Recover Fast And Often:
If you want to be a productivity machine, there are few things you will have to consider. The first one is the obvious mindset change.
That, even if we get distracted for a few moments in a day, all is not lost. We literally can recover by doubling down on our focus, however brief and spontaneous that might be.
First, remember this. Work on a task only as much as it is worth for. For example, pack a gift wrap in less time that it takes to open it up. Get it?
Cue the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule. For many tasks, 80% of the output comes from 20% of the work. We see that in sales, where 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of clients and in sports where 20% of the exercises/habits have 80% of the impact.
Plan For Down Time:
Next, have a positive frame of mind for productivity. Allow for infractions to happen, forgive yourself and set yourself on the path to recovery. And block times during the day for task transitions to happen. During that down time, indulge yourself in your distractions. You will feel less guilty to task switch at the critical moment.
Expect competing priorities to show up anytime. And when tough decisions confront us, all these time pockets we put out for downtime might come in handy.
Read more on a neuroscientist’s take on task switching. Click HERE.
Prepare For Challenges:
Mindset also involves understanding that once we get on with a task, there’s a certain level of challenge or upheaval to be expected. We tend to quit when a task is either too easy or too difficult. Ask yourself if you feel like procrastinating, why are you feeling the way you do?
Moving ahead and making progress is after all doing what is uncomfortable and difficult. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, isn’t it?
Of course, sometimes, why we procrastinate might also be a sign of burnout. Make sure you are aware of how burnout feels like. Watch more HERE.
Not to forget, there’s one pitfall with procrastination. Make sure you don’t put off things so much that your number 2 priority becomes your number 1.
Cultivate The Environment:
Focus sustainable is focus achievable. Before your sit down for deep work, go to the bathroom, don’t be hungry and run from your smartphone. It’s really that simple.
But before that, make sure your environment is not out there to sabotage your progress.
Read more HERE on how to clean up your environment.
Stop The Over Think:
The biggest thing I can tell you to stop doing is overthinking. We will never know if our choice/decision at the moment is going to work out in our favor. We must simply consider everything we know and make the best call of judgement. Really, that’s the only thing we can do anyway.
Think about it, deep inside our lack of motivation might be the fear that we might fail. Instead of worrying, let’s understand what could go wrong and get ready for it. That can atleast soften the blow, if things really do go wrong.
The moment you start thinking, you’ve already lost. Thinking swiftly pulls you out of the zone. If you want to understand more, read the book, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
Just as with over thinking, stop over justifying your stance to your loved ones and strangers. If you believe in what you’re doing, nothing else should matter. We will never be able to convince others a 100% of our view point anyway. Moreover, isn’t it better for us to take into consideration conflicting view points before making a well-rounded decision?
Delegate Like A Maniac:
Let’s face it, we have our strengths and we have our short comings. A lifetime is not enough for us to fix all our flaws before we can become perfect and aspire for our highest goals.
So, look at your goals and think of subtraction. What can you get by without doing it yourself? Can you pay, or ask anyone help with the tasks that you can’t do or are not good with?
Asking for help is a sign of courage, don’t discount it. And if you’re working with a team already, giving them rope gives them a sense of autonomy. Trust me, the support and momentum that a team can bring is amazing. It gives others who seek to be inspired by you to deliver their side of the partnership. And who likes a boss who is a micromanager, anyway??
And the next biggest thing, say no often. Read more HERE.
Extend Your Brain:
Our brains are for generating new ideas, and not for holding them. Our working short term memory can hold only three things in the brain at any given time. So, its time you start walking around with a note pad for dumping ideas.
Brain extending is the concept of freeing up your brain by externalizing pieces of the memory that don’t need to be there. It simply means, freeing yourself of the burden of remembering something the whole day before you can get to it.
Read more HERE.
Focus On Focus:
Why Focus? Well, you’ll need focus if you have goals to achieve. Research shows that 18 to 44 year-olds reach for their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. And reading emails that need responses and checking news that’s distressing can both increase anxiety levels.
We now know every possible way of getting distracted, we are experts at it. Since 2007 or the heavy influx of smartphones into the masses, Time management gurus have been slowly transforming themselves into focus and technology addiction management gurus. Watching TV does not need focus because it’s a passive activity. Watching your favorite show in Netflix doesn’t need clarity, vision or sense of purpose to commit to it.
Read more HERE.
Start A Gratitude Journal:
If you’re acknowledging where you are in life, it means you’re praising yourself for your accomplishments and also acknowledging your role in your own suffering.
So take that courage with you because it can give your self-respect assurance that you’ve done your best.
No matter what the circumstance, here is one fact. We’re just immensely privileged, Julius Ceaser will be jealous of our lifestyle.
So give gratitude.
Find Your Motivation:
First, ask yourself. What is your ultimate goal? Is it money, connection, momentum, mastery over a subject? Steven Kotler, an American author specializing in personal development, says, as humans we’re intrinsically motivated by curiosity, passion, purpose, autonomy and mastery.
From a bigger perspective, when we start looking at how countries deal with global problems, it’s easy to gain a cultural insight into solutions. Partner, seek out and collaborate with different people who’re striving for similar goals. Seek intrinsic motivation to create, while seeking extrinsic motivation to innovate and collaborate.
Read more HERE.
Prioritize Planning Your Day:
There’s a certain paradox in planning. The more we plan, the more free we become. Planning and intentionality create an environment of control and empowerment. It helps us from becoming mindlessly busy, and we all know busyness is not productivity.
It removes us from the conflict of having to work to fulfil others’ priorities before ours. After all, only from a full cup can we serve others and cater to their needs. Understand your non-negotiables on a daily basis and start from there.
Priorities are tasks that answer these questions:
I have to do, I want to do, and others want me to do. Tasks can also be divided into hobbies, fun and duties.
Embrace The Rigor:
Many high level athletes are where they are because of doing the same small actions over and over again. It is no surprise that consistency pays. It is important to celebrate our small wins. It gets the ball rolling and leads to the snowball effect.
Simplify repeating tasks and create a sustainable and predictable structure around them. Sustainability comes from understanding why we are doing what we are doing. It comes from believing in what we want to achieve in the long term. It is our way of showing our commitment to our goals.
For other productivity hacks like Eating the Frog and others, read HERE.
Take Extreme Ownership:
If we are internally focused, we become the masters of our own fate. We start taking charge of things and feel empowered. The opposite is being externally focused, believing that we’re helpless and blame everyone else for our misfortunes.
Remember the locus of control. We have done everything in our capacity, but things can still go wrong, because they can.
Choose To Strive:
At the end of the day, extreme productivity is a choice. You are either intentional about how you spend your time or you let circumstances dictate how you react. Do you know what burning the ship is?
When you’re faced with a decision to make removal all the attractive choices that’s preventing you from making that decision that will move you forward. Soldiers in wars faced burning ships, because their commanders wanted to let them know that there was no choice to retreat. If you really are working on a passion project, you have to ensure nothing comes between you and the final goal. It’s that simple.
It’s our fight with our brains that we must endure. Hippocrates insists that “from nothing else but the brain come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, griefs, despondency, and lamentations.” We are our brains. So, let’s not allow our brains to tell us what emotion can take over our day please.
* * *
About The Article Author:
Our mission with FutureSTRONG Academy – to grow children who respect themselves, their time and their capabilities in a world where distractions are just a click or a swipe away.
I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.
Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like.
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents
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