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How I Tricked Myself Into Productivity — When All I’d Rather Do Is Sleep

3 Hacks That Will Turn Your Spare Time into Go Time

Photo by Garrhet Sampson via Unsplash

Have you ever had one of those weeks when it seems like you spent every waking hour at work?

I was close to that this week. 42 hours in 4 days so far.

I also drive 112 miles a day round trip to and from the place.

That’s almost two and a half hours a day in the car.

But I did manage to do a little here and there, including this blog post, overseeing a couple Facebook groups, and working behind the scenes on a couple other projects.

I’m tired just thinking about all that as I write these words.

So What Drives Me to Keep Going When I’d Rather Just Crash After Work Every Day?

I spent several hours this week listening to the Beatles as I drove to work.

One of the most popular songs they did was this one.

Love really is all you need.

If I didn’t love this, I’d roll over and go back to sleep when my alarm clock interrupts my peaceful slumber.

I wouldn’t have invested so much in blog posts, Facebook groups, and videos. And I wouldn’t spend endless time thinking about how to fit everything that happens to me into my writing.

Do I fail sometimes?

Yep. One night I didn’t get home until almost 11 pm. I ate dinner and went to bed.

I chatted with my family and a few friends.

I vowed that I’d write something the next day, even if it was just to flesh out an idea.

I share all this to show you I’m not perfect. I’ve got roadblocks and challenges to face just like you do. And maybe I’m as obsessed with my dreams as I am committed to drinking lots of coffee every morning.

Now let’s get to the action. I promised you I’d give you some hacks that will help you crank out something even when you’d rather do nothing.

Trust me, I get it.

Here’s what I learned.

Tell yourself you’ll do it for just five minutes.

We all have five minutes, right?

You check your Facebook status for a minute that turns into five — and can stretch into an hour.

You watch your favorite show for 20 minutes (that’s what’s left when they take out the commercials from a half-hour show). Then you say to yourself, “That was sooo good. I think I’ll just watch one more. Then I’m going to bed for sure.”

That was me with Breaking Bad more than once.

Five minutes is so short it’s like no time at all. So why don’t you spend it doing what you love?

You might find that five minutes leads to 10, 20, 30 minutes. Or an hour. Or two. Then guess what? You’ve written a blog post. You’ve edited a part of your story. You’ve coughed up a vomit draft.

The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

When the wheels are moving, even a small distance at a time, remember this — you’re still moving forward.

Now let’s add some power to your time.

Treat your writing like a real job.

This mindset has changed the way I do everything.

I have a job leading a couple Facebook groups.

I have a job writing for clients.

I have a job as a father, a husband, and a friend.

That means, I do these things whether I feel like it or not. These aren’t hobbies. I can’t just say to my kids, “I’m just not feeling the father thing today. You’re on your own. Good luck.”

I feel a real responsibility to those of you who read and comment on my writing. I live to teach what I’ve learned. I love sharing what I’ve learned because I hope it will inspire you. If I just stopped, there would be a huge hole in my life I’d probably fill with drinking and drawing morbid pictures.

You have a calling, too. You’ve been given a message to share, so share it. Get it out there. Pound out some words and publish them. We need what you have to offer, so don’t hold back.

The next hack is the one that holds the rest together. Miss this and you’ll reduce your effectiveness exponentially.

Capture every single idea of whatever quality.

I have a drawer full of notes.

I need to go through it sometime.

So why do I bother to store all that paper?

Three compelling reasons.

1) When I’m feeling dry, I can go through my past ideas and get inspired to brainstorm some more.

2) I can take something I’ve thought about before and combine it with something new and make that idea even better. If not, I’ll at least know that it sucks, and can try something else.

3) I can’t trust my memory to recall everything I ever thought about at a moment’s notice. If I write down the original thought, I can brainstorm more about it later. It’s kind of like picking up where you left off on a story or your favorite TV program.

Do you have an idea notebook?

It doesn’t matter if it’s digital or plain paper. Record those ideas somewhere. Who knows? One of them might be the game changer you’ve been waiting for!

Here’s one of mine.

In fact, you can watch me tell the story here.

If you’d like to join us in the Tribe Builder’s Network, click right here to let us know.

Now Go Change the World

You’ve just learned 3 productivity hacks that have kept me from being swallowed up by the demands of life.

Use them and you’ll make your own dent in the universe — no matter how swamped you are.

I wish you all the success you can possibly create — five minutes at a time!

This infographic was made with the Venngage Poster Maker

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Frank McKinley

Frank McKinley


I like to figure things out and share what I find. My favorite topics are faith, communication, business, and personal growth.