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4 Steps To Staying Productive

The 4 steps to staying productive listed here are vital to staying productive or increasing productivity.

While there are considerably more than just 4 steps to staying productive, in fact there are an endless amount of other steps that can be incorporated depending upon the person and the situation at hand, the ones that are listed in this article however are felt to be foundational to effectively stay on course toward your goal.

Those steps to being successful, efficient and productive are:

  1. Extending Yourself Mentally

  2. Health and Fitness

  3. Relationships

  4. Taking Time For Yourself

It’s hard to build a second story on a vacant lot.

You can probably guess that this list isn’t the typical “how-to” set of ideas, but rather they go to the very basis and basics of our lives. Or put another way: “It’s hard to build a second story on a vacant lot.”

Extending Yourself Mentally

I know one of the first things a person may think when they read this one is something like, “Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea how much I have to think about at work? Then there’s the wife, the kids, the home, the lawn – give me a break.”

What I’m talking about however is not just being engaged in the typical things we all have to think about. All of us have similar requirements and therefore things and situations we must stay on top of that are necessary to our lives. There’s nothing special in being busy, we’re all busy, but being busy and being in that special place of productivity are different things. Again…

Being busy doesn’t equal productivity, (that’s why they’re two different words).

mathHowever, I’m not referring to the usual definition of mental engagement. No, I’m referring to being involved in something that stretches you mentally. Something that requires extreme focus of all your mental faculties to grasp the subject matter.

We all need something that “takes us away” in our heads. Something that belongs to us. For me, I enjoy studying the subject of physics. I’m not good at it, hardly an expert, but what I like is that the concepts stretch my mind and my thoughts as I”m try to grasp the subject.

For each person it will obviously be different. It may be something like taking a class on a subject that is truly challenging. Maybe studying another subject on your own or joining a local group that is focused on the subject.

I spent years as a legal consultant and one client I worked with was an older man who had came down with polio while in the armed services. He walked with a slight limp and used a cane, but he built an office so his office was on the second floor. This required him to walk up and down the steps every day several times forcing exercise on himself. He took the required continued education classes and when he passed away at 92 years of age, he was in the office every day and was every bit as sharp as when he was younger.

That really told me something, so I decided that the classic definition of “retirement” would never, ever happen to me. The following points are in no degree of order, they’re all important.

Health and Fitness

The first area that is foundational to your success is proper exercise and eating healthy. Now I know that we’re bombarded with videos (one’s coming up here in a moment), blogs and infomercials on this subject.

So, what do we do when there’s so many lists, articles and ideas? smoothieWell, you sift through them all, checking their sources carefully and look for patterns. Patterns are those things that tend to be common to the majority of the sources you check. Those are the important things to notice.

All our bodies are different, as well as the time we have to give, etc.  so I’m not going to even try to go into that subject in this short space except to say that exercise is absolutely vital. So, let’s talk about diet, which is something that we all have control over. So, the question arises, what diet am I choosing to feed the only brain and body I have?

Diet is one thing that is totally under our control.

Like we said before there are hundreds of diet ideas and suggestions that we can peruse, but what I’m interested in is helping you understand that a proper diet can achieve absolutely amazing things, truly amazing. I want you to check out this short video below to just get a little idea of the foundational changes an excellent diet can make in your life.

There are a couple of very minor things in the video I have different ideas about, but they are minor, take a moment to watch…


The next point is relationships. We are all social creatures, some to a lesser degree than others, but our basic requirements in life are similar. It’s nice to have people that, at the proper time, we cam hang out with. And it’s nice to have a special someone that we can kinda lose ourselves in. Again, to a point.

Relationships can enable our path to be more level and endurable, or it can cause it to become erratic and bumpier.

winding roadNow all relationships have twists and turns and bumps along the way that we have to work through, that’s why it’s called life and not recess, but there’s little benefit in maintaining a relationship that is simply not beneficial or worse, is outright unhealthy. And the discernment to know which is which is up to the individual. It’s not easy to put aside emotions, but the degree we can, it’s important to do so.

Sometimes, both parties are at fault. The relationship may have started out on the wrong foundation and stayed there, though attempts at correcting it were made. And sometimes a relationship is simply out of balance and the demands made upon one or the other just can’t be endured. In either case, it takes an logical and rational attitude to truly come to grips with what’s going on. And yes, it’s easier said than done.

When those times occur, it’s hard to get past yourself and truly assign the inaccuracies where they actually belong because some blame will fall on ourselves. relationshipsIt’s much easier to just blame the other person for the problem though that’s rarely the case. In any situation, we must be honest to ourselves about the relationship, brutally honest. Sometimes there just can’t be any mending after a breakup because another person just won’t allow it. That’s the other persons’ “saving face” time.

But relationships that are marred usually don’t kill us. We’ve all been through them and we haven’t died yet.

But how blessed is the individual who makes a friendship based on mutual interests, honesty and respect. That’s a relationship that can endure. Just to note however, that even these types of relationships must go through some degree of adjustment and change, but they’re usually worth it.

Always remember, “A good friendship is better than a bad marriage,” so tread slowly with mutual concern and don’t buy into the thinking that since you’ve come this far, you have to go all the way.

But friendships, really solid ones, are worth the world. So to have a life that has good relationships and friendships, goes a long way toward allowing us to maintain balance in an unbalanced world. And healthy relationships, whether they be family, friends, professional, casual or romantic keep us solid, balanced and on target.

Relationships can make or break you. Choose wisely if you want to be productive in life.

Taking Time For Yourself

Study is excellent, as is maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen and when coupled with solid relationships that covers and controls a lot that the world throws at you. The difficulty is when one’s time is saturated, then something must give.

There’s a person that you take everywhere with you, and is closer than anyone. That’s yourself.

Each person deserves a day in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. ~Maya Angelou

Downtime, in whatever manner you choose for yourself, is vital. To remain mentally and emotionally balanced, it’s important to remember yourself in your scheduling of your valuable time. Time can’t be regained, so some time must be taken so that you can de-stress and just be good to yourself.

For some that may be relaxing on the porch, reading a good book, heading to the spa, going for a drive or a myriad of other “me only” activities. Such time taken for oneself also let’s us know that we aren’t totally dependent on others or on schedules. It’s important to like yourself and be good to yourself.

Never feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Each of us needs to understand that we are valuable apart from others, duties, achievements and responsibilities. We all have worth and value is not based on successful accomplishment of our “to-do lists”.  We must always remember that our “who” is separate from our “do.”

Strive for balance in these vital things of life and most of the other things will take care of themselves, and we will be more confidant, at ease and productive.

These 4 steps to staying productive are not exhaustive, but each one is foundational to our well being and our benefit to others. Strive for balance.

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