At the core of human desire, there’s the need for “more”. Getting more done, experiencing as much as we can, and looking for the next big thing constantly. It pushes us. It fills our lives with the Dopamine induced euphoric feeling of impending success.
However, while we have plenty of drive and motivation, we often miss rather than achieve our goals, how come? Well, as it turns out, like most things in human behavior…if it’s ruled by impulsiveness and lacks structure, then it fails to reach the light of day.
If you want to check off more success than failure, then you’ll need to lay the proper foundation and structure. You’ll need to set certain ground rules (or behaviors if you will) that will support you on your journey. Are you doing all ten today?
The Personal Productivity To Do List
Consistently under-sleeping is a fool-proof method to undermine your personal productivity. I’m not talking about the occasional all-nighter. People who don’t know how to control their sleep cycles wonder around like zombies. When you’re walking around without sleep, it’s difficult to focus thus making your work day useless. (For those of us trying to lose weight, you eat more because your brain craves energy which makes you even more tired.)
Carbohydrates (aka “Carbs”) control our ability to concentrate and can supply great “ups” as well as drenching “downs”. Simple Carbs like chocolates taste great and will give you a short boost but ultimately will leave you craving for more and lead to a sure energy crash when that snickers bar is done. For a more moderate yet sustainable supply of energy eat complex carbohydrates like whole wheat foods. You can Learn more here.
Keeping a healthy exercise routine has many benefits. It regulates your heart rate, improves your metabolism, and if you have ADHD, is probably the only natural method to keep you not hyper. Exercise also releases endorphins which affect our mood. Our personal productivity is exponentially increased when our mood is positive and we have a calm and focused mind.
4# People skills
Unless you are a Buddhist monk, you’ll need effective communication skills. Communicating within our environment will help set expectations as to what you will be delivering and what you expect those around you to deliver. Knowing how to communicate properly will allow you to delegate and defer more naturally helping you to get more done with a little help from your friends.
5# Time awareness
Learning to work within a schedule (often with tight deadlines) is a skill. We are not born with an innate watch that ticks down our actions and projects. We need to adjust ourselves to the tick of the clock to get more done. There are great methods that teach about the value of time, and how to properly manage it. I love the Pomodoro technique.
What inspires and motivates you? Do you mentor someone? Do you have a mentor or someone who you look up to? Having such a figure in your work and/or personal life can easily turn the tide in your favor. Sometimes just chatting about a project or simply mirroring behavior can give you inspiration to keep going.
Taking responsibility over our actions or lack thereof is a major predictor in our ability to get something done (or not). It makes sense, you either make yourself the owner of an action or not. As soon as you take ownership, the chances of it getting done increases ten-fold. Shaping your approach towards responsibility will give you a major tool in your fight against procrastination.
8# Work with what you’ve got
Most people procrastinate without even knowing why. The magical realm of procrastination is not magical at all. It has a cause and usually an unfortunate effect. Perfectionism or waiting until everything is just perfect in order to start will lead to many missed opportunities. Learn to work with what you’ve got.
Guilt and procrastination usually go hand in hand. When you’re having a guilt trip, you’re actually making it much harder for you to get specific tasks done; this results in you getting other (often less important) things done. So stop feeling guilty and get going, even a simple 30 second action can kick start a big project.
The hardest thing to do is to quit, right? As it turns out, quitting is also the most important management technique you can master. It is all about prioritization. More often than not, quitting will help you progress on your more important objectives.
Many people would argue that nothing in life is structured and you should just dive into the habit of doing more. Nothing is further from the truth. We have to have the foundation to succeed in the long run. How solid is your foundation?