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4 Practical Tips To Make Yourself ‘Productive’ Instead Of ‘Busy’

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We often come across people who walk around with their eyes glued to the screens of their smartphones – checking emails and preparing for presentations – but have no clue (or don’t care) what’s happening around. The way they like to put it – they are always ‘busy’! We have all been there, looking ‘busy’ to everyone around us  –  it’s as if the 24 hours of a day are not enough for us.

If you think that we are just working hard to make time for anyone around us, or for other matters apart from work – then we are unfortunately wrong. The misconception that most of us have is that working long hours and sticking our face into the computer monitor makes us the ‘hardest working’ person in the room. We are mostly very confident that we know the intention for our ‘long working hours’ and ‘busy attitudes’ – but the reality is that we just want to ‘look’ like we have a ‘mission’ to complete. And this is what separates us from the ‘productive people’.

‘Productive people’ do not want to ‘look busy’, but want their ‘work to be done’. ‘The sooner the better for them’ – and they plan and work accordingly so that they can make time for their other commitments. ‘Productive people’ always have an idea or a plan for what they ‘really’ have to do to complete what they want to. They plan it accordingly, and most importantly, execute them without being distracted.

So, how can we become the ‘productive person’ from the ‘busy person’ that we are now? According to Conor Neill, an entrepreneur, speaker, and a teacher at the IESE Business School, life is a question of priorities. As he explains, if we have three priorities for a day, we have ‘priorities’; but, if we have 20 priorities a day, we are in a ‘mess’. And he is completely right about it!

The first step towards ‘productivity’ is to know what you ‘really’ want to do, and to understand your ‘priorities’. Following the steps mentioned below can help you to know how to make ways to complete your work, without ‘getting buried’ in the process to do so.

1. Rework Your ‘To-Do’ List:

You may have the habit of listing down the things that you are planning to do for the day. It is a great habit, but tweaking the way you do it can bring a far better result in your ‘productivity’ rate. Choose the most important things that you need to do for the day (it will mostly be less than three to a maximum of five). These are the things that need your ‘valuable time’, and can take you closer to completing your ‘ultimate mission’. Make a promise to yourself that you will not move on to any other task without completing the important ones that you listed.

2. Maintain A ‘Done’ List Too:

For the ones who are trying to ‘time-manage’ for the first time, or the ones whose previous strategy didn’t work well – it is always good to maintain a list that measures how much you have completed. This is something that I would personally suggest as this works like a motivator for most – including myself. Such a log will definitely surprise you by showing how ‘motivated’ you were to complete all the important tasks without any diversion. This way, you can also help yourself from being ‘demotivated’ when you fail to accomplish your ‘to-do list’ once in a while.

3. Measure Your Results, Not Your Time:

We just spend hours and hours of our time on every single work we do. And if you have noticed, we spend those hours only to find out that, at the end of the day, we are nowhere close to completing our task. A simple but effective advice to be ‘productive’ is to ‘think like an entrepreneur’ and treat every work like a ‘business’. No businessman will be ready to spend all of his/her money to make a product, because the smart way is to achieve the ‘desired business’ at a lesser cost. So treat your time like the money you spend for ‘preparing your product’. Your motive should not be to spend ‘all the time’ you have to complete the work – but to complete the work at hand, and move on to the next.

4. Build A Routine:

‘Uttermost productivity’ is not about ‘luck’, but about ‘pure devotion’. The one thing that we all have noticed among successful leaders is that they follow a ‘strict daily routine’. People like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg have just taken that ‘routine’ to the ‘next level’ by maintaining the ‘same type of attire, everyday’. When Mark was asked about this ‘routine‘ of his, he stated – “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.” And this attitude doesn’t stop with a Mark Zuckerburg or a Steve Jobs – it also continues to be seen in most of the successful people around the world.

Let us therefore, redefine ourselves, and become the ‘most productive’ person from just being a ‘busy’ one. In the process, let’s also spare our ‘valuable’ time for the life around us!

Image Source: Pabak Sarkar/Flickr

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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