How Do You Build Productivity Momentum?

How do you get things moving?

How do you get going when you don’t feel like working?

Some days nothing seems to get done.

You can’t get going no matter what you try.

Other days things just seem to be rolling downhill.  One thing leads to another, and before you know it, you feel like you have accomplished a week’s worth of work in a single day.

It’s all about building momentum…

Building Productivity Momentum

When it comes to productivity, half of the battle can be getting yourself in gear.

Once you start doing, you will create more action.

It is all about building “productivity momentum.”

Why momentum?

Action Drives More Action – Once you get your tasks moving, you will find that one leads to another.

Completion Leads to More Done – Actually completing a task feels great and builds the drive needed to complete other items.

Once in Motion – Momentum keeps things moving.  From our physics lessons…

“An object that is in motion will not change its velocity unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.” – Newton’s 1st Law

What does this mean for our productivity analogy?

It means that once we get going… we will keep going.

Motion Leads to Action

Everyone has their own best way that they get work done.  Do what works for you.

Here are some tips to help you build your own productivity momentum…

  1. Do the Worst Thing First – Mark Twain famously said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”  The same can be said for your todo list.  Do your most dreaded task first.  Get it out of the way.  Everything else will seem easier after that.
  2. Make Sure You Are Doing the Most Important Thing – It is easy to confuse activity with productivity.  While it is important to get things in motion, make sure that you are concentrating on what is important.  Doing frivolous tasks may get you moving, but may not accomplish anything meaningful.
  3. Finish Things to Done – Finishing tasks to done cannot be understated.  Otherwise  you will find yourself with “57 things Started and Nothing Done.”  It is better to finish a few important tasks than start a dozen.  And “finishing” feels great… making you want to finish other tasks.
  4. Make Tasks Fun – Putting some fun in your tasks can make them go that much easier.  Anything can be fun.  It is usually a matter of attitude.  So, find that “Spoonful of Sugar,” no matter if you are washing dishes or doing that expense report.
  5. Start Early –  Need to get more done in your day?  Start earlier!  I like the old Army motto, “We do more before 8AM than most people do all day.”  I blog from 4-6AM, get my son ready for school from 6-7 and workout from 7-8.  And I am at work by 830-9.  Get an early jump start on your day!

Running Downhill is Easy

Once you get things rolling, everything else will seem easier.

Get yourself in motion.  It leads to more action.

Before you know it, you will be running downhill.

And you will get more done than you thought possible.

How do you build your productivity momentum?

Invest just 10 minutes a day toward the right ideas, behaviors and strategies to finally be more productive at work…so you can spend less time there! 31 Days, 31 Ways: Daily Tips for Time Management Mastery is my time management course, containing 31 powerful daily lessons and 31 actionable exercises designed to help you take action, reduce stress, and reclaim your time. Click here to learn more.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Great ideas, Craig! I also find that doing some of the quick and easy tasks first can help get the ball rolling. They may not be the most important, but finishing them gives me a sense of accomplishment when I can check them off my to-do list. And, more importantly, they help build productivity momentum to tackle the important tasks, which are usually more involved or difficult.

    • TMNinja

      @buzzoffice Buzz, agree! Quick and easy tasks can be a great way to get the ball rolling!

      As long, as you make sure you get to the important items! 🙂

      – Craig

    • @buzzoffice I also cross off the easy items first, and I mean that literally–there’s nothing like crossing items off a paper to-do list.

    • @buzzoffice I start with the easy ones too. That builds enough momentum to then tackle the worst thing second.

      I also like this trick from Stan at Pushing Social for writing. Write exactly 100 words and then stop. Chances are you’ll be in the middle of a sentence but stop, get up and take a walk. You’ll be itching to come back and continue – it’s like a kick in the pants to start some momentum 🙂

    • @blogjunkie oooo! I like the 100 words idea! On the opposite end of that idea, if I get stuck writing, it often helps to take a walk too! I usually come up with ideas to get going again when I get up and walk away from what I’m working on.

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  • Strawberry

    Last year I started getting up at 5am and it has done wonders for my productivity. Would love to make it earlier as I also enjoy the quiet of a shared house while everyone else is still asleep. I notice you get up at 4am and wondering when you go to bed and how you deal with social or other events that often force a late night? Thanks!

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  • yq

    that’s the thing, I always feel like I’m climbing uphill when I work, even after doing it for some time. I plod for some time, then pause. Then plod some more, then another break. And when I finally get that one task done, I have drained soo much energy out.

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