I've seen lots of questions on Quora where people ask what they can do to be more productive, or what does it take in order to balance school and work life, to what tools do you recommend to help me stay productive and manage my time better. Ultimately, it all comes down to 3 things.
These 3 things I rarely ever see people use them as an answer. There might be some, but not greatly emphasized enough. The top 3 things that determine your productivity is not a to do list app nor is it a list of alarms set on your phone to go off every several hour(s). In fact, they do nothing more than to act as a tool to aid these 3 things that determine your productivity:
- Self Discipline
- Taking Action On Your Priorities
As you've noticed, I've never mentioned any product or service in the list of 3 things. Sure, I may be the one who founded Goal Striver, which is a goals based to do list app, but ultimately, productivity is decided by these 3 things, and not by the tools that you use. It's also a part of taking responsibility for yourself, and not blaming others or blaming a tool for your lack of productivity.
Why Is Self Discipline a Major Factor In Productivity?
First, self discipline is the act of being able to control yourself, or as Dictionary.com states,
"self discipline [is] the act of disciplining or power to discipline one's own feelings, desires, etc, esp with the intention of improving oneself"
Self discipline is not easy. For some, it takes a lot of practice, while for others, it's second nature to them.
After all, self discipline helps you be in control of yourself. It helps you be aware of the decisions that you make. It also helps you in keeping focus and ultimately becoming more productive in the long term without giving in to short term distractions of whatever that pleasures you (e.g. partying, watching Netflix, killing time on social media, etc.)
Why Do Priorities Play A Major Role In Productivity?
When one talks about productivity, priorities always has to be in the topic of discussion, and it plays a major role in the process of being productive.
Priorities are what will help you determine what's more important, what really requires your time, energy, and attention towards having a more productive day. After all, there's a reason why these tasks are called "priorities" in the first place.
You Have To Take Action!
Finally, once you have the first two points nailed down, the last factor is you have to take action on those priorities.
Self discipline is what will help you stay consistent and persistent with your priorities on a daily basis, as well as taking action on them.
After all, battles are not won by simply wishing, hoping, and praying, they're won through fighting. In our case, it can be a mental struggle between you and your inner self or you versus the obstacles in this world (whether they be friends, family, loved ones, enemies or the things around you).
At the end of the day, there are only 24 hours in a day, and 33% of that is spent sleeping, and for most people who has a full time job, that's another 33%, which gives us 33% of the time left for us to spend it on whatever we like. By the way, in case you didn't know, that's basically 8 hours sleep, 8 hours day job, and 8 hours left in the day for free time. What are you doing in those remaining 8 hours?
Fun Fact - If you take all the time spent in class for college for the entire quarter or semester, the total amount of time learning equates to 24 hours (more or less)!
In conclusion, it's not about who has the best tool in the world, it's a matter of self discipline, identifying your priorities, and taking action on your priorities which make up the 3 things that determines your productivity. Again, tools are just an addon meant to support those 3 things, but those 3 things are the real factors that determines your productivity.
Now that you've reached the end of the article, leave a comment below and tell me what PRIORITY you are going to take care of after you exit this article! Don't wait on it, because that's just going to be procrastination, and procrastination is the easiest road to failure in the most inelegant way possible.