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Want To Be Insanely Productive For A Whole Day? You Should Know These Hacks

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Want To Be Insanely Productive For A Whole Day? You Should Know These Hacks

We live in a production-oriented world. The numerous types of cars, shampoos and cereals are tell-tale signs that producing products, even content, is how some define success.

But this push, this drive to produce is not rooted in being busy, busy, busy. Instead, it requires a focus, a single-eyed vision to pursue one thought, one idea into completion. When we think of the phrase, “Just do it,” we think of one “it,” not “them.”

So multi-tasking, although it sounds productive, is actually counterintuitive. Research suggests that when we focus on doing several things at once versus one thing well we do not get much done any quicker. Therefore, slowing down can be productive.

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1. Know your ABC’s

Getting back on track after a distraction can be as easy as counting to three – using the alphabet. “A” means be aware of your options. “B” means breathe deeply and “C” stands for choose carefully.[1]

When you are given the option to defocus from your primary task, be aware of what is going on. Tell yourself, “I am focused on this project and that distraction is not helpful.” Then, take a deep breathe and choose whether you will stay focused on the task at hand or derail your focus by doing something different.

If you buy into the idea that multi-tasking will make you more productive, the distraction may seem appealing. However, if you want to be insanely productive, stay focused on the task at hand until you reach its completion.

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2. Set the tone for your day

Awareness begins with the self. How are you feeling? What is on your mind? Is there a list you could make to declutter your brain for the day?

In order to set the right atmosphere in your mind, body and gut, a sense of self-awareness is necessary. What is going on internally that could prevent this task from reaching its full potential? Once you answer that question, through journaling or self-reflection, you can set the tone for your day to remain focused on what is most important.

3. Technology can be an ally

Need to empty your brain of clutter? Use technology to help you remain organized and focused. There are plenty of apps available for both android and iPhone products to keep us on track. If you, like many other people, are bombarded with personal, professional and familial responsibilities to children and partners, technology can be an ally in keeping you on track, on time and on fire with the task at hand.

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Set alarms on your phone so you can completely lose yourself in a project. Reminders placed in apps can keep your to-do list stay relevant and the items of high priority at the top of the pile.

4. Breaks are necessary

Rejuvenating the brain so it remains fresh is imperative. When working on a project to completion, it is wise to factor in setbacks, moments to problem solve, deal with frustrations or stone walls, and a chance to regroup. By taking a break, such as a walk or to chit chat with a friend or coworker, you are in a position to keep your mind fresh and up to date.[2]

A fresh mind is a focused mind.

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Summary

As individuals, we contribute to the amount of ideas and products available in today’s society. Whether our contribution is grooming a child to become a productive citizen or designing the next space shuttle to launch into outer space, our individual efforts matter.

However, we are more likely to be successful in our pursuits of productivity with the right amount of single-minded focus and tranquility.

Reference

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Michelle Owens

Freelance Writer/Editor

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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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