If you search for productivity hacks and time management tricks online, you’ll find plenty.
In fact, it will take years to try and implement all that sounds good.
But in the end of the day, it’s just you and whether you’ve created a good enough system, whether you’ll wake up tomorrow morning determined to get things done again, and whether you’ll keep your priorities straight when the distractions from daily life attack you.
So, productivity isn’t so much a set of tactics and life hacks, but a change in the mindset. Making it will lead to lifestyle transformations too.
Let the productivity guru in you out.
You have the psychical and mental capabilities to be as effective and as smart of a worker as all great investors from history, writers, famous entrepreneurs of today, CEOs, or hardworking average men providing for their family.
But you may have lost the connection with the productivity guru inside of you.
It’s still there, though. Underneath the excuses, the procrastinator, the bad habits and old mental patterns, the zone of comfort you’ve created for yourself, the many things you have on your mind, the tens of tasks on your list, and the lack of time (or so you think).
True productivity isn’t about doing more things and learning more techniques, but about unlearning the wrong mindset, letting go of the unnecessary that’s blocking you from getting things done on a daily basis, and clearing your schedule from the many secondary items and activities, so that the essentials can stand out and be given enough time and attention.
Where to start?
Don’t go buy the next productivity book, seek a mentor, fill your mind with tens of time management tips every day (without actually internalizing and putting into practice any of them), attend a seminar, feel bad about yourself, or decide to work harder, for more hours, and on more things.
Don’t try to fix anything or go back to the past to see where you got it all wrong, and feel even worse.
Instead, set aside 10 minutes to think about how you’re really spending your working hours.
Write down what you do before you get to work (be it on your personal projects, or at the office), what’s on your mind during the creative process, what other things come up unexpectedly, how you feel after it, how long all that takes, when in the day you’re doing it, etc.
Then, be objective.
For every small thing that you do (be it to look out the window often, check email before you try to focus, answer calls during your most important working hours, have many notes on your desk, think about issues at home, eat before you get to work, or else), think if it can be done differently, at another time, or if it’s necessary at all.
Really asking yourself such questions and looking at things from another angle, will let you come to some key conclusions that will lead to firm decisions. Each of these, will then affect your work, boost your productivity and determination, and let you get more done in less time.
What’s more, these won’t be one-time tricks, or complex systems you don’t understand, or just a technique that worked for someone else but isn’t tailored to your way of thinking and living.
It will be simple, yet powerful changes made to the way you work. These will be permanent too, and consistency is a must here.
The whole mindset shift won’t be overwhelming either.
No one else will be making you do it. It won’t feel like an obligation.
It won’t lead to any mistake or failure, as you’ll be taking small steps and just testing things.
The overall effect, however, will be amazing.
Soon you’ll completely change the way you prepare mentally to get to work, your actual working process, the results you produce in a short amount of time, and how serous you are about your time and making the most of it by eliminating anything that’s distracting or unnecessary.
Over to you now.
What should you do first to start creating the ideal productivity system for you and your lifestyle?