Why do you want to be more efficient? What is your end goal?
Being productive and efficient comes from personal motivation. No one is standing over you to make sure you stay on track. There is no big bad Efficiency Coach waiting to whip your ass into shape. YOU have to keep your OWN behind on task.
But making excuses is really, really easy. I would know, I just did it to myself.
I planned to read an article for work this evening, so I could work on a write-up tomorrow morning. Instead, I looked at my nails and thought well, keeping my nails pretty is part of looking professional, right? I should take care of these.
Now it’s 9 pm, and I ALSO promised myself I would blog tonight. I typically go to bed at 10 pm. I don’t have time to do both. I did this to myself. I made excuses and let myself slip.
Am I gonna beat myself up over it? Of course not. That is not productive in any way shape or form. But I’m trying to learn from it. So instead of my previously arranged topic, I’m going to come up with reasons why I want to be more efficient with how I spend my time. Then I have to figure out a way to keep those reasons in mind when I let myself slide.
- More efficient work = more time for me.
- I feel good when I crawl in bed at the end of the day, knowing I did something useful.
- I love the feeling of crossing things off my list.
- Deadlines give me crazy anxiety – getting things done early defeats the anxiety monster.
- I want to be able to leave work at work. I want weekends to be weekends.
- I want to be proud of my work product, and not ashamed that it’s late and/or not done to the best of my abilities.
- I hate wasted time.
- I hate leaving things until tomorrow.
Do any of these apply to you? Or do you have other reasons for wanting to improve yourself?
If you know why you’re doing something, it becomes easier to complete. If I tried to stay up all night just to see if I could do it, I can guarantee you I wouldn’t make it. But if I had a good reason, say, taking care of someone, or working on an urgent project, or something along those lines, I’m equally sure I could do it. It comes down to what’s making you press on.
If you don’t feel like you have reasons, find them. They are there. I have days where I question everything, down to why I got out of bed that morning. But I get out of bed every morning, and it’s because I know where I want to be — and I have to work to get there.
So let’s start with the why, then we’ll get to the how.