Stop Learning, Start Doing: How to Implement a Productive Workflow
If you are a regular reader of Lifehack, you may have come across several articles on productivity, including the popular Getting Things Done (GTD) method. While it is easy to keep on reading articles and gathering information on the subject, the question is how much of it have you actually implemented in your life?
Most of us spend our days fulfilling responsibilities, completing tasks, and working towards both big and small goals. However, the key to success lies not just in gaining knowledge but also in taking action. In this article, we will explore the gap between learning and doing, and provide some actionable tips to implement a productive workflow.
Learning vs. Doing
It is common to read articles and books to gain knowledge and enhance our lives. However, if you have been reading countless articles on productivity and are yet to implement any of the ideas you have learned, it is time to ask yourself why. Perhaps, you have not found the motivation to put them into action or assumed that the changes will happen on their own.
The truth is ideas without action amount to nothing. A productive workflow requires action, and it is time to stop reading and start doing. In the words of Nike, “Just Do It.”
Tips for Implementing a Productive Workflow
Here are some tips to help you get started and create momentum towards a productive workflow:
1. Define your Goals
Revisit your goals and commitments to gain inspiration to act. If you do not have any goals, create some today.
2. Commit to Daily Habits
Set aside at least 10 minutes a day to form new positive and productive habits to help you achieve your goals. Make sure to commit to this daily habit and be consistent.
3. Restrict Process Emails
Block process emails, maximum three times a day, and avoid checking your email outside these times.
4. Start with the Worst Task
Start the day with your worst task first, also known as “eating your frog.” This sets the tone for the rest of the day and ensures you have accomplished the most challenging task.
5. Exercise and Get Up Earlier
Get up an hour earlier and exercise. This increases your energy levels, enabling you to focus better throughout the day.
6. Declutter your Environment
Clear your workspace and declutter your environment. This helps you focus more easily and eliminates distractions.
7. Set Clear Daily Objectives
Be clear about what you want to achieve every day. This keeps you focused and ensures that you accomplish your goals efficiently.
8. Leave Time for Contingencies
Always leave time in your schedule for contingencies. This ensures that you won’t be disappointed if things don’t go according to plan.
9. Eliminate Distractions
Avoid distractions such as phone notifications and close email programs. If possible, switch off your phone when working on important tasks.
10. Implement the Pareto Principle
Identify your 20% that adds value to what you are trying to achieve, and implement the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) to focus on the tasks that matter the most.
11. Stay Optimistic
Maintain a positive outlook towards life and stay optimistic. Optimistic people are healthier, happier, and more productive.
Just Do It
In conclusion, while there may be some merit in living life more fluidly and carefree, productivity is necessary for achieving success in most areas of our lives. Therefore, stop reading and start doing. Implement some of the tips mentioned above and follow Nike’s motto– Just Do It.
As you implement a productive workflow, it is also essential to remember that everyone’s journey and pace is different. Therefore, it is essential to keep taking small steps every day and adjust your plans where necessary.
(Photo credit: Handwritten Motivational Note via Shutterstock)