How to be passively productive

What is being passively productive? For us, it’s about being productive without thinking too much about it. Or gaining useful information and actioning items without overthinking it. Here are some tricks that can help everyone be productive in an effortless way.

Set a time limit for your planning

Planning can get in the way of taking action. If you plan forever for something without making executions along the way, what are you doing? Your kind of procrastinating… Don’t get me wrong it’s semi productive procrastinating, at least you are working on ideas and strategies, but it has to go somewhere. So set yourself a time limit for planning, and then start taking actions around existing plans. You can plan more if it is required but it can be done alongside action.

Get over procrastination and ‘just do it’

On that note, you have to get into the ‘just do it’ mentality. Especially if your procrastination isn’t productive at all. The moment you put off a task or project, your productivity goes right down. Just start! Starting can be the hardest part, from there you just follow on from the last burst of productiveness. If you’re lucky you may even find yourself in a state of flow… but only if you start.

Make to-do lists and check them

It can be motivating to create a to-do list with check boxes and to check it periodically through out the day. This gives you a clear idea of what needs to be done in a certain time frame as well as the satisfaction of ticking a box when you’ve completed a task. If you make this part of your routine, you will find yourself achieving more in less time naturally as it helps to compartmentalize your tasks so that you’re not losing track or leaving work unfinished. 

Hone prioritization skills

Make sure you are aware of what is most important. What needs to be done first? What has the shortest deadline or needs the most time? What do I need to get stuck into now? What will take just a moment? When you refine your prioritization you will naturally gravitate to doing the most important things first and using the time you have wisely across all tasks.

If you don’t have a deadline, create one

Some people work exceptionally well under pressure. Others might just need a deadline to get started and get finished! So if you don’t have a deadline for a task, create one anyway, or tell yourself it needs to be completed on a particular day. Believe in the deadline! You’ll feel great when you finish a task before or when you said you would.

Pen in time to drop everything and train your brain

A good time to do this is on your commute to or from work. Take time to do ‘leisurely’ things such as:

  • Reading
  • Playing brain training ‘games’
  • Listening to podcasts

And make sure the content of what you’re consuming is applicable to your work life. Things such as TED talks often have extremely helpful concepts to share. When listening, reading or playing the right games, you are using and training your brain in a way that seems effortless and enjoyable.

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