We all have things we want to accomplish during the day. The tasks we set for ourselves depend directly on our ability to execute the actions needed to get them done. This level of execution varies day by day for any human being. Some days are better than others, and we experience days in which we are productive along with days in which we feel like failures.
Accepting the fact that you are not perfect in executing on your to-do list, and taking the necessary actions which make you better, is the first step in improving these traits. You need to know how to recognize when you are doing a good job taking productive action, and when you are not. This initial, and honest, labeling of how well you’ve been executing on your planned tasks will set you up for deeper insight. You will begin to become interested in studying the anatomy of a productive day, as well as being in tune with the aspects which propagate a day of low productivity.
Your Own Actions
It is difficult to provide a group of people advice on how to improve their personal methods of becoming productive. Every person reading these words has unique things they need to work on, and unique methods which work for them and not others. In an effort to aid as many people as possible, this article will take the approach of advising on the mindset required to attain your productivity goals rather than distinct steps to do so.
Once you’ve labelled what you look like when you’re being productive as well as unproductive, the next thing you should analyze is how your actions were triggered during those days. You may very well know that beginning to do the things we need to do is perhaps the most difficult part in the process of taking productive action. This is a facet of taking action you should study yourself, as it will be personal to you.
You should take an in-depth look into how exactly you began doing the things you did which you label as productive action. What motivated you in the moment right before your first key-stroke, for example? Did you use positive self-talk or negative self-talk? Were the things motivating you external to you or internal? Analyze the many aspects of initiating productive action, and do the same for what was missing when you did not take the action which was required of you.
You can now see that taking simple actions can be analyzed with a step-by-step approach. You can focus on the different traits of productive action which are favorable to have. Perhaps you want to stay “in the zone” for longer periods of time. The next time you find yourself in that zone, keep track of everything going through your mind and label all the aspects that cause positive habits to be formed. View the positive traits driving your actions with the goal of duplicating and extending them.
This exercise will take many iterations to bring value, and will forever be improving. However, taking action should be a subject of study much like anything else which you need to improve. Action is not a one-step process, and the mechanics of your actions will differ from the ones around you. Be careful taking specific advice from others, and make sure you figure out the truths of your personal self first. Simply being aware of how your productive actions manifest into the world will improve the frequency and quality of these actions.
The Actions of Others
Once you’re digging deep into analyzing your own productive actions, you will begin to view the actions of others in the same light. You may begin realizing that your coworker has trouble with distracting sounds around them without being consciously aware of it themselves. You may also pick up on the bad habits of your managers when they address the team in your weekly team meetings. Once you become conscious of the mechanics of your own actions, you will naturally begin analyzing the actions of others for their level of effectiveness and productivity.
These are good habits to have. You will discover new methods for taking action which you haven’t discovered in yourself. In a meeting with the CEO of your company you may realize how well they manage meeting time and what they do in order to finish meetings on time while covering everything on the agenda. Every positive trait is backed by productive actions taken towards it. By analyzing the mechanics of your own actions, you will utilize the time spent with other people to indirectly improve yourself. You will take home many more lessons from others by focusing on what lessons you can learn from yourself.