Productivity is one of those words that have different meanings to each individual. For example, I never feel ‘lazy’, I simply strive to find quicker, more efficient solutions to problems. I never used to mentally go through my tasks of the day, I simply try to accomplish as much as I can, as fast as I can. Some might not understand my definition of productivity, but I’ve recently found a formula that works for me and I think it just might work for you too.
A couple of months ago I made a life-changing decision, which had an astonishing effect on how I go about my activities. I stopped smoking. There’s a lot of health-related research on the continuous effects of smoking tobacco, however I must admit that the psychological and behavioural effects of quitting took me by surprise. Suddenly, a habit that took up to 25% of my day was eradicated. The result was a dramatic shift on productivity and efficiency, both professionally and interpersonally. I believe you can draw your own conclusions based on my experience:
- I started counting my time, I was more aware of the present. Result: I was able to efficiently draw mental notes on how much time it took me to complete specific tasks.
- I began noticing ‘gaps’ in my time – those were the times I would stop and have a smoke. Result: I tried to fill these gaps with errands or small tasks, so I wouldn’t have the time to think about the habit.
- I became more eerie about what I put in my body. Result: Started a cleanse that cleared my mind and boosted my concentration on the work place.
- I stopped drinking coffee, because I associated it with the habit. Result: After a couple of days of adjustment I was able to achieve better sleep in less time.
- I noticed a continuous growth in energy. Result: It started taking me half of the time to complete previously tiresome tasks.
- I started wanting to do more, to be more. Result: The ‘additional’ time allowed me to focus on other projects, grow my partnerships and my client base.
How to step out of the box:
We all have our vices. I’ve begun to understand that our habits are an embodiment of our com
fort zones. They seem like essential parts of our being, until we decide otherwise.
Shaking up those habits forces us to step out of the box we so comfortably inhabit. Now I try to change small routines on regular basis, because that keeps me on my toes. Being on your toes, especially when you are running your own company is essential. So why not try to change something in your own routine?
- Take a different route to work one day of the week
- Change a regular drink (let’s say coffee) with something you wouldn’t normally get for a couple of days
- Try the YES approach for one week – whenever someone asks you to do something (go out to a party, meet new people, do a task, etc.) simply say YES!
- Talk to a complete stranger at least once this month – gives you perspective on your own life and your path to personal success
- Get out of your regular circle – go out of town, take a hike or a walk alone and use this time to contemplate
In the end, my simple advice to you is – Keep growing, keep aspiring to do better and don’t be afraid to shake things up. You never know how changing smaller details can help you gain sight of the big picture.