I asked my 17-year-old daughter Elise this morning what I should write my blog about and without taking a breath she answered, productivity. “Mom, you are always talking about it”. I then proceeded to survey my 19-year-old son Eric and 20-year-old daughter Wiley about their thoughts on productivity. The responses started with “Mom, you know that is subjective.”
So I altered the question, “When do you feel productive?” How do you set yourself up to feel productive? In talking about the details of approach more I realized that all three of my children take the approach that getting started is the hardest part and they just keep going once started to avoid having to start again.
Another approach they had in common is to make a long to do list, setting the expectations high. They find that this gives them space to be satisfied with the amount done even if it is not the entire list.
Wiley said she is a to-do-list maker, and a tactic she picked up from my sister Stephanie is to write something on the list you have already done so you can check it off. She said this gives her the illusion that she is on a roll and she can just keep going instead of needing to start. Noah does that too.
Eric needs an entrance so he plays music, repeats a mantra and then goes for it. He finds that momentum is key and once he is going he tries to get as much done as possible because starting is such a challenge. Again, Noah has a lot in common with our children.
Elise finds the surrounding environment important. She got the bulk of her AP studying done at the library. She makes a plan, heads to the library, and doesn’t leave until the task is done.
I am very different from my children, I am much more focused on setting small achievable goals and accumulating wins. For me, setting one achievable goal for the day is key. It is too easy for me to get lost in the checking off of tiny tasks. I focus on one goal for the five areas of my life that are important to me and go from there.
So for today, I meditated first thing, prayed, and did my journaling; spiritual health – check. Ran with Wiley and then walked to work; physical health – check. I am planning to eat dinner with Wiley and Eric at the restaurant where Elise works (fish tacos yum) then walk the dog with Noah; family time – check. Writing this blog and getting the newsletter are the work tasks for today, so when they are done I will have felt it was a productive work day. Then final area of my life, my mind hmmm….
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