We all want to be more productive, but it’s a very different thing to actually achieve this. Overcoming our natural urges for procrastination is an uphill struggle, yet many strategies can help you improve your productivity levels. Arguably the most impactful route to productivity is through self-awareness; the more we know ourselves and recognize our weaknesses, the easier it is to address these shortcomings.
With all that in mind, let’s explore the idea that self-aware individuals have a better chance of being productive at work, at school, or in their personal lives.
What is self-awareness?
It’s a term we all know, but unless you stop and think about it, you might not appreciate the full extent of the meaning it contains.
Self-awareness is about looking within yourself and recognizing your strengths and your failings. However, it’s also an act of reflecting on how your actions impact others.
Honesty goes hand in hand with these core tenets of self-awareness. If you know, there are limits to your knowledge on a certain subject but then lie about this in conversation with colleagues. Then you aren’t taking advantage of the reflective thinking and growth you have worked towards, for example.
Lastly, you also need to know why you are doing things and not just tackle tasks because you feel obliged. Looking at the bigger picture and recognizing your place within it is self-awareness in a nutshell.
How does this influence productivity?
To get better results at work, it’s necessary to assess the areas you can improve on and take action to achieve this.
While you can get good results from simply thinking about your own performance in different scenarios and determining where you should do better next time, we don’t always have the necessary perspective to recognize our own inadequacies.
This is where getting feedback from colleagues and managers is useful. Rather than assuming that you are fulfilling your potential, ask those around you for their input, and you will quickly find flaws you were not even aware of that you can work on.
Not all feedback will be relevant or helpful, but getting used to asking for it in the first place is better than sitting in your own bubble, untouched by outside opinions.
Another good idea, whether you are getting input from others or doing a little self-reflection, is to take notes. Writing down the aspects of your behavior that influence productivity will not just remind you of where you are missing the mark but will also record your progress over time. It’s a great motivational tool that will spur you on to a more productive future.
What about the role of technology?
While technology can definitely help us be more productive at work, it also offers the temptation to get distracted. It can derail your productivity levels if this is not kept in check.
You can use your new found self-awareness skills to knock your tech addiction on the head, and the first step is admitting that you have a problem.
A good way to measure this is to check the amount of time you use certain apps on your smartphone. If you are spending hours a day on social media, it might be time to set a block on these apps during the period when you are supposed to be working.
In short, your self-awareness should give you insights into what is hurting your productivity and point you in the direction of the solutions you need to overcome this.
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