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8 things I know about being more productive I wish I knew when I was younger…
I’m 38 and know what it’s like to feel unproductive.
It could be a ‘sense’ you have, even if you’re getting plenty done.
Or it could be that you genuinely continue to waste valuable time.
Either way, we often need to return to basics if we’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
Internalise these productivity ideas to take things to the next level:
1. First, productivity is just a subjective LABEL, and everyone has a different idea of what being ‘productive’ is.
This is our first clue that productivity starts and ends in the mind.
2. 5,000 years ago, when we were fending off wolves and worried about when the next blizzard would arrive, productivity wasn’t a thing.
Because we did what struck us as necessary to do.
We fixed the fence when it broke.
We sharpened tools and hunted when meat supplies ran low. Expending energy unnecessarily was considered stupid.
>> Productivity is a man-made construction to scare us into doing shit we don’t really need to do. <<
3. As soon as mankind was given a valid reason for doing more stuff they didn’t really need to do (making vast amounts of money and spreading influence), they created the idea of productivity as assigned to people (as opposed to working animals, like cows).
Why is this important?
Because of one thing: we make ‘productivity’ seem big and scary in our heads, creating stress.
Can you relate?
It’s a floaty idea.
It really means nothing.
Seeing this is the first step to increasing our performance and thus ‘productivity.’
4. You might be thinking:
‘But Alex, surely productivity is important in the modern age. I want to create more money for myself and my family. I don’t want to waste my time on this planet, which requires incorporating a productive approach to my day.’
And this will absolutely happen when you stop worrying about ‘productivity.’
5. It all seems counterintuitive, but we literally hold ourselves back by entertaining concepts.
The only thing that matters when it comes to doing more of the stuff that matters is doing more of the stuff that matters.
And you won’t know what matters until you do stuff.
Because it’s only through doing that we get clarity on what is working.
6. Now, you might be thinking:
‘But there’s so much we do that doesn’t show us immediate results, like going to the gym. We can’t see our muscles growing, doofus.’
Well, it depends on what you view as ‘results.’
Do you feel good after going to the gym?
Does your brain work faster when you exercise?
Do you get clear insights when you go for a walk?
Yes? Well, that’s a pretty good indication that these are worthwhile activities.
That’s the thing here.
We are intelligent beings.
Whether it’s in our guts or our minds, we know what our priorities should be.
We underestimate our intuitive intelligence, and so we get lost in overthinking.
7. So, what has all this taught me about productivity?
I’ve lost weeks and months of my life procrastinating because I was thinking too much.
I wanted to escape my thoughts.
We all do.
What helps me now is knowing that ‘productivity’ is just one additional thought to worry about.
When I am biased to action, my worries instantly diminish, and I feed my natural enthusiasm for more action.
And when I’m doing stuff, I have all the information I need, coming through in real-time, on whether I should stop or keep going.
8. The ultimate lesson in all this:
Don’t overthink things.
Be majorly biased to doing things even if you have to throw yourself into something you don’t feel like doing.
Do one thing at a time.
When we let go to the reality of the moment, we feel better, enjoy the action more, and our performance explodes.
Thanks for reading.
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