Being productive and efficient is often a struggle for me, given my tendency to see the futility of everything I do and my tendency to fixate on the smallest of details. Thus, I often spend too much time on one task, agonizing over tiny details, leaving myself no time to spend on other tasks. Also, in my struggle with motivation I have found that if I do not see the benefit or payoff of the work I am doing, I am not inclined to do it. As a result, I believe that focusing on time management and motivation would help me to be more productive. There are a plethora of lists on the internet that outline how one is supposed to “be more productive”. These lists are all well and good, but they have a certain “self-help” aspect to them. In all reality, and as mentioned in class, each of us must individually find what enhances our productivity.
Eliminating distractions is one step that has a high probability of being on almost every list that has existed for the purpose of increasing productivity. Yet, this step is extremely important. Personally, since I am addicted to my phone and social media, turning my phone off or placing it out of reach is a great way to avoid staring at my phone instead of doing homework. Another way I try to stay on task and avoid being distracted, is by not engaging in mindless media before I have finished the majority of my work. During the first half of the semester I would watch shows on Netflix during meals. I found that this lessened not only my motivation but also my concentration. Now, during meals I either listen to something, or watch informational videos that, rather than dulling my senses and causing me to shut down, engage my senses while providing relaxation.
Keeping oneself motivated can be extremely hard when one does not see the point to what they are doing. However, there are many ways to motivate oneself and find a purpose for the various tasks that are required in one’s life. A rather obvious and ubiquitous way of doing this is to set goals and deadlines. Another way to stay motivated is just to show up to whatever you have to do and to work hard. Often, I have not only been motivated to finish a project by working on it, but I have also been inspired by perpetually grinding on. More often than not however, in order for me to be personally motivated to do something, the task has to benefit someone else or myself. This reasoning has lead me to be less productive during last fall’s semester and this current semester. During both of these semesters I have taken quite a few general education courses, and had a hard time seeing the benefit in them. As mentioned above, I see little reason to do something that has no relevant purpose, or benefits someone who does not need its benefits.
Overall, making sure to spend enough time on each of the tasks in my life, as well as eliminating distractions, and maintaining motivation are very important tasks. Without paying attention to the three things in the previous sentence, I would certainly neglect my duties and either never rise out of bed, or never stop playing video games. This statement is not to say that sleeping in and leisure-time activities are bad or hinder productivity. However, when not delayed till after I accomplish my work, these leisure time activities do decrease my overall productivity. The ability to efficiently “get things done” as creatively as possible is an invaluable skill to have.