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The Morphing Mindset: Transform These 5 Habits to Boost Your Productivity

The Morphing Mindset: Transform These 5 Habits to Boost Your Productivity

    Productivity is the result of the decisions we make and mindset we have. These things in turn create habits that we tend to follow, sometimes too rigidly.

    Do you want to make a positive change inside you that leads to better productivity and improved self-confidence?

    If so, then I suggest that you take a look at these common unproductive habits that hold you back and transform them into productive ones.

    1. Complaining -> Taking action

    I used to belong to the group of people who complained a lot. Mostly it was about the job I hated, but I had other things that I complained about too.

    Yet at some point I came to realize that maybe I should do something about those things instead of complaining about them. Maybe I’m the one who has to make things happen…

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    Finally, I understood that taking action was the only way to move forward. I didn’t want to waste my time and energy on something useless like complaining.

    I think that this is a good guideline for any of us. If there is something bothering you that isn’t right, think to yourself: Is it going to get better by complaining or can you do something about it?

    I bet that in many situations the latter option is the best one.

    2. Assuming -> Confirming

    My former boss used to say the following:

    “Assuming is prohibited.”

    What he meant was that one should always be sure of something so that the right action could be taken.

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    Although this habit saves you from many headaches, be ready to face your fears when you transform this habit.

    In order to confirm things and being sure of something, you have to ask questions to understand the situation better. For some people, this is not an easy thing to do since they may feel that others think that they are stupid — or even incompetent — when they ask for more information.

    Of course, this isn’t so.

    Confirming or asking questions is a better way to move forward than pondering the issue by yourself and taking wrong action — one which is based on assumptions.

    Confirming makes you more confident and productive, because you know what to do and are not guessing what to do.

    3. Being a Victim -> Being Responsible

    It is easy to take on the “victim role” instead of being responsible of your own actions. This also means that instead of being true to yourself, you are more willing to blame your boss, your work, your environment or the people you associate with when you are feeling lousy.

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    Understandably, it may not be easy to admit that perhaps the problem lies within you. However, you really have to admit that because of your past actions you find yourself in the current situation.

    You create your own reality by the decisions you make and the actions you take. If you are not happy with things the way they are, then start creating a plan to change things.

    Here’s an example: If you are not happy how your body looks, start making lifestyle changes — and find out the phone number to the nearest nutrition coach to help you out.

    After you realize that you can make the change and that you have to take the responsibility, things start moving for the better and the victim days are soon behind you.

    4. Fixing the Symptoms -> Fixing the Root Cause

    When something unexpected happens, you do whatever is needed to put things back to normal. However, when the same unexpected thing starts to happen on a recurring basis, fixing the symptoms is not enough anymore.

    For instance, when you feel sick to your stomach you can take medicine to fix the situation. However, when this same symptom occurs on a frequent basis, you should spend more time and energy to analyze what is causing your stomach ache in the first place and fix that instead.

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    Spend a bit more time on finding and fixing the root cause – instead of wasting your time on dealing with the symptoms.

    5. Easiest Task First -> Hardest Task First

    Working on the easiest task first is a very compelling thing to do. You don’t have to stress about the task that much because it is fun. You are also feeling comfortable because you don’t have to push yourself outside your comfort zone.

    On the other hand, if you’re willing to take action on the hardest task first, you’ll be prouder of yourself and this will give you a self-confidence boost.

    When you handle the challenging task before the easy one, it is not lurking in the back of your mind anymore and you can fully focus on your other tasks that you have to take care of.

    No matter whether or not you are able to accomplish this hard task at once, the main point is that you are acting on the task now so that you can fully enjoy the fun tasks later.

    So…has your mindset morphed?

    (Photo credit: Businessman with Superhero Suit via Shutterstock)

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    Timo Kiander

    Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

    How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

    What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

    When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

    In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

    While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

    As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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      Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

      The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

      But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

      However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

      This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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      Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

      We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

      Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

      Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

      The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

      When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

      When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

      How to Make Decision Effectively

      Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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      1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

      You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

      Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

      Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

      2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

      You don’t have to choose all the time.

      Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

      Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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      3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

      You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

      The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

      Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

      Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

      So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

      More Tips About Decision Making

      Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

      Reference

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