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Relativity Can Tell Us A Lot About Productivity

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Relativity Can Tell Us A Lot About Productivity

“Perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. That we’ve barely begun. That our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us. That our destiny lies above us.”

Recently Interstellar (2014) has become quite popular. Like many people, its thought-provoking, ambitious plot may have inspired you. But maybe you’ve begun to question its relevance in your own life. If so, you’re on to something fairly significant.

Most people don’t know that Einstein’s theory of relativity can actually be applied to productivity.

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If we pull back the shades on his theory, you’ll see that it’s divided into two distinct parts: “special” and “general” relativity. Special relativity basically explains that motion is defined relative to an inert frame of reference like time and space — where there is no gravity. On the other hand, general relativity expands this notion by including gravity as a dependent variable in the equation.

Because everyone wants to be more productive, especially at the beginning of a new year, let’s take a closer look at key contributions from relativity that can help you to achieve greater productivity.

1. Reach for higher gravitational potential

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Like in the movie Interstellar, gravitational time dilation helps explain the notion that time flies when we are having fun, but drags when we are doing some mundane activity, like writing a history paper! If you want to guarantee your ability to produce more and faster, fix your sites on a higher gravitational plain by increasing optimistic thoughts and envisioning positive outcomes. This process helps release your “natural high” energy with godsends like serotonin and gets your feel-good juices flowing. You will be able to move through tasks with lightning speed and you’ll feel pretty unstoppable during the process, too.

2. Step into the black hole every now and again

Are you afraid of time standing still? What would happen if you could only do…nothing? A black hole — a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out — offers the possibility of doing just that. Why would someone purposely choose to go into a black hole to increase productivity? Well, every now and again you need to step away from all the distractions and the noise — sometimes even your own mental noise — to gain fresh perspectives and return to your work renewed and ready to create at the highest level.

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3. Generate motion, then build momentum
Motion has the potential to build incredible momentum, especially when speed becomes part of the equation. Momentum, an important element of Einstein’s theory of relativity, explains that when you push a freely moving object it will naturally accelerate. Have you pushed yourself lately? If so, how effective were you in producing results? Challenge yourself to move — physically, mentally, and emotionally. Then, dial up the dynamism and increase your momentum. It’s about breaking free from apathy and inertia to get results.

4. Formulate a powerful perspective, enabling you reach for your inner-pioneer

Your ability to produce results is based on your perspective, your mental view, or outlook. Relativity advances this premise with the notion that the speed at which you progress through time varies with your frame of reference and relative motion vis a vis the object you are observing. Moreover, different observers experience time differently (perspective is everything!). Developing a powerful perspective will help you increase the speed at which you move through difficulties and generate the will and ingenuity to produce results.

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5. Connect the dots by embracing the power of the Tesseract

You can choose to flatline or live life in 3D, fully experiencing the visceral nature of all that it has to offer. But if you’re really ambitious and willing to raise the stakes on your productivity, reach for the power of the Tesseract and go all the way to the fourth dimension. The point is to use innovation and jettison convention to increase your results. Be bold. Be fearless. Think outside the box and let nothing stop you.

In case you were uncertain that you could become more productive this year, Einstein got it right and so can you. Think about how you can increase your productivity using these century old principles that can breathe life into your sluggish routine.

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Featured photo credit: space via google.com.hk

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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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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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