As another academic year is coming to a close, the transitional period of summer time is on the horizon. For personal activities outside of work, summer is one of my favorite times of the year. However, it can be difficult staying energized and productive at work during the summer months. This is partly because of the nice weather, saved up vacation time and lesser students on campus.
No matter the time of year, it is important to stay present and productive while at work. Maintaining productivity keeps you engaged and enhances your overall development as a professional. Here are three ways to maintain productivity.
I have found using a systematic approach is successful in achieving and maintaining productivity. There are many different systems out there to increase and maintain productivity. It is important to implement and develop a system that works for you. Once that system is developed, the key is to stick with it. A way to assist in determining which system works best is to examine what you value and place importance on with both personal and professional priorities. By taking the time to evaluate your current priorities, it allows you to hone in specific action steps to be productive in achieving accomplishments.
A system I have found to be successful for productivity is writing down ideas and tasks. I strive to keep a current to-do list by crossing out items completed and add tasks for enhanced productivity. In addition, when things are less busy at work, I tend to develop a project list. This helps me to look at larger, big picture items. In particular, for the summer months, I often map out a list of projects and work toward achieving them before the start of the fall semester. I have found success with this approach, specifically when it comes to developing new policies, creating innovative programs or implementing revised procedures.
Once you develop a system for productivity, it can be easy to abandon it. It’s recommended to incorporate reminders within your system, like activators. These are personal reminders you put into place to stick to your system and be consistent with it. For example, if you have a goal to be more active, the first step is to put a system into place to reach that goal. Within that system, it is beneficial to implement activators to assist with it. An activator that could assist you with this goal is to pack a gym bag of workout clothes and shoes to take with you to work. This will trigger you to map out a time during your day to work out.
A system activator I have found to be successful to maintain productivity is to keep an organized calendar. Specifically, I have found success with inputting reoccurring weekly/monthly events, appointments and daily reminders. As a whole, I recommend using a simple approach to finding personal activators that allows you to be diligent in keeping your system updated. Being self-aware and identifying personal areas of fulfillment will assist in pinpointing activators unique to you to keep your system intact for maintained productivity. This will also help in limiting distractions and staying on pace with obtaining your goals.
Based off your developed system and implemented reminders, the final component for maintaining productivity is to establish parameters. The parameters should align with your intentions and mindset. This can be done by preparing a consistent, daily routine that allows you to set and reset your intentions. Similar to setting reminders, it is recommended to utilize a simplified approach.
In particular, I have found success with establishing parameters by setting aside time on a daily basis for specified tasks. For example, this can be designating pockets of time for email, special projects and/or meeting availability. This avoids bogging yourself down on certain tasks and derailing your productivity.
A recommended tip to practice this even further is utilizing the Pomodoro Effect. This technique breaks up daily work by using a timer. After 25 minutes – the recommended time – you move on from that task to another one. Once again, this prevents you from being frustrated and deflecting your efforts away from your productivity.
Staying productive is not always glamorous and can be tedious at times. However, keeping the focus on your long-term goals and success will assist in your levels of production. Find what works for you. I hope some of these tips have channeled your thoughts and increases effort for productivity.