Last Updated on November 17, 2019
Some of us have big goals and a lot on our plate. If we let all that we need to do today, tomorrow, and every day for the next year creep into our thoughts, it can get overwhelming and become easier to do nothing – absolutely nothing! That’s why taking it one day at a time is such a big productivity tip. It helps you stay calm and get things done, even if you have a million more steps to go along the way.
4 Big Productivity Benefits Of Taking It One Day At A Time
— Kristen (@rangersfan1986) July 23, 2013
1. Reduce Worry And Anxiety
Worrying wastes time. It stresses us out, causes us to do and say things that are not productive, and can even lead to overwhelm – where productivity often dies.
Living in the present helps you reduce or eliminate your worry and anxiety about what you still have to do, what you haven’t accomplished, and how it’s all going to work out.
When you reduce or stop worrying altogether, you can focus on today and be productive. Even if problems arise, you will be able to tackle those problems because they are only a few problems as opposed to weeks or years (past or future) of problems.
For instance, I have a friend who had 100 pounds to lose. He had a plan in place. He wanted to stick to his schedule and get things done each day, such as eating healthier food, going for a walk, drinking more water, and doing stress-reduction tasks. He lost 20 pounds quickly, but when he started to focus on losing another 80 pounds, he started to feel overwhelmed. He had so many days ahead of him where he needed to stick to a plan in order to lose the weight he wanted to lose. He started thinking about the previous times that he’d failed. And it became so overwhelming that he started to skip his routine and fall back into his old habits. He stopped losing weight and even gained a few pounds back. When he was able to start living one day at a time and focus only on today, his weight loss picked up again and he eventually lost it all and maintains his weight loss.
I have another friend in a position with a lot of demands on her. She says she needs to take it one day at a time because if she thinks of everything she has to do tomorrow, never mind for the next year, she can easily become overwhelmed and let that affect how productive she is for the day. She can’t afford NOT to be productive, so living one day at a time is essential for her.
2. Focus On Your Daily Obligations
The steps you take are what will make up a result.
You can’t get to the top of anything without taking it a step at a time.
Each step can be viewed at as a daily obligation to help you get to where you want to be.
When you view it that way, it becomes much easier to focus on today’s step, realizing its value in getting you where you want to be.
For instance, you may need to attend 50 classes on learning a new language before you start to become good at the new language. Each class builds upon the last and offers its own insights. Each class is a daily obligation that will help you get closer to the result. You must be present today and gain that knowledge if you want to learn the language fluently.
When you live one day at a time, you can focus on each daily obligation that makes up the end result.
3. Maintain A Positive Attitude
When you can take it one day at a time, you don’t worry or stress out as much, and it’s much easier to maintain a positive attitude. A positive attitude is essential to productivity for many different reasons. It can:
- Help you stay committed to what you are doing.
- Help you be more creative and innovative.
- Help you work with other people easily and get things done through teamwork.
- Help you stay in a mindset that easily adapts to new situations and overcomes obstacles, hence resulting in more productivity and less downtime.
- Help you to encourage yourself instead of being hard on yourself.
- Help you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things that may get better results.
4. Be More Mindful
Taking it one day at a time helps you to be more mindful.
You can see situations clearer.
You can avoid harsh reactions to problems, which is often counterproductive to what you want to accomplish.
And, you can get clear on what you are really doing throughout your day and how effective and productive it really is.
Taking It One Day At A Time Works For Everything You Want To Be Productive At
Whether it’s work, your relationships, your health, your home, or your happiness, taking it one day at a time will help boost your productivity in every area of your life.
I think I first heard about this practice in How To Stop Worrying and Start Living. He talks about living in day-tight compartments, which is really just living one day at a time.
Have dreams and goals, but focus on today and what you need to do in order to reach those dreams and goals. That’s going to make you so much more productive!