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Powerful Words That Create a Productive and Optimistic Life

Powerful Words That Create a Productive and Optimistic Life

“I can, I will, because I say so!”   My daughter, age 10 at the time, excitedly read me my supposed special battle cry (according to the Disney horoscope, that is.)  She was in awe at how Disney got it spot on since such words made up my regular pep talk when she felt discouraged.  Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) covers how neurology, language, and programming produce human experience. Words you say habitually create your reality.   State this positive battle cry regularly, believe it, and act on it.  Soon, you’ll begin writing “Done!” on tasks and projects in your To-Do list.  Practice using these other powerful words to create a productive and  collaborative mindset.

1. “I am  …”  The most powerful words that exist.

Far from merely stating a feeling or condition, these two powerful words actually create them. Be especially conscious of what you add to  “I am.”  Catch yourself saying these.  “I’m so upset. I’m annoyed. I’m sure they’ll say no.  I’m scared. I’m sick and tired of … ”  Switch and verbalize these instead.  “I’m able. I am well. I’m feeling good about this. I’m very pleased. I’m open to discussing …”

2. “I will.”

Intention and willingness spill out from “I will.”  You are willing to make the time to tend to someone or something.  When you say it to yourself, you affirm your capability and set your mind to doing the task.  When you say it to someone, it is synonymous to “Consider it done.”   Do not take these powerful words lightly.  Your credibility at work and in life increases with every “I will” that you actually accomplish.

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3. “I am confident. I believe.”

These powerful words immediately remove doubt.  When you are confident, there are no misgivings so you can begin straightaway. In a discussion, notice how the other person smiles and relaxes when you address his concern with “I believe we can do something about this.”  The words do not represent commitment. It means you are willing to consider and have sufficient knowledge of the situation to believe compromise is possible.

4. “I understand.”

Are you listening to instructions for a project?  Is your colleague venting about city traffic? Are your children complaining because you missed an important school event?  The words “I understand” apply to the three scenarios. The first requires comprehension; the second needs a listening ear; and the third calls for a commitment to prioritize your family.  “I understand” adds motivation and meaningful connection to your earlier “I will.”  It demonstrates empathy (versus “I know,” which can sound dismissive.)

5. “I don’t have the answers, but I will find out.”

This statement of negation spoken with honesty releases the power of a specific intention.  Not knowing presents a valuable opportunity to learn something new.  Having the courage to admit you don’t have the answers also removes pressure on your team to know everything all the time.  Such pressure can push people to pretend, with dire consequences. It’s acceptable not to have the answers, and then learn from it.  The next time a similar situation arises, you will definitely know how to respond.

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6. “YOU are right.  It’s my mistake.”

To honesty, now add humility.  Swallowing a piece of humble pie is not easy.  People will just as soon point at colleagues, suppliers, clients, the cat, the weather, or the planets rather than admit they are responsible for a problem.  These powerful words establish where the responsibility for the problem lies—a big step in finding the solution.  Unless someone has the humility to say these words, you can forget about solving any problem.  Admitting a mistake is not a sign of weakness but a measure of courage and solid self-concept.  The admission that you have contributed to a problem comes with the intent to find a solution. You will gain the respect and loyalty of your team when you take actual responsibility.

7. “Would YOU please?”

Productive overachievers perform well individually but are not always good leaders or team persons. That’s usually because they are perfectionists, reluctant to delegate and unwilling to collaborate.  You could be outstanding at numbers 1 through 4 above and have no reason to say number 5 or 6, but you would be missing out on fulfillment from synergy. These powerful words acknowledge other people’s contributions. You gain new perspective and they grow in experience as they perform. It’s about mentoring.  Step back and let other team members shine. They will be motivated to realize their potential and you will learn about being a true leader.

8. “I appreciate.”

Thank you, stated sincerely with a smile, can make someone’s day.  “I appreciate” has even greater impact.  These powerful words can rapidly manifest good things.  Say it promptly to someone for something specific and you will motivate her to continue doing well.   Apply its creative effect on you with a nightly habit of listing down the things you appreciate each day, and you will become fully aware of the wonderful things in your life here and now. Showing gratitude about something always creates more of the same.

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9. “WE can try.”

Hotel expatriate work contracts usually run for two years, and I’ve witnessed these scenarios regularly.  A new manager, eager to prove himself, will immediately change existing procedures and implement his way of doing things—even when the old system works just fine.  Or he has a really innovative idea but the team—used to doing things the old way—put up a lot of resistance.  “We can try” are powerful words that reduce friction in a situation.  It involves an attempt to retain existing procedures that work well.  It produces a willingness to test new ideas before lining up complaints about how (you think) they won’t work.

10. “Yes, WE can! WE are committed. Expect only the best!”

These powerful words hold a guarantee that a thing simply IS. Its power is found in the collective confidence of your team.  Such commitment becomes part of a brand. Its power extends over to public perception and the unquestionable quality associated with the brand and logo. Think of the globally acknowledged quality of Mercedes Benz engineering, Patek Philippe time pieces, and Michelin Star restaurants.  “We are committed” represents a powerful challenge and a worthwhile achievement that produces game-changing results.

Powerful words draw your reality. What you think and say create your experience.  Deliberately choose positive words in thoughts, speech, and with music as you sing about and expect “good things are happening.”  Singer songwriter Dan MacKenzie obviously agrees.

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Featured photo credit: joey zanotti via flickr via flickr.com

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Published on July 17, 2018

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

I’ve never believed people are born productive or organized. Being organized and productive is a choice.

You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t.

But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.

What is compartmentalization

To compartmentalize means you have the ability to shut out all distractions and other work except for the work in front of you. Nothing gets past your barriers.

In psychology, compartmentalization is a defence mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events. We close down all thoughts about the traumatic event. This can lead to serious mental-health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if not dealt with properly.

However, compartmentalization can be used in positive ways to help us become more productive and allow us to focus on the things that are important to us.

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Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach, calls it his Tight Bubble of Total Focus Strategy. This is where he shuts out all distractions, turns off his phone and goes to a quiet place where no one will disturb him and does the work he wants to focus on. He allows nothing to come between himself and the work he is working on and prides himself on being almost uncontactable.

Others call it deep work. When I want to focus on a specific piece of work, I turn everything off, turn on my favourite music podcast The Anjunadeep Edition (soft, eclectic electronic music) and focus on the content I intend to work on. It works, and it allows me to get massive amounts of content produced every week.

The main point about compartmentalization is that no matter what else is going on in your life — you could be going through a difficult time in your relationships, your business could be sinking into bankruptcy or you just had a fight with your colleague; you can shut those things out of your mind and focus totally on the work that needs doing.

Your mind sees things as separate rooms with closable doors, so you can enter a mental room, close the door and have complete focus on whatever it is you want to focus on. Your mind does not wander.

Being able to achieve this state can seriously boost your productivity. You get a lot more quality work done and you find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do. It is a skill worth mastering for the benefits it will bring you.

How to develop the skill of compartmentalization

The simplest way to develop this skill is to use your calendar.

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Your calendar is the most powerful tool you have in your productivity toolbox. It allows you to block time out, and it can focus you on the work that needs doing.

My calendar allows me to block time out so I can remove everything else out of my mind to focus on one thing. When I have scheduled time for writing, I know what I want to write about and I sit down and my mind completely focuses on the writing.

Nothing comes between me, my thoughts and the keyboard. I am in my writing compartment and that is where I want to be. Anything going on around me, such as a problem with a student, a difficulty with an area of my business or an argument with my wife is blocked out.

Understand that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an issue

One of the ways to do this is to understand there are times when there is nothing you can do about an issue or an area of your life. For example, if I have a student with a problem, unless I am able to communicate with that student at that specific time, there is nothing I can do about it.

If I can help the student, I would schedule a meeting with the student to help them. But between now and the scheduled meeting there is nothing I can do. So, I block it out.

The meeting is scheduled on my calendar and I will be there. Until then, there is nothing I can do about it.

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Ask yourself the question “Is there anything I can do about it right now?”

This is a very powerful way to help you compartmentalize these issues.

If there is, focus all your attention on it to the exclusion of everything else until you have a workable solution. If not, then block it out, schedule time when you can do something about it and move on to the next piece of work you need to work on.

Being able to compartmentalize helps with productivity in another way. It reduces the amount of time you spend worrying.

Worrying about something is a huge waste of energy that never solves anything. Being able to block out issues you cannot deal with stops you from worrying about things and allows you to focus on the things you can do something about.

Reframe the problem as a question

Reframing the problem as a question such as “what do I have to do to solve this problem?” takes your mind away from a worried state into a solution state, where you begin searching for solutions.

One of the reasons David Allen’s Getting Things Done book has endured is because it focuses on contexts. This is a form of compartmentalization where you only do work you can work on.

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For instance, if a piece of work needs a computer, you would only look at the work when you were in front of a computer. If you were driving, you cannot do that work, so you would not be looking at it.

Choose one thing to focus on

To get better at compartmentalizing, look around your environment and seek out places where you can do specific types of work.

Taking your dog for a walk could be the time you focus solely on solving project problems, commuting to and from work could be the time you spend reading and developing your skills and the time between 10 am and 12 pm could be the time you spend on the phone sorting out client issues.

Once you make the decision about when and where you will do the different types of work, make it stick. Schedule it. Once it becomes a habit, you are well on your way to using the power of compartmentalization to become more productive.

Comparmentalization saves you stress

Compartmentalization is a skill that gives you time to deal with issues and work to the exclusion of all other distractions.

This means you get more work done in less time and this allows you to spend more time with the people you want to spend more time with, doing the things you want to spend more time doing.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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