Productivity: It's in Your Head

productivity Jun 27, 2019
Mark Struczewski

Imagine for a moment that you want to learn how to swim.

You’ve always wanted to learn...but never did.

Every time you go to a party or the beach, you admire those that go swimming and you yearn to swim too.

One day, you make the decision: you are going to learn how to swim.

So, you begin your quest for learning.

You watch YouTube videos, read books, talk to people who know how to swim, buy a swimsuit, and one day, you go to the pool.

You set your body down on a lounge chair and you admire those that are in the pool swimming.

I sure wish I could swim, you think to yourself.

STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP! STOP!

Don’t miss this…

There comes a time when you have to stop learning and start doing.

You can call it execution, implementation, or just doing. But what you call it doesn’t matter.

The actual doing does!

As I spoke at events, I noticed something very interesting. I was seeing the same people year after year. They would always be glad to see me, would take copious notes (every time!), and tell me afterward how much they enjoyed my presentation (again!).

After a while, I began to wonder, are these people even applying what I’m teaching them?

That’s when it hit me…

There is so much more to productivity than apps/software, processes, and gadgets.

There is a psychological aspect to it that is often ignored by so many.

Once I realized this, I realized that productivity starts in your head.

Here are a few enemies that can and will derail your productivity if you let them.

Enemy #1: Focus

We live in a 24/7/365 world.

The Internet and all that goes with it (social media) are always on.

Always.

Because of this, it is very easy to lose focus.

When you do, you will find yourself doing that which is unnecessary or does not have to be done immediately.

    • Checking social media or email
    • Working on your website
    • Making a shopping list
    • Walking the dog
    • Cleaning the house
    • Straightening up your desk/work area

Anything other than what you should be doing.

What’s the solution?

Compartmentalization.

Or to use a term I first heard from Tony Robbins, time chunking.

All this means is that you set aside a specific amount of time to do a certain task.

When you schedule an hour to write your blog post from 10 am to 11 am, that’s all you do.

When you schedule 30 minutes to engage on social media, that’s all you do.

Remember, your brain cannot multi-task. You think it is but what’s really happening is your brain is rapidly switching between one task and the other (if you are only working on two tasks). What you may not realize is that your efficiency for each task is not 100% but maybe 70% or 80%. The more you try to do, the less efficient you are.

Another solution in conjunction with compartmentalization is to work in an environment as quiet and distraction-free as possible.

This means no people talking, no dogs barking, no traffic, no television. You don’t want to give your mind anything to latch onto.

Enemy #2: Discipline

If you’ve always done something a certain way, changing may be difficult. In fact, the longer you have been doing something a certain way, the more challenging it will be to change.

But if you really want to improve your productivity, then you are going to have to accept that there will be some pain involved in order for you to change.

The 3 Ps to changing

Changing your old, ineffective habits will take:

    • Patience
    • Persistence
    • Pain

But I know you can do this.

Sometimes, there are no shortcuts. You just have to do what needs to get done. And when you do, you will begin to make changes…for the better.

Enemy #3: Procrastination

I believe everyone procrastinates.

It’s just that the most productive and successful people do so very infrequently and when they catch themselves slipping into procrastination, they take immediate and massive action.

Doing nothing or doing what really doesn’t need to be done is what most people do.

To defeat procrastination, you have to punch it in the face as hard as you can.

How?

By intentionally taking massive action.

What now?

Decide WHAT you're going to do about how you approach productivity and tell someone. Keeping it in your head all to yourself is not a wise thing to do. The step of telling someone else - or, if you're really brave, sharing it on social media (this is called social accountability) will really help you take your productivity to the next level.

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