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Want To Stand Out From The Crowd? You Need To Have This Performer Mindset First

Want To Stand Out From The Crowd? You Need To Have This Performer Mindset First

You’ve been given an unsavory assignment by your boss, which technically is her job to complete, and you’re a little less than enthusiastic about getting it done. You put it off for a couple of days to tackle your “real work,” intending to get back to it when you have a moment. A few days later, your boss stops by your desk and informs you that she urgently needs the report to be on her desk by 2:00 PM that day. It’s 11:30 AM. You begin working on it but slowly begin to realize that it is way more involved and detailed than you anticipated. You haphazardly scurry around and manage to throw something together that is sloppy and only half accurate —at best—and run to her office at 1:59 PM to try to hand it to her.

She grabs her blazer, breezes past you and tells you to just bring the report with you to the meeting—and then informs you that you will assist her in walking the senior staff through the report. Your heart sinks. Doom sets in, and you suddenly feel sick…

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If only you had known that this report was so important, you would have not only put together a report that was polished and accurate, you would have also ensured that everything from the front cover of the report to the index was a phenomenal work of art.

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And therein lies the solution… Always consider yourself a performer and your work an art form.

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The performer’s mindset

Performers and artists are deeply connected to their art forms. Their primary goal is to capture the hearts of their audience members and to “wow” them. They expend copious amounts of energy and time producing a masterpiece for each and every one of their creations or performances. They are delicately intertwined in their work, and they take pride in pouring their heart and soul into each and every performance and creation. They are perfectionists.

Taking on a performer’s mindset benefits you in three distinct ways:

  1. It helps you to become mentally and emotionally engaged in what you are doing. This is so important to producing high-quality work for any purpose. You must be fully engaged and mentally and emotionally invested in what you are doing in order to really deliver. Consider an actor’s portrayal of a character. The actor sells the audience on the character by connecting to the character and essentially becoming who they are portraying. In that moment, they are the character. In order to connect to the mundane, everyday, run of the mill tasks associated with any job, being able to view yourself as a performer or an artist allows you to become fully present in what you are doing.
  2. It reminds you to always do your best. This is one lesson most of us learned early in life, and it is also the one lesson we abandoned the quickest as well. Doing your best all the time is tough. Envisioning yourself as a performer changes your mindset about your work. When you see yourself differently, you see what you do differently. There is a passion and pride that comes with performing and producing art. When you learn to summon that inner passion and pride, you take average, everyday tasks and turn them into the extraordinary. Your work stands out, and so do you.
  3. You become outcome-driven. When you think like a performer, you work to produce. You sacrifice and extend yourself for the sake of the art. You exist to create, and you are unsatisfied with mediocrity and with products that are merely passable. You take into account all aspects of the performance or artwork, from the overall aesthetics of the final presentation to the most minuscule of details, which most people will never see. You not only give your audience a work of art and a stellar performance, you give them you. Which is what they really want.
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Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, 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.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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