“Challenges are what makes life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
An old saying goes: “Time decides who you meet in life, your heart decides whom you want in life, but your behaviour decides who will stay in your life.” The same holds good for “Your behaviour decides who you will stay in your life.” Most people are busy (and stressed) at work, at home, with yourself, with others and with life itself.
Looking back, you feel like you have so much more to achieve and can’t see how time flies. It happens to most people because we focus on being busy and not on being productive. Being productive is about what you do today to improve your tomorrow.
Productivity is always the result of commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.
Kick these few habits, you will suddenly find yourself doing more, achieving more and, in fact, enjoying work and life more.
Habit 1: Do not make excuses: Time is limited, but achievement targets are unlimited. So what do you do? Most of us fish for excuses to justify why we could not do certain things or get results. Guilty? Most probably right?
The most common excuse is “I don’t have time.”
What we often fail to do is to introspect, to see if there is something we could have done better not to fail or be disappointed. “If it is important for you, you will find a way; if not you will find an excuse.” Time and energy should not be wasted on making excuses, instead make an effort. Attitude is everything, life is only 10 per cent of what you make it and 90 per cent of how you take it.
Nobody really cares for how good your excuses are, nobody, including you. Say No to excuses. If your past was tough, work to make your future better. Do not repeat the same mistakes, whether they are yours or someone else’s.
Habit 2: Don’t waste time: Time is what we want the most, but we use it the worst. Spending today complaining about yesterday (or even today) is not going to make tomorrow better.
Yet, we get carried away and tend to waste it on so many things that add no value to us. We get distracted today and we have so many unnecessary things that we want to do. Are they important? Turn those distractions off and you will be stunned by the increase in productivity.
Remember many things aren’t equal but everyone gets the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Habit 3: Don’t cheat: We are what we do repeatedly. Excellence is not an action, it’s a habit. A promise means everything, once broken being sorry means nothing. Cheating is not necessarily backstabbing another person in this context, it may mean taking short-cuts and not giving your all.
Taking short-cuts gives birth to below-average performance. It is unacceptable to cheat others, it is worse cheating self. So, aim to do your best, don’t try sneaking away when you see loopholes. Don’t count the days, make your days count.
Habit 4: Don’t blame: One mistake or setback and the blame game begins. It is always easy to blame others.
In, fact, we can spend our life time blaming the world, but our success and failures are entirely our own responsibility. We point fingers at each other and blame everyone else for the problem.
When you blame and criticise others, you are avoiding some truth about yourself. This can harm you, your actions and your life. You may end up not only losing the game and losing relations.
Habit 5: Don’t get frustrated: Getting frustrated is easy. However, frustrations will only make you perform worse. Keep calm and deal with stress positively.
To conquer frustrations, focus on the outcome and not the obstacles. The discontent and the frustration that you feel may be the result of your own creation. Sit back, think and see how you can get frustration out of the way and focus on your goals.
We are guilty of at least one of these habits, but choose habits to kick out, and you are bound to see a tremendous leap in productivity using Not-to-do list for a change.
Sri is the founder and chief mentor of Kuza Biashara Limited. @Sbharatam or firstname.lastname@example.org.