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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
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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.

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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 21, 2021

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

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

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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