Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Essentials For Productivity

Something that is on my mind most of the time, but that my thoughts go to even more so when a year is freshly beginning, is how I will make the most of time... in investing my time in things that truly matter to me, getting to the things I hope to do, and in overall productivity.

Being productive is something that seems to require more focus when the pace of life picks up. As things are about to get busier very soon, I find myself giving more thought again to what will help me to be productive this year while I am balancing wonderful life and all that is a part of it.  I believe there is great importance in being balanced in what productivity means to you, but I also think that it is equally important to be driven.  

Here are five essentials I can think of that are, and will be, helpful to me in being productive
 with my time.

When each day is full of meaning, it is easier to remain productive in working on everything from what you love to do to what you need to do.  A great deal of meaning is found in my days through being inspired.  When I am inspired, it not only gives me drive and motivation in endeavors in which I am passionate about, but it gives me a sense of excitement about getting through what I have to do that may not be as enjoyable in order to get to what I love, the point where I am able to reach my goals.  Inspiration- in new knowledge, a book, a photo, in words, or in something someone says to you- is so necessary for productivity in my experience being it is like fuel, giving me the extra push to accomplish because of what lies ahead look forward to.  Additionally, inspiration guides me in making better use of my time and having purpose to start new projects and venture into new places of learning and goal-making.

Staying focused is perhaps the most important element of being productive for the reason that you can have good intentions of getting so much done and you can plan to get a lot accomplished, but if you lose focus, you lose sight of what is involved in accomplishing it.  Whether writing a research paper or rearranging and organizing, focusing and, as funny as it may sound,  focusing on focusing has helped me so much to stay on track to getting things done.  Ways I stay focused are planning to accomplish goals in increments by doing bigger things in smaller chunks and looking at my progress often.   This has helped me to keep focused on what I wanted to do and get in finished within the time I wanted to do it in things like sewing a dress and reading books in a short amount of time for assignments over the years.

Making lists is a substantial part of being productive because it is directly linked to goals, both making them and keeping them.  I love keeping lists and categorizing them into different areas is helpful to me.  One of the most frequently added to lists of mine is my "to look up" list of words, books, terms, people, etc. that I want to look up to find out about.  I am constantly hearing words that I want to be refreshed on, hearing of historic figures who I am curious about, or things I think of randomly that I want to know.  This is important to me in productivity because it means constantly learning, realizing, and pondering new things.  Lists are extremely helpful because I can refer back to them at the end of the day and throughout the day to see if I have done what I sought to.  They also inspire me because making lists, from lists of books to read to things to get done in a day, give me heightened determination to cross things off as they are finished.  And how wonderfully accomplished it feels to see a crossed-off list in front of me :)

Stay With What Works
It has always been interesting to me how everyone is unique in that we all have different ways of working toward accomplishments, solving problems, and focusing.  I think that an important essential for being productive is to stick to what that unique method is for you, what works best for you.  This can be the little things, like having a snack while you work on something, to bigger things like a specific way of organizing your day or yourself.  Some people work better in silence so they can focus, but most of the time I prefer to work with some sort of low noise on in the background or even just out where my family is talking and supper is cooking- still being a part of what's going on in a less involved way- while I write or do schoolwork.  Somehow that helps along my "grey cells", as they say, better than silence does :)

Learn & Expand Your Mind
I believe this is extremely essential to productivity- constantly learning means that your brain itself is being productive, which leads to being able to greater cognition and knowledge of several subjects. The more you know, the more you are able to get done with it... from having a better understanding of something you seek to do (as many people enhance their learning by researching things that will get them closer to their goals) to being a more well-rounded person with knowledge of the world around you, enabling you to better do what you aim to accomplish.  There are many ways that I enjoy learning and soaking in new things... being observant, reading about topics I may not normally choose to, studying what I love and learning even more about it, looking up and learning new words, feeding curiosity, and (one of my favorite pastimes) doing crossword puzzles to keep increasing vocabulary.  This is perhaps my favorite element of productivity because I most love the ways I find to gain new and knowledge, expand my mind on things I am curious about, or even on what I already know about but want to know more.


I love the essence of what it means to me to be productive, and even more so I think it is such an amazing and wonderful thing that productivity is purpose in everyone's lives in different ways...
finishing reading a book, writing a book, decorating and organizing your home, harvesting your crops, making a habit of walking and being active, finishing a craft project, planting a garden, cooking a meal, anything that is meaningful to you and makes you feel accomplished.

These are five essentials that help me to be productive.  When I think of what gives drive to get something done, I think that a combination of all these "essentials" are to me only possible if you have one thing that encompasses them all: determination.
I have always been inspired by the willing, determined spirit of Caroline Ingalls, both on "Little House on the Prairie" and in Laura Ingalls Wilder's books in the way she described her mother.
She took charge of what needed to be done and would do anything to help her family and others, driven by her faith and her will.  That is the kind of young woman I pray I will be.  I remember a scene from "Little House" where she spoke a few simple, meaningful words that added up to
 the true resolve she possessed.  She said, "We can- if we want to badly enough." 
 That is illustrative of what it is to be determined.  You can get things done you never
 thought possible if only you want to bad enough.

You can find more inspiration with these four ways to maximize your productivity
 shared by Kabbage, a provider of small business loans for entrepreneurs.


What helps you to be productive? :)

May you have a wonderful day!!


  1. What a great post, Jazzmin! Thank you for sharing what motivates you...all five of are great examples. I'm a list maker ...journal keeper...collector of recipes...they all help me to stay motivated. I've determined that this year I want to go beyond my "normal" ...out of my comfort zone, you might say. I'm looking for that challenge!

  2. Excellent points, Jazzmin! I am a dedicated list maker and note taker, and keep a board to tack my schedules to on the wall over my desk. Right now I just need more inspiration! I'm trying to finish sewing a skirt, but I'm not terribly fond of sewing or terribly good at it!

  3. Oh, I loved this post, sweet friend! I enjoy making lists and it feels so rewarding to accomplish everything on it. Right now I have a list a mile long, but yesterday I was able to cross several things off - yippee :)

    Thank you, dear Jazzmin, for inspiring me :) Love and hugs to you!

  4. Wonderful post! You have a lovely blog.


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