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Everyone Should Learn The Mindset Of Productive People

Everyone Should Learn The Mindset Of Productive People

We all know people who just seem to get things done; but have you ever noticed that productive people tend to be happier and more well-rounded too?

The skills that achievers use to help them complete tasks, hit deadlines, and finish projects are the same skills that can help you become a happier, more balanced individual in every part of your life.

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Everyone should aspire to build a productive mindset. Here are eight tips to improve both your productivity and your life:

Be Solution-focused

If you focus too long on a problem, it can really start to bog you down. You can end up going around in circles, feeling more and more frustrated and worried about the pickle you’re in, rather than doing anything to fix what’s wrong. Productive individuals take one good look at the problem and then immediately move on to search for solutions. Focusing on finding answers helps you feel more in control and gets you out of the problem more quickly. Finding solutions helps you accomplish things, and the sense of pride you get from that can make you feel happier too.

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Put Down Boundaries

If you’re always saying ‘yes’ to people or going out of your way to accommodate others while neglecting your own needs and goals, you’re unlikely to meet your own targets, and you’re likely to end up feeling resentful and bitter. Learning to say ‘no’ to things that don’t serve you frees up your own time and promotes a feeling of self-respect. There’s nothing wrong with helping others or giving your time and attention to them, but you must only do so when it doesn’t cross your own boundaries or eat into what you need to do. Choose what and who you say ‘yes’ to carefully at home and at work.

Have a Healthy Routine

Some of the most productive people in the world swear by similar morning routines. Rising early to have an exercise session, a protein-rich breakfast, and a spot of meditation feature in many particularly productive people’s mornings from big business owners to presidents. Having a good start to the day gives you all sorts of benefits, including a clearer head, a healthier body, a better mood, and more focus.

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Streamline your Life

You might marvel at how much productive people seem to get done in a day, but what you’ll usually find is that they’ve set things up in a way that makes it easier for them to succeed. Whether it’s putting automated systems in place, delegating, or just having all the necessary tools ready to hand, productive people have a head-start because they’ve simplified and streamlined their processes. If you invest a little time in decluttering, preparing, and organising, you’ll not only save yourself time in the long-run, but you’ll save yourself stress and headaches. And you’ll have much more time to do the things you really value later on.

Look at the Bigger Picture

Productive people don’t get distracted because they’ve always got the bigger picture in mind. They don’t think about a report as a piece of administration or see a spreadsheet as a list of numbers ‒- instead they view these things as necessary steps to achieve their goals. And beyond that, they’ll know why this particular goal is of value to them and how it will enhance their life overall. Whether it’s to make money, to gain security, or to revolutionise the world, productive people see tasks as vital cogs in the greater machinery of their project and their life. Whenever you need to do anything important, bear in mind how good it will make you feel to do it or how it will enhance your well-being. Focusing on these positive things allows you to stay motivated and happy at home and at work.

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Be Positive About Yourself

People who don’t get things done are often waylaid by their own lack of self-belief. If you don’t think you’re capable of achieving anything, why even try? Productive people put their best foot forward and don’t allow negative self-talk to steer them away from their goals. Not only does a healthy sense of self-efficacy help you focus and achieve more, but respecting your unique skills, qualities and strengths will make you feel happier too. It’s really a self-fulfilling prophecy — if you pep talk yourself, you’ll probably find that you’ve got much more to cheer about because you’re more likely to perform better when you have a positive focus.

Know Nothing Has to Be Perfect

If you tried to be perfect in everything you did, you’d never ever get anything done. Perfection is an impossible marker, and trying to live up to it just leaves you feeling frustrated and depressed. Productive people focus on doing their very best, but don’t allow a few flaws to delay their dreams or stop their progress. Not only does letting go of perfectionism allow you to get more done, it also takes the pressure off you, letting you enjoy what you are doing and have more fun with it.

Respect Time

If you really thought about what’s precious in life, you’d realise that time is one of the most valuable commodities — it’s one that we only get a certain amount of, and once it’s gone, we can’t get it back. Productive people know the value of time and have a healthy respect for it, which is partly why they are able to stay so focused. You’d find it far less tempting to play Candy Crush if you knew it was your last day on Earth. Respect the time that you have in the world and it’ll be easier to live your life to the fullest, cherishing and enjoying every moment.

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

More About Changing Habits

Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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