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Improve Your Productivity with 5 Laws of Physics

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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!

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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