What is Mindful Productivity? 4 Ways to Be More Present & Productive Throughout Your Week
Sarah Mae (SMae) |
You know that feeling you have when you take that first sip of nice hot coffee in the morning? Or that first bite of a delicious dessert?
It’s like the world stops and everything is perfect for just a moment.
We all want those moments to last longer. Yet, is it that the rest of the coffee is not as good? Or is it that you’re no longer paying attention?
Obviously, it’s the latter, so how can you make space to really enjoy the whole cup? It’s all about mindful productivity!
“What is mindful productivity?” you may ask. Well, you’re in luck because today I’m breaking down my idea of mindful productivity and I’ve got four points to share with you, plus a bonus tip that’s going to help you be more present throughout your days.
Table of Contents
- What is Mindful Productivity?
- Mindful Productivity Tip #1: Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions
- Mindful Productivity Tip #2: Avoid multitasking
- Mindful Productivity Tip #3: Create a productive work environment
- Mindful Productivity Tip #4: Slow Down
- Mindful Productivity Bonus Tip: Happy Hour
- Take Action
What is Mindful Productivity?
I consider myself to be a very productive person, as do those around me. Yet, a while ago, I was feeling worn down by my productivity. I had my daily routines and non-negotiable habits, and I knew where to place my focus, yet I was noticing myself running on auto-pilot in the mornings. While this is the hallmark of habit creation, it left me feeling disconnected from myself.
I was going through the motions and knocking things off my never-ending list, without connecting with what I was doing. Have you been there?
It’s those half-hearted workout sessions and thrown-together meals. You did it (yay!) but something’s missing…
Checking everything off your list is super productive, right? So why this disconnect?
Well, when you look at productivity as just getting sh*t done as fast and efficiently as possible, you’re missing the bigger picture. What you really want is to optimize ALL areas of your life so you can enjoy the journey. You only have so many trips around the sun, ya know?
Even though I was completing everything on my list, I definitely wasn’t enjoying my mornings. Fact is, you can’t enjoy the journey when your focus is on the hustle. What you need is to be more mindfully productive.
I define mindful productivity as the non-judgmental awareness of what’s happening from one moment to the next, both internally and externally, as you move through your days. It involves being intentional with how you allocate your energy, time, and focus.
Here’s how you can use the idea of Mindful Productivity to be more present throughout your days.
Mindful Productivity Tip #1: Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions
Being consciously present means non-judgmental awareness of your emotional and mental states.
It’s normal to not feel like doing a task, to get lost in daydreams, and to go down rabbit holes that seem like time wasted. Rather than feeling guilty and scolding yourself, just acknowledge the thoughts and emotions, and bring your attention back to the task at hand so you can get back to being productive.
Mindful Productivity Tip #2: Avoid multitasking
Contrary to what you might believe, humans cannot multitask.
Studies show that people who frequently multitask are more distracted and less able to focus their attention even when they’re performing only one task. You also become less efficient and more likely to make a mistake.
In order to stay focused on a single task until it’s done, be mindful of your context switching. Make sure you allocate enough of your day to be responsive and available for the people that need you. Then schedule non-interruptable focus time in blocks that are manageable around this. I like to use the Pomodoro Technique for this.
Mindful Productivity Tip #3: Create a productive work environment
The environment around you has a huge impact on your productivity and behaviour. The mood that is set with your decor, the images on the walls around you, the state of your desk, all these things affect you and can be used to your advantage.
Mindful Productivity Tip #4: Slow Down
I know it can feel like it, but life isn’t a race.
As entrepreneurs, society has conditioned us that to feel fulfilled and “enough” we must reach certain business milestones. The problem is that it’s a moving target. We’ve often already set the next milestone before we’ve even reached the current one.
Make a conscious effort to be present as much as possible. Slow down. It’s incredibly freeing to let go of the need to get somewhere and just ENJOY the processes of getting there.
Mindful Productivity Bonus Tip: Happy Hour
Okay, time for that bonus tip. The key to all of this is intention.
Being intentional with your sips as you enjoy your coffee means that you’ll enjoy the cup longer. Being intentional with your workouts means you’ll feel more connected to your body. When you’re intentional with your energy, time, and focus, productivity comes naturally. So how can you be more intentional?
One of the things that I do to help me be more present and mindfully productive is what I like to call, Happy Hour. This is basically a planning session combined with a check-in on how I felt the week went.
I set aside the last hour of my Friday to reflect and celebrate my wins for the week, as well as tentatively plan for the next week so that my mind is clear for the weekend.
I sit down in Roam Research and answer the following questions…
- What went well this week?
- Is there anything I did this week that I wish I’d done differently?
- What do I need to focus on next week?
- How will I create more balance next week?
Celebrating your accomplishments for the week gives a nice dopamine hit. Planning ahead helps you be more present on the weekend, and more intentional about how you prioritize and schedule your next week.
Then, on Monday morning, spend your first 10 min reviewing your schedule and Happy Hour reflections, this will get you motivated and ready to start your week with a bang!
When you’re running on autopilot you risk losing touch with yourself, the present moment, and the people around you.
Do not confuse productivity with mere production. You’re a human, not a Tesla factory. If getting things done faster was the solution you’d have figured it out by now.
By slowing down, being focused and aware of your thoughts and emotions, as well as your work environment, and being very intentional with how you allocate your time, energy, and focus, you’ll be more productive, more present, and more balanced throughout your week.
Don’t just read this blog and leave it at that. What actions are you going to take to get started? I suggest downloading my free Mindful Productivity Roadmap. You can get yours here!
P.S. Are we connected on Instagram? No? Well new friend, let’s fix that now! Come hang out on my favourite social media platform. Follow for inspiration and send me a DM to let me know we’re connected.