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7 Characteristics of A Highly Productive Mindset

7 Characteristics of A Highly Productive Mindset

You’re busy. You have so many things to get done for your work and your life. You spend all day “doing” things and running around. Then suddenly it’s 6pm and you’re wrapping up for the day. And you think back and realize that you accomplished a grand total of 2 things that day. How did that happen? You had at least 10 different tasks to complete and yet somehow none of them got crossed off your list.

I’m guessing you’ve experienced this before, maybe more often than you would like to admit. You feel like you’re “working” all the time but you never actually get anything done. It’s not because you’re a lazy person or don’t want to achieve your goals. It’s all because of your mindset.

Your mindset is everything. It is the foundation for every success and achievement in your life. What you need is to develop the right mindset. And if you want to reach those goals, it needs to be a productivity mindset.

What is a productivity mindset? Many people think they have a productive mindset or that they are being productive but really they are just being busy. They’re not actually productively completing tasks and finishing projects. Having a productivity mindset means that you are clear and focused on your goals and using all of your personal resources to achieve those goals in an organized manner.

So what are characteristics of a productivity mindset? Below are the aspects of a productivity mindset that you need to cultivate in order to be successful.

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1. Motivation

We all know that motivation is a key factor in working towards our goals. We need to have something that is pulling us towards achieving the success we want in life. And although motivation can be a fickle thing, it is absolutely vital in the first steps of a productivity mindset.

If you aren’t motivated to accomplish things and mark items off your to-do list, then it’s going to be pretty hard to be productive. A lot of research has been conducted on the relationship between motivation and achievement. We know that whatever you aspire to do, it is backed by some kind of motivation to get it done.

Set up your productivity mindset by establishing clear motivations. What are the motivating factors, intrinsic or extrinsic, that are driving you to succeed? Hold these motivations in the forefront of your mind and use them to help you productively go through your day.

2. Persistence

Although motivation is a huge part of what get’s you started working towards your goals, you also need to have the persistence to keep going, even when it’s tough.

Sometimes your motivation won’t be strong enough to pull you through rough times, especially when you feel like you aren’t making progress. Being persistent and never giving up is essential to long-term success. Because it is guaranteed that you will have struggles and you will have obstacles to overcome in achieving your goals.

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Persistence is the key factor in overcoming anything. Just keep trudging forward, even if it is only by a tiny amount every day. Having this mental attitude will strengthen your resolve and help you to be more productive.

3. Vision

In order to move towards our goals, we need to have a clear vision of what those goals are. If we do not know where we are going, how can we make a plan to get there?

Always hold a mental picture of the vision of the life that you are creating for yourself. That vision will guide you and help you to be more productive throughout your day. A great way to stay aligned with your vision is to use visualization. This is a hugely beneficial technique that athletes and top performers use to achieve their goals.

The power of visualization has been shown to help you take more action in your life and have more motivation towards achieving your goals. A clear vision is an absolute must if you want to be productive. Always keep that vision strong and allow it to help you guide your actions.

4. Positive Attitude

This is a must-have, not just for a productivity mindset but for a success mindset in general. You need to stay positive if you want to achieve any kind of positive results in your life.

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Your attitude is a big factor in how you live your life. And you can decide what your attitude will be. Although you may feel like you can’t control outside factors, you can always control your attitude and how you feel about things. Viewing things is a positive life is an absolute must. It is necessary to be productive and to help you achieve your goals.

We can all have negative thoughts sometimes, this is a normal part of being a human being. But the good news is that you can decide to change those negative thoughts to positive ones. You get to decide not to let the negativity rule your life. Stay positive and actively work on your productivity and see what kind of results you can achieve.

5. Get A Routine

Routines are great for getting into a mental state that is highly productive. The word “routine” may sound boring and uninspiring to you, but it is a fundamental element of setting up a productive day.

The best time to establish a routine is in the morning. This will help you get into the right mentality to be productive. Create a routine that allows you to awaken your brain, get you motivated and give you a clear sense of your vision.

6. Focus on One Thing

If you have a to-do list that has several items on it, you can easily become overwhelmed and not feel very productive. Actually, having too many items on your to-do list might even make you less productive.

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Focusing on one thing can be a great booster to your productivity. Pick one task each day that you feel is essential for you to complete. If you complete that one thing, you will feel accomplished.

Then, set out finishing that task before you do anything else. Don’t let distractions derail you, just keep working on that one thing. Once you accomplish that thing, anything else you achieve in your day is a bonus. This will give you a better sense of accomplishment and also help to motivate you to keep being productive.

7. Mindfulness

Being mindful can also help you to create a productivity mentality. Being fully aware of each moment can help bring you clarity and mental composure.

Be present in every moment throughout your day. What are you working on and why? Be mindful and intentional on what you are trying to accomplish. Every task you work on should align to your greater goal. If not, become more aware of the goal that you are working towards and what needs to be done to achieve it.

Conclusion:

If you are struggling with reaching your goals, take a look at your mindset. Having a productivity mindset is absolutely key to achieving success in your life.

Set yourself up for success by following these practices to create a productivity mindset. See how it can influence your life and potentially increase your productivity.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Melanie Kernodle

Copywriter + Content Strategist

How to Avoid Settling for Mediocrity 5 Tips for Making Your Own Path in Life 7 Characteristics of A Highly Productive Mindset

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory

Do you forget stuff every now and then? Are you trying to enhance your memory but not sure how?

All you need is the right memorization techniques to make the most of your memory.

The human brain is fascinating. More specifically, the vast interconnections within our mind. Mendel Kaelen compares the human brain to a hill covered in snow,

“Think of the brain as a hill covered in snow, and thoughts as sleds gliding down that hill. As one sled after another goes down the hill a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into preexisting trails, almost like a magnet. In time it becomes more and more difficulty to glide down the hill on any other path or in a different direction.”

The intent of Kaelen’s discussion is to think of new ways to temporarily flatten the snow. Kaelen remarked,

“The deeply worn trails disappear, and suddenly the sled can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and, literally, creating new pathways.”

The idea here is to temporarily rewire your brain, or as Michael Pollan remarked in How to Change Your Mind,

“The power to shake the snow globe, disrupting unhealthy patterns of thought and creating a space of flexibility-entropy-in which more salubrious patterns and narratives have an opportunity to coalesce as the snow slowly settles.”

So, how can we rewire our brain allowing deeply worn connections to disappear and new connections to form? The answer is quite simple. We must change the way we store information in our mind.

    Let’s examine 5 specific memorization techniques that will change the way you think and remember information.

    1. Build a Memory Palace

      What is it?

      The method of loci[1] (aka memory palace) is a method of memory enhancement using visualizations with the use of spatial memory. It uses familiar information about your environment to quickly recall information. It is a method that was discussed by Cicero in an ancient dialogue called De Oratore.

      How to use it?

      Ron White discusses in How to Memorize Fast and Easily: Build a Memory Palace, that it’s essentially a room or building that you have memorized and you use locations in the room to store data. Ron informs us,

      “You memorize locations in a room and then you later go back to those locations to retrieve the data that you want to remember.”

      Example

      An easy 5-step example, in the form of a Wiki, can be found at Artofmemory.com. Let’s examine the the steps:

      • Step 1. Choose a place that you know well. For example, your house or office.
      • Step 2. Plan the route and pick specific locations in your route. For example, your front door, bathroom kitchen, etc.
      • Step 3. Decide what you want to memorize. For example, geography, list of items, answers for a test, etc.
      • Step 4. Place one or two items, with a mental image, and place them in your memory palace. Exaggerate your images. For example, use nudity or crazy images forcing it to stick in your mind.
      • Step 5. Make the image into a mnemonic.

      You can learn more about this technique here: How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything

      2. Mnemonic

        What is it?

        A mnemonic is a memory device that aids in retention and/or retrieval of information. Mnemonic systems are techniques consciously used to improve memory by helping us use information already stored in long-term memory to make memorization easier.[2]

        How to use it?

        Mnemonics make use of retrieval cues to encode information in our brain allowing for efficient storage and retrieval of the information. The trick is to learn how to easily create mnemonics. If you find that you struggle with creating your own, try the following website: Mnemonic Generator.

        Example

        I recently came across a video using mnemonics to memorize countries. Memorizing Countries using Mnemonics is a video created as an introduction to a class for using memory techniques to learn the names of countries on maps.

        I actively search for videos that provide enormous educational value, yet receive very little exposure. At the time of this writing, this video has received less than 4k views. Let’s examine the video.

        Goal: Create a mnemonic to memorize the countries in the Caribbean (just the countries you need to learn).

        Step 1. Looking at a map – write out each country (for which five were chosen).

        Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico.

        Step 2. Write the first letter of each country vertically.

        C

        J

        H

        D

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        P

        Step 3. Create a sentence or phrase.

        Cubs

        Just

        Hate

        Doing

        Push-ups

        Cubs just hate doing push-ups. (Cuba Jamaica Haiti Dominican Republic Puerto Rico)

        3. Mnemonic Peg System

          What is it?

          According to Artofmemory.com, a mnemonic peg system is a technique for memorizing lists and it works by memorizing a list of words that are easy to associate with the numbers they represent.[3] These objects are the pegs of the system.

          How to use it?

          The trick is to create a Number Rhyme System with each number having a rhyming mnemonic keyword.

          Example

          Let’s look at an example of a Number Rhyme System:[4]

          0 = hero

          1 = gun

          2 = shoe

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          3 = tree

          4 = door

          5 = hive

          6 = sticks

          7 = heaven

          8 = gate

          9 = line

          Another technique like the Peg system is the Number Shape System.[5] Here you are assigning mnemonic images based on the shape of the number. Watch the following video for an example of this system: Number Shape System for Memorizing Numbers.

          4. Chunking

            What is it?

            Chunking is a way to remember large bits of information by chunking them into smaller pieces of information. We are more likely to then remember the information when we put the small pieces back together to see the entire picture.

            How to use it?

            In the video Chunking – A Learning Technique, we can see that there are several ways to chunk information.

            Example

            Let’s examine a simple example using a nine-digit number.

            Step 1. What is the number you are trying to remember?

            081127882

            Step 2. Cut the number into smaller pieces through chunking.

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            081 – 127 – 882

            Let’s look at one more example from the same video.

            “Piano teachers will first demonstrate an entire song to students. They will then ask their students to practice one measure at a time. Once the part has been learned and the neural connections in the brain have been built, then students go on to the next measure. After all chunks have been played separately, they are combined until the entire piece is connected.”

            5. Transfer of Learning

              What is it?

              Transfer of learning is a way to learn something in one area and apply it in another. Authors of Thinking at Every Desk, Derek and Laura Cabrera inform us about the transfer of learning,

              “If a student has a high transfer skills, she can learn one thing and then teach herself 10, 50, or 100 additional things.”

              How to use it?

              There are two specific ways to use it:

              1. Vertical Transfer (aka Far Transfer). Think of learning something in grade school and applying it another grade or later in life.
              2. Horizontal Transfer (aka Near Transfer). Think of learning a concept in history and applying it in math.

              Example

              I provide a detailed step-by-step example for this technique in this article:

              Learn How to Learn: How to Understand and Connect Difficult Ideas Easily

              The Bottom Line

              The key to using the techniques discussed here is to remember that we must actively think about information.

              We cannot simply drill information into our brain through rote memorization. We must change the way we think about memorization. We must find a way to “shake the snow-globe” in our mind or flatten the snow so that we can create new learning paths.

              Or as Derek and Laura Cabrera point out, we must insert “Thinking” into the equation,

              “Information X Thinking = Knowledge”

              More About Enhancing Memories

              Featured photo credit: Nong Vang via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Remember Everything: Memory Palaces and the Method of Loci
              [2] The Learning Center Exchange: 9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory
              [3] Art of Memory: Mnemonic Peg System
              [4] Art of Memory: Number Rhyme System
              [5] Art of Memory: Number Shape System

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