Last Updated 7 months by Emily Standley-Allard
With the proliferation of media and work, it’s hard to conceptualize if a to-do list will ever be complete. Therefore it’s crucial to regularly harness the productive mindset in such a way that is most effective to you. After all, there is always something more to do, something more to work on. Even when there isn’t, humanity has developed a sense of responsibility to invent ways to be productive since leisure has fallen out of fashion.
Adversely, maybe it’s challenging to regularly have a productive mindset.
Maybe work makes it tremendously hard to get out of bed or you can’t engage in creative projects you once adored.
No matter your relationship with productivity, it’s possible to make it healthier for your unique situation.
Develop a Healthy Relationship with Productivity
The secret to developing a healthy relationship with productivity — and the culture surrounding it — is to understand there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, especially for small business owners and creatives whose work is constantly in flux.
There are plenty of methods, systems, tools and books out there that promise to be the solution to your productivity crisis.
However, developing healthy expectations is crucial as changing a mindset takes time and curation.
It will be a series of trial and error and cherry-picking the strategies that fit your life and work from all the helpful resources available.
The next step is to ask yourself why you want to grow a more productive mindset.
Are you stressed and want to do assignments more efficiently?
Are you equating self-worth with the number of tasks you complete in a day?
Once you have a guide, it will be easier to adopt a mindset that attaches in the long term.
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The productivity and hustle cultures have led to unhealthy worship of overwork, which is why many struggle to adopt a productive mindset.
Modern productivity standards are extreme and undesirable, but there are ways to shift that cultural intimidation into more inspiring.
Harness the Right Tools
Many barriers prevent people from being efficient, whether it’s time management or an uninspiring environment.
You may be able to cultivate a productive mindset for daily implementation by willpower alone.
However, if you need extra support, there are avenues to overcome these barriers.
Countless productivity books saturate the market and contain systems promising to organize your life.
Many take a systems-over-goals approach, understanding implementing structure is better than fixating on the result that may or may not be realistic.
Depending on what fits your productive mindset, you may need different tools.
If you’re running a creative business, you may need organizational suites like Notion or a color-coded Google Calendar.
If you are an academic and want to remember every book and article, Readwise and other note taking apps are fantastic to help refresh your memory on the most compelling insights.
You can’t forget a trusty to-do list app or journal, but make sure your exhilarated, productive mindset doesn’t make a list longer than you can handle.
It’s essential to capture as many thoughts as possible to decrease mental clutter, but keep it clean and organized.
Every facet of a working space — including temperature and air quality — influences productive abilities.
Perform an audit in your office or creative room to find points of distraction or discontent.
You can create an actionable list of how to change these elements over time to build your dream working environment to foster productivity daily.
Consider changing to natural lighting or having more aesthetically pleasing artwork that brings joy.
Maybe the tools you need for your work are hard to access, activating your brain in a way that often affects your work.
Maintain a Productive Mindset
Now that you have the right mindset and the tools, it’s time to keep up the habit. What are the best ways to maintain that productive mindset?
Humans often default to procrastination or can’t find productive motivation because they aren’t working on the right projects.
Is your art or profession truly exciting you? Intrinsic motivation is far more valuable than extrinsic societal pressures or half-hearted discipline and can keep you dedicated to your work for years to come.
Ultimately, passion is a crucial driver of a productive, creative and entrepreneurial mindset.
Finding purpose in work will create momentum to continue staying productive even on difficult days.
Humans don’t worry about productivity when doing activities they enjoy, like watching Netflix or playing video games.
They’re highly opposed to short-term, high-resistance tasks that yield long-term gains, like working out.
This realization is critical, as it helps humans understand how important it is to create pleasure in every task instead of cultivating dread because of obligations.
This way, productivity comes naturally and you don’t grow to resent it.
A Productive Mindset Every Day
Overcoming the pressures of the cult of productivity is demanding — work, culture and technology are moving at such a rapid pace that it’s hard to keep up.
It seems like five new chores are added every day for every one completed, but by incorporating mindset shifts, it’s possible to stay excited about life and work every day.
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Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the director at a marketing agency prior to becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.