When we’re in a state of productivity, we’re knocking off things rapidly from our to-do lists, we’re sprinting towards our goals and ultimately we feel really good about ourselves.
Unfortunately, we don’t always feel this way. We end up tired, disengaged and lazy. When we feel that way, we put in minimal effort; we reinforce that we’re lazy. As a consequence, we continue to act lazily, making us even more lazy.
There are a few strategies that you can use to quickly boost your productivity. To answer the question, we’ll break it down into sections.
You are in control of your destiny. Think about it. Every small decision, every single choice you didn’t think mattered all led to this very moment. It all ultimately led to the you, right here, right now.
In a similar way, every single decision you make from here on out shapes your future. By deciding to do that workout even though you don’t feel like it might motivate you to go tomorrow too, and that’ll influence the day after, and soon before you know you have a habit.
Tiny wins, shape your big future. If you strive to become 1% better each day, over a year you’ll become 36 times better. In two years, over 1400 times better. Every single decision you make shapes your future, your actions control your future. Become 1% better today than you were yesterday. Over a few weeks, months and years, you’ll become unrecognizable.
Now, let’s discuss the spark we need to get started. The following quote describes it best: “Action isn’t the result of motivation, motivation is the result of action.”
The first step is always the hardest, so just get started. The easiest method by far is to plan and take the smallest possible first step. That first step will enrich you in a sense of accomplishment and pride, and that spark will help you complete the task.
The reality is that often times, the mere thought of all the work we have to do exhausts us. Going with the example, the mere thought of getting ready, driving to gym, filling up water, doing exercise, driving back home and finally showering can all be incredibly intense. But ask yourself this, truly how scary is it to just change your clothes into workout clothes?
How productive is to worry? Has worrying ever changed your circumstances? Has worrying ever helped you? Stop worrying so much about the future, and focus on the next step available to you right now. Whatever task you have on your list, break it down into the most simple first step.
Motivation comes from action, just get started and the motivation will come to you. Set a goal, and focus on the very next step.
That flows into our fears. A significant hindrance to motivation are our fears of failing, our fears of not being skilled enough, our fears of being judged and so on.
The truth is, almost everyone has those fears. And just being honest, most successful people have failed countless times. Colonel Sanders, the man behind KFC, started KFC when he was 65. Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of the light bulb, failed over 1000 times in inventing the light bulb.
The legendary Michael Jordan missed over 9000 shots, and has lost above 300 games. James Dyson failed over 5,000 times before inventing the bagless vacuum cleaner. Stephen King, the famous writer, had his first book rejected over 30 times, and now his books are world famous.
The point is that behind every success story, lies a deep record of repeated failures. But those failures undeniably taught the skills needed to improve and ultimately change the world.
Every ambitious goal has countless failures behind it. Every failure teaches you how to improve and fix issues. So don’t go in expecting success, expect to fail; it takes so much pressure off. Then learn from the mistake, and be better next time. Truly, that’s how all growth is done. Don’t be scared to make mistakes, mistakes only make you better.
Now we’ve figured out how to get started, now how do we maintain our focus? Let’s use science to our aid and use a tool called Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro Technique in essence is breaking up work blocks into 25 minute work periods and 5 minute rest periods.
Scientifically, our focus falls off significantly after roughly 30 minutes of paying attention to something. If we spend 2 hours doing something straight without a break, we could have most likely done it in one hour if we took a 5 minute break after 25 minutes.
Pomodoro leaves you feeling refreshed, energised and motivated. Set aside just 25 minute work cycles, then take a 5 minute break. Recommendations are to use the breaks to go for a small walk, drink some water, do some light exercise and essentially get the blood flowing. You may also choose to meditate which is my personal preference.
Also a strategy I’ve personally found incredibly effective is to schedule mindless social media scrolling to my breaks. I find that when I feel bored and wanting to go on my phone, I tell myself I can do that during my break. It enables me to be immensely more focused and consistent.
In conclusion, the key strategies I’ve discussed towards maximising productivity are to
- Understand you are in control of your destiny
- Being 1% better than yesterday, means 36x growth over a year
- Break the target down
- Take the smallest first step you can
- Motivation comes from action
- Failure leads to success
- Expect to fail at the start, so you’ll eventually succeed
- Work in 25 minute work cycles and 5 minute rest cycles
- Set aside small windows of time for procrastination
Thank you so much for reading, I hope this helps you. If you did find benefit from this, I’d rather greatly appreciate you leaving your email down below.
Till next time.