. When you are working in the momentum of a project take time to identify the next steps to take before moving on.

FNote: Being intentional knowing when we need to block our time to focus on 1 thing and leaving bread crumbs for the next thing will save future headaches!

Tip #4 Focus tip… Add time estimates for each task:

Building strategic productivity habits is another great way to take control of your time. When updating your project management / to do list with actions add time estimates for each task using tags or labels. This will help you set realistic expectations when planning your day (remember…. you cannot plan 14 hours of meetings and tasks in an 8 hour workday without increasing your stress.

A hidden benefit of estimating task time is helping to direct focus when you need to pick up tasks or have time available during the day.

Note: Setting task time estimates helps to set realistic expectations for what you can accomplish during a timeframe. Once you identify you have more tasks then time you can readjust expectations or access resources to help you.

Being intentional to implement personalized productivity habits and processes is the best way to know you are taking control of your time 24 hours a day.

Challenge yourself — the next time you feel your mind starting to spin with all the things you need to do…. Stop! Take a breath… Remember the intentions you set for your productivity habits when we got started. You’ve got this!

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