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Improve Your Productivity with 5 Laws of Physics

Improve Your Productivity with 5 Laws of Physics

When looking at the different laws of physics, it’s interesting to see how many parallels can be drawn from the world of numbers, calculations and formulas, to our own every day lives, particularly when it comes to our productivity levels. The analogies between the laws of physics and the Five Key Ingredients To Productivity below will give you a new perspective on productivity, as well as some insights into how you can improve it.

1. Setting Goals And Achieving Them

Newton’s First Law Of Motion (The Law Of Inertia) – This law suggests that objects have a natural tendency to keep doing what they’re doing. So an object will remain at rest unless it is forced into action by another force. Likewise, an object in motion will continue to move at the same speed (and direction) unless it is stopped or acted upon by another object/force.

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If you don’t kick-start your system into motion, your productivity levels aren’t likely to magically increase on their own. Finding the motivation to get started is only part of the solution; learning to set goals and developing the right time management techniques will help you achieve an effective and sustainable “speed” on your journey towards achieving those goals. It will require some effort but once you get started, productive routines will become second nature!

2. Self Management – Working Towards Your Goals

Newton’s Second Law Of Motion (The Law Of Force And Acceleration) – This law states that the greater the mass of the object that’s being accelerated, the more force will be needed to accelerate/move it.

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How much energy you put into your goals, as well as which goals you choose to put your energy into, has a huge impact on your productivity. Prioritizing and strategically planning what to focus on and when, will give you clarity on how best to manage yourself. In any equation, all the variables involved are dependent on each other, so how much force/effort you put in, affects not only how much of the mass/task you move, but also with what acceleration and speed you are able to achieve it!

3. Habits: Out With The Old And In With The New

Newton’s Third Law Of Motion (The Law Of Action-Reaction) – This law states that for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction. In other words, if object A applies force to object B, object B will push back from the opposite direction, with the same amount of force.

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For many of us, every day is a battle between productive forces (motivation, focus, etc.), and unproductive ones (stress, exhaustion, etc.). In order for the productive ones to have a consistent enough lead in our lives to make a difference, we need to create the right patterns and habits. When trying to balance the positive and negative forces on your productivity, identifying and eliminating the negative habits isn’t always enough; the creation of new, positive ones, is equally as important.

4. Diet Choices And Why They Matter

Clausius’ First Law Of Thermodynamics (The Law Of Conservation Of Energy) – According to this law, energy can’t be created or destroyed, instead, it can only change forms. The two processes involved in this law are heat and work – in a thermodynamic cycle, the amount of heat that is put into a system equals the amount of work done by the system.

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Your body is a system that expends energy every time you carry out a task, be it mental or physical – it gets this energy from food. When it comes to food, it’s not so much about the quantity but rather what sort of food you choose. Different foods not only provide different amounts of energy, but also differ in how sustainable the energy they provide is. By making healthy diet choices, you’ll instantly be able to tell which foods give you the best results.

5. Using Your Mindset To Move You Forward

Coulomb’s law examines the forces that exist between two electrically charged objects. It states that as the distance between objects increases, the electric fields and forces between them decrease. The force between the two objects can be either negative or positive, depending on whether the objects are repelled or attracted to one another.

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Think of yourself as one object and of any one of your goals as another. In this analogy, your mindset is the force between the two objects – it has a direct impact on whether you and your goals are able to connect. A negative mindset force, will lead you further away from your goal, while a positive mindset will let you work your way towards your goal and to actually achieve it!

Learning To Control The Forces That Bring You Closer To Success

Even though initially, rules and laws may seem limiting, this is actually far from the truth. Think of it this way, while the formulas/ingredients to productivity stay the same, the variables and results strongly depend on you! Work through The Five Key Ingredients To Productivity to help you overcome your productivity barriers and to master the forces that will lead you towards success!

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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