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The Hidden Obstacle to Massive Motivation and Productivity

The Hidden Obstacle to Massive Motivation and Productivity

Do you know how much more motivated and productive you could be?

If you are an average worker, chances are you operate at around 60% capacity, according one corporate survey.

In other words, if you are average, it takes you five days of work to accomplish what you could do in three.

The benefits of greater motivation and productivity, over time, could transform your career or business dramatically. Imagine getting 40% more done every week, for years to come!

That’s the good news: you have tremendous potential!

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The bad news is that hidden in your psyche (and in mine) is a pervasive obstacle to motivation and productivity.

It’s called an attachment. In this case, it’s an attachment to feelings of deprivation.

In the throes of a deprivation attachment, we cling to feelings of emptiness, apathy, frustration, or boredom and avoid a sense of fulfillment, such as the fulfillment that comes from meeting needs and accomplishing goals.

Amazingly, we can get so accustomed to living the deprived life that we unwittingly seek it out by avoiding what would bring satisfaction!

In the end, we are left with a conflict. On the one hand, we want to be motivated and succeed. On the other hand, we don’t seem to care. This is a perfect set up for self-sabotage.

Do you have a deprivation attachment? Here are some signs that you do.

Notice how these behaviors indicate that a part of you is seeking to be deprived.

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• You set a goal, get started, then mysteriously lose motivation or get bored.

• You have a need, but do not express it.

• You do not allow yourself to be satisfied unless something is perfect, which never happens.

• You make excuses to justify laziness.

• You put off doing things that you would feel great for doing.

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• You engage in behaviors that directly prevent genuine fulfillment, such as over-eating, drinking too much, or various addictions that cause you to feel numb or empty.

• You feel guilty or scared when you succeed.

• You expect disappointment.

• You feel like you don’t deserve happiness and success.

Acknowledging the deprivation attachment is a huge step toward letting it go. Understanding the source of the attachment is another big help. Essentially, you need to get to the root of this one and pull it out of your psyche for good!

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Then, you will be free to pursue your dreams without getting sucked into the psychic black hole of deprivation by a part of you that seems to want nothing but emptiness and misery.

There are many kinds of negative attachments. We become so accustomed to them that we believe living with them is just “how life is.”

We can become attached to rejection, feeling controlled, humiliation, shame, and failure. We need to shine the light on our negative attachments if we are to free ourselves from them.

A challenge to you:

If you suspect the deprivation attachment applies to you, then do the following: for the next 2-3 days, monitor your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Take special note of those that serve to keep you in a state of deprivation. How do you deny yourself the good things in life? What thoughts and feelings keep you from moving forward?

This kind of insight is the critical first step toward change!

Next, after you begin to get how this works and have a few AHA moments, then you can ask yourself how long you need to keep this up. What purpose does keeping yourself in a state of deprivation serve? What unfinished business do you have around this issue?

What would happen if you let it all go and simply pursued fulfillment as if it were your birthright?

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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