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Productivity is often a misunderstood concept. Being productive isn’t necessarily about accomplishing more, but rather it’s about investing your time and attention in a more strategic way to add value to your career, life, and relationships. If you’re like most people, you probably wish that you could be more productive in your life. However, one thing that you may have failed to consider is the reason and motivation that drives you to work toward accomplishing your goals.
Too often, our desires to be more productive are based on the belief that it is what is expected of us by society or because we think we are being overloaded with work and don’t feel as if we can handle the workload. You might feel a desire to be more productive to impress your coworkers and boos or even to appear as though you are busy. While these are all valid reasons for wanting to be more productive, they are all external reasons. Other external motivators for wanting to be more productive may include material things, money, or fame.
While money can be a great motivator for many people, it is vital that you consider whether or not there is something else driving you. If your reasons for wanting to be more productive are shallow ones that don’t serve a higher purpose in your life, changes are high that it will decrease your motivation down the line, allowing your productivity to fall by the wayside.
If you want to increase your productivity then you need to take the time to consider what is driving your desire for productivity. If you need more money to support your family, then the love you have for your family might be your driving factors. Perhaps, you’ve found yourself in poverty, and your drive is the desire to improve your situation and yourself. If you want to improve your productivity, you need to determine what drives you on a deeper level and understand why you are working so hard.
It is critical that you make sure that you know what you are striving to achieve. Only you know what is driving you. Only you know what will make you wake up early and work hard. Only you know why you need to be more productive.
It doesn’t matter what you tell other people, and it doesn’t even matter if it’s true or not. You may have a desire to tell people what they expect to hear, but it may not be your real reason for wanting to improve your productivity. What does matter is what you tell yourself. If you want to improve your productivity you have to be honest with yourself. To keep your productivity from falling as quickly as it has risen, you need to continue to remind yourself why you are working so hard, being sure to always keep it in your heart and mind.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic pill that you can take to fix your lack of productivity. Improving your productivity is going to take you time and hard work and you will have to change how you work before you will ever see a permanent boost in your productivity. The next chapters in this book will provide you with the best things that you can do if you want to improve your productivity and start getting more done in less time.
Chapter 1 – Putting an End to Procrastination
Before you can begin to improve your productivity, you have to slay your habit of procrastination. This chapter is going to present you with the three general strategies for overcoming your procrastination, followed by specific tactics to optimize your personal productivity in the proceeding chapters. These tactics can motivate you even more to continue staying clear of the habit of procrastination.
Keeping it Simple When it comes to a habit of procrastination, tasks and projects that are complex and ambiguous can make it harder for even the most disciplined of people avoid procrastination. Simple plans of action and expected results are much easier to understand and implement. Also, plans that are easier to understand and implement are plans that are at low risk for procrastination, that is unless you are already a habitual procrastinator.
You can look at it this way, are you more likely to procrastinate when you have the task of giving your boss a homemade cake that you’ll bake yourself, even if you don’t have any previous experience baking, or when you have to order a customized cake from an online bakeshop to present to your boss? Chances are pretty high that you’ll procrastinate on baking a cake yourself because it is more complex and complicated, compared to ordering a custom cake online. The mere thought of having to find the perfect recipe, buying all the ingredients, and actually baking the cake can be enough to make you put off doing it until the last minute.
Talk to Yourself
To beat procrastination, you have to use positive self-talk. If you don’t know how to start positive self-talk, here are a couple of ways to get you started. First, you can use positive affirmations or declarations to help you overcome bad habits like procrastination. You may be wondering how this works exactly.
The human mind controls how you behave and act, but there are two aspects of the human mind that account for different kinds of behaviors. There’s the subconscious mind, which regulates many of your actions, especially those that you’re not aware of but are important, like breathing, your heart beat, your ability to walk. All the actions that require conscious thought or awareness, like solving a math problem, writing, and eating, are all controlled by your conscious mind.
Habits, like procrastination are unconscious and they fall under the control of the subconscious mind. This is the reason why you can only go so far when trying to consciously changing your habits before you revert back to your normal habits. This includes things like smoking, cursing, and procrastinating. The only way you can make lasting personal changes is by converting them into habits, either subconscious or conscious, through reprogramming your subconscious mind.
According to Dr. Maxwell Maltz, the author of Psycho Cybernetics, the subconscious mind can be likened to heatseeking or laser guided missiles launched from fighter jets and warships. When these kinds of missiles are launched, they automatically seek out the targets given to them. After the missiles are launched, the pilots and warship captains no longer have control over the movements or trajectories of the missiles. The missiles’ on-board computer systems are what control them in route to their programmed targets. The best way to control these kinds of missiles is to give them their targets before they’re launched.
Your subconscious mind is like these guided missiles. You can make it go wherever you want and achieve what you want by simply programming it to acquire certain targets or habits, like eating healthy, exercising, and ending procrastination. You can do this by using your conscious mind through visualization and affirmations or through declarations and positive self-talk.
To help you retrain your subconscious mind and end procrastinations, you need to say your positive declaration several times a day and with emotion. An example affirmation might be, “I will stop procrastinating and, instead be a very proactive person.” When you continually tell yourself this, you can change your subconscious mind’s programming over time so that it will manifest the affirmation. It can even become more powerful if you combine it with visualization exercises, where you play a movie in your mind’s eye and you see yourself acting or living out your affirmations.
Another way you can use positive self-talk to reprogram your subconscious mind and end procrastination is by asking the right questions, particularly positive and empowering ones. An example of a right question to ask would be, “What should I do to start closing more sales?” rather than “Why am I not able to close enough sales?”
By asking how you can achieve something rather than why you can’t, allows your subconscious mind to focus on how you can. When you ask why you can’t achieve something, you are effectively programming your subconscious mind to continue keeping you from successfully accomplishing something or getting rid of a bad habit.
What you focus your mind on often determines, to a great extent, how your subconscious mind will be programmed. If you can program your subconscious mind for the possibilities, it will go after those possibilities. If you program it for limitations, it will do what it can to enforce them.