Last week I wrote about how personality and perspective can impact productivity and therefore increase or decrease your overall happiness. While I highly encourage reading that article, I didn't really go into how productivity makes us happier or how to actually be more productive. 

Productivity with purpose is necessary.

If you want to be happier, work towards your goals. Easier said than done but productivity without purpose/meaning is just checking things off your to-do list. Yes, it can be valuable to get groceries or finish the laundry but these tasks can be draining.  Productivity with purpose is where we, as humans, really shine.  

It's all about balancing the mundane, "need to" tasks with the items that really ignite your creativity and flow. And no one says your productivity for happiness has to be this big undertaking or huge project. It's all about learning and growing. For some it's baking, for others, it's running a side hustle or learning to sew. This is about working (productivity) with purpose/meaning, not finding your life's purpose. Although, you never know how things will turn out. :) 

 As last week's article stated, one way of finding the balance in productivity is to stop comparing yourself to others and what they may or may not be doing. Taking a look at what you enjoy and what you want to learn about. What you want to grow towards. Having a sense of self and knowing what makes you tick can also help you find productivity with purpose.

When you work with purpose, it actually feels like you're accomplishing something. You're pushing yourself to be and do better and that sense of pride, blended with personal improvement is how productivity with purpose can help make you happier. 

The pitfalls.

Many of us struggle to find the productivity purpose but even when we do, the biggest happiness and productivity pitfalls lies in our everyday habits and routines. It can be a hard shift to go from coming home from work and relaxing in front of the tv to getting down to work on what you really want.  Or it can be hard to ignore the Facebook or new email notifications coming through. Having zero unread emails makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something but having no unread emails is not a core part of who I want to become. So how do we avoid these common pitfalls? We can't just ignore emails or never relax. That's where strategy and planning come in. 

A strategy for purposeful productivity.

I'm sure there are many ways to go about avoiding everyday pitfalls and getting down to the business of what's important to you but here are some simple ways that have helped me: 

  • Schedule only an hour at a time. 

Whether it's an hour a day or just an hour a week (I do most of my purposeful work on weekends), dedicate some time to what you really want. You can ignore social media or emails or Netflix or any of the other distractions in your life for just one hour at a time. 

  • Put your phone in the other room. 

By putting your phone in the other room, you're less likely to pick it up because it's gone off indicating that your cousin liked your latest Instagram pic. Leave it in the other room (even if it's just for that hour) to focus on the thing that really matters- you and your goals! 

  • Keep only the important tabs open. 

Chances are your purposeful productivity will have something to do with a computer. Learning to sew via YouTube or finding new recipes to try. Keep only the important tabs open. Shut down the internet tab for your email, Facebook, and chat. These things will only eat into your hour. First, you're learning to sew and the next thing you know, you've spent your hour and then some catching up on emails and scrolling Facebook or Pinterest.

  • Have a designated space.

 If you can, try to have a designated space (and routine) leading into your purposeful productivity. This indicates to your brain that you are ready to focus and work, meaning you are less likely to get distracted. 

  • Keep your goal visible. 

Nothing is more powerful than seeing your goal written in your handwriting as you work towards it. When it gets discouraging or hard, you can look up and be reminded that you are working with purpose towards something. You can look back and see how much you've grown. You can remember why you're even bothering to set aside an hour. 

So what do you think? Are you already productive with purpose? Have you already stepped away from the comparison to others and found what you really would like to learn about?  Are you already working within your personality to accomplish your goals? If not, I hope these last two articles have inspired you to be productive with purpose. If you are already rocking it, share your tips and tricks with me on Facebook or Instagram

Photo by Carol Hu