3 Simple Ways To Have Healthy Productivity
When a person’s life forces them to admit they are an addict their path in front of them gets harder and a little easier. Have you ever had to make that admission to yourself?
It’s harder in the sense we have signed up for a fight against an opponent which is stronger than we are. The ‘little easier’ part is the fact we now know who we need to focus our fight on.
When we read about addiction, alcohol, drugs, smoking, or shopping springs to mind. Yet, with a little more focus we could make an everlasting list of possibilities.
I know there are many more sinister and life changing addictions that I could have listed. Yet, an addiction to even minor things will have a detrimental effect. It’s sobering when see the amount of possible things we can all become addicted to.
One of the more bizarre things we can become addicted to, may come as a surprise.
Could you ever imagine having to admit to yourself that you’re addicted to…
How can someone have an addiction to productivity?
Well, let’s consider the definition of addiction:
Addiction is when a person is…
“strongly inclined or compelled to do, use, or indulge in something repeatedly”
If we combine that definition with the small list of activities above, you may see an area your addicted to.
Yet, how does this definition marry up with productivity?
Let’s break it down.
At times, we concern ourselves with the method of productivity, productivity apps, and productivity books or podcasts more than actually getting work done.
Am I constantly trying to better my system rather than focusing on tasks at hand?
Am I always on the look out for a productivity method that is different to the one you are currently using?
Do I check the app store constantly for new shiny productivity apps in the hope of being more productive.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve our productivity system. At times our system or lack of one may be harming how much we are getting done.
But, if we see a need to change, then make that ‘change’ a project by itself. Don’t let it stop you fulfilling your present day responsibilities.
If I hadn’t stopped and fallen upon the book Getting Things Done I fear what place I would be in now.
Not a good one.
I would always encourage you to expand knowledge of different productivity methods available. We don’t want to be so narrow minded that we close our eyes to self improvement.
They’re smart app developers working hard producing tools that are helpful for productivity. So, don’t close your eyes and ears to change and improvement.
The balance is, how much time are you spending thinking on how to be productive? changing the way you get things done? reading or listening about how others do things?
At the end of the day: You still need to get things done!
How productive we are does not come down to our system or the apps that we choose or don’t choose to use!
We are only productive when we have clear set core values and principles.
Why are we wanting to be productive?
What’s our short term and long term goals?
What things are more important to me than being productive?
Let’s consider three things that will help us to be productive but nor addicted to productivity.
What’s our purpose in wanting to be more productive?
We all need a purpose!
I’ve never had an addiction to substances such as drugs or alcohol. But, I’ve had the privilege of helping ones and seeing others break these dependencies.
One thing that I noticed present in these people was the ‘lack of purpose’. When they got a purpose back in their lives it gave them something to fight for.
So, tell yourself what your purpose is for being productive; and then write it down. Even post it on your laptop screen or notice board.
What could your purpose be?
I want to be more productive so…
I have more quality time with my husband or wife.
I have more quality time with my children.
I can enjoy more travelling.
I can begin to learn a musical instrument.
I can earn more money from doing less work.
This list too could go on forever.
Setting yourself a purpose will motivate you. Thus, you will spend time getting things done rather than compelled to think about how you can be more productive.
Even if you have a worthwhile purpose, clarity doesn’t come about without effort.
What importance does clarity have?
Well, I find the times when I am least productive is when I am not sure what I am meant to be doing or what need doing next.
So, you need to have a system that helps you to know what needs doing next. Not like an alarm system where your are only responding to tasks.
Having a responsive system only, is tiring. You feel your only responding to emergencies not preventing them happening first.
We all need a proactive system where you feel in full control.
What system so you use?
If you haven’t got a system then I would recommend you have one even if it is only pencil and paper. I use Evernote and I find it works well. The basic version which is FREE is an excellent tool for you to keep everything in one place.
Find a system that works well for you, your personality and the type of working environment you have.
Clarity of what we are doing next is vital so that we are able to use our time in wise and effective manner. In today’s world, we can be in so many different environments within one day.
We could find ourselves in the…
Office up until 11,
then we are out running errands until 1,
after that we are in the car or on public transport until 3,
back in the office until 5,
at home by 7 and hibernating until we get up, bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6am.
Within one day we found ourselves in many different contexts:
The office, running errands, at home, or travelling.
Have your tasks split into contexts, then when you are in that context, you can get things done. Result!
I find it hard to be enthusiastic if I don’t have a purpose which I’m working towards. No purpose, my clarity is foggy and my mood is negative.
Result: No Enthusiasm.
Yet, this is not the enthusiasm that I’m talking about.
I am talking about the enthusiasm to work hard. Our work ethic.
With a solid work ethic, we won’t suffer addiction to productivity.
You’ve most likely heard of Jeff Goins.
There’s a sentence that he uses in his posts and correspondence in regards to making a living as a writer.
I can’t motivate you. I can’t make you sit down and write. But I can show you the way and hope you take the next step.
That’s the enthusiasm I’m taking about. The “turning up” for work enthusiasm.
This is an area I need to work on.
I find it most difficult to get in this mode when I am required to do something that is well out of my comfort zone.
All is not lost.
When you know yourself and you understand how you tick, this doesn’t need to paralyse your work ethic.
The danger of losing this enthusiasm is we are more inclined to fall back into our bad ways. We get distracted, we speak negative to ourselves and before we know it:
Thinking how can I be more productive.
Looking for the new shiny app to make us more productive.
Reading and listening to how others are productive.
We are NOT…
Getting Stuff Done.
10 Steps To Productivity
These are 3 of the 10 steps you need to be more productive.
Do you want to know what the other 7 are?
I will be releasing my first E-book soon “10 Steps To An Instant Boost In Productivity.”
I will be giving this book away to all those who are subscribers to my website The Productive Writer.
If you would like to sign up for my THINK, PLAN & ACT PRODUCTIVELY newsletter, you’ll get notified of the release.
THINK PRODUCTIVELY! PLAN PRODUCTIVELY! ACT PRODUCTIVELY!