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This Mindset Will Help You Get More Productive Than Watching Productivity P**n All Day
And 5 small ways to bring the utopia-like state to reality
I am a sucker for productivity. I judge my day based on how much I have achieved. I forget to include any other factors. Not even my mental health.
You might be like me.
You watch more productivity videos than you’d like to admit. Same bro.
Whenever you see any book even remotely linked to productivity, you lose control and totally forget hundreds of books already waiting on your TBR list for a moment. Welcome home, buddy!
Now I like to use an umbrella term (which is already popular), Productivity P**n.
Be it books, YT videos, Udemy courses, or anything else, I think I have had enough of letting them try to “micromanage my routing”.
I am sick of it.
I am also ashamed to reflect on how I cannot continue to do most of the things that are worth it for long. It’s like my brain is shouting every second, “f**k you, compounding!”
I would happily forget all the books on productivity that I ever read. Of course, I am generalising but it’s true to a big extent.
But the two things I would like to remember are:
Instead of setting lofty goals, build habits and systems.
When you do ordinary things for way longer than anyone else, it becomes extraordinary.
I think I made the second one up. Its raw data must be coming from one of those books, nevertheless.
You must have observed this thing getting all the mentions of the world in the productivity space. Mostly for good reasons, of course.
I like to see it as the building block of everything that we will ever achieve. Or fail to achieve.
It’s the foundation. It’s the ground zero.
That’s why I have started to direct all my attention to my mindset. I would advise you to do the same.
Have you ever observed that the same condition sometimes appears poles apart depending on your mood? Take, for example, the fight you had with your friend.
At that moment, you think everything is their fault. You have not done anything wrong. Not at all!
But as time passes, you realise how wrong you were (most of the time). And once you two have an open conversation about it, the truth can’t be any further from what you had imagined at the beginning.
See how our brains weave our reality?
This is just a small example of the power of our minds. If you replicate it for every decision you make, every thought you think, every action you make, and everything you abstain from doing, it will become enormous.
And that’s exactly what it is! The beginning and the end of everything.
If you think you can do it, it’s possible you’ll do it.
If you think it’s impossible or not worth doing, you’ll fail at it no matter how skillful you are.
That’s why first try to bring this mammoth under control. This thing will remain on my radar for all of 2023.
Here are the 5 small ways to bring this utopia-like state into a reality.
Have a learning mindset
Always trying to learn something new might feel hectic at the beginning. Our natural tendency is to be at rest and keep doing what we are habituated to and feel comfortable doing.
But once we have a learning mindset, we will feel enthusiastic about learning something new.
This way you can do more without even actively thinking about it.
Take courses on LinkedIn Learning. Explore Twitter; it’s a free university. Learn by doing it. Just have (and embrace) a learning mindset.
Celebrate small wins instead of setting lofty goals
Achieving new milestones releases good dopamine. You will feel motivated to do the task again.
Setting lofty goals has either of two effects (both negative):
It makes you quit shortly after you have started because you have set too high standards for yourself
If you do manage to continue, you might feel as if you are not achieving much. You are lacking something. There is no significant progress. “Maybe this is not my cuppa tea,” you will start to think.
Appreciate flexibility instead of setting deadlines and appreciating rigidity
Deadlines do help. I agree. But we cannot time everything.
Setting a deadline and planning everything well in advance may give you false satisfaction and an assurance that everything is fine. And that you have done the work.
But this is not sustainable. You might miss a deadline. Or you procrastinate until the deadline comes closer and hurry when it’s there.
Bad choice either way!
Instead, we can try to have a deadline for non-creative work. We already have. *Homework*
Have a flexible mindset and yet don’t leave everything for tomorrow.
Doing something that’s important but not urgent gives you much more satisfaction than urgently doing something important haphazardly.
It’s mature to take responsibility, they say. They go to extremes by saying you should take responsibility for everything that happens in and with your life. Fine.
But because we are just getting started, we can start by taking responsibility for at least one aspect of our life: our actions.
We can’t control serendipity, nor can we control rejections. So let’s not hold ourselves liable for that in the beginning.
We can take responsibility for our actions. And of our inactions. Full responsibility.
Believe in compounding (and Steve Jobs)
I am a big fan of Naval Ravikant. He is a big believer of compounding. He goes as far as to say that everything worthwhile comes from compounding.
I agree with him.
I have observed that you need not be extraordinary to achieve something significant. You need not be a child prodigy to be the best of the best.
You just need to do it consistently and longer than anyone else. Compounding works like a charm.
Enters Steve Jobs.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
This combo is killing! If there is an apex of realist thinking and at the same time a cure for overthinking, it’s this.
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This Mindset Will Help You Get More Productive Than Watching Productivity P**n All Day was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.