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Brutal Truths About Productivity No One Wants to Talk About

Brutal Truths About Productivity No One Wants to Talk About
Humans are prolific procrastinators. People have struggled with habitual hesitation going back to ancient civilizations. It’s easy to make plans and throw dates on your calendar, and yet it’s…


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Pablo Picasso

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Your thoughts don't define you; your actions do

Your thoughts don't define you; your actions do

Action gets results. Results are what you want, not just ideas.

Don't spend all your time thinking about everything you can improve. Until you start doing what needs to be done, you're not really making a difference.

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Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

“To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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Getting started is the most difficult

The biggest hurdle is to take that first step. You have everything you need to make an impact in the world if you can push the reasons aside why you should not start now.

Use what you have right now where you are and just start. Watch the magic of getting things done.

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Vince Lombardi

"Success demands a singleness of purpose."

Vince Lombardi

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Do one thing well, not three things poorly

Many people want to do well at work. You may risk and do much but will have nothing to show for it.

You won't be able to do everything this week or this month. That is okay. As long as you are consistent and stick to the process. It's important to take time out and ask how you could have done differently to achieve the same results.

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Tim Ferriss

“If you see distraction externally, you end up creating an internally distracted state.”

Tim Ferriss

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Focus on the important few, and ignore the rest

The demand for our time is increasingly more than our capacity. We are currently flooded with information and requests and may feel compelled to meet the expectations.

It is draining us of the energy we need. But being selective and doing less is the path of the productive.

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Napoleon Hill

“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”

Napoleon Hill

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The perfect time is now

We will always be able to come up with another excuse why this is not the best time. There is no perfect time. So re-clarify your goals.

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What should you do to get there?
  • What are the steps to take?

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“Reflect on what you do in a day. You may have never realised how some simple harmless activities rob you of precious time.”

Vivek Naik

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Doing nothing

Sometimes you can feel like you're always working against the clock, and rearranging plans and tasks to meet deadlines. When you do take time to relax, you feel guilty.

Taking breaks refreshes your mind and allows you to come back to your task with renewed energy and a sense of purpose.

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Motivation is a muscle that we need to build

Motivation is a muscle that we need to build

Motivation does not happen to us. It is a muscle that we need to build. After an inspirational talk, we might feel motivated for a while but will fall back to our old routines.


How to set the motivation flywheel in action

Knowing what keeps you back is as valuable as determining how to get started.

  • What are the bottlenecks to get you started?
  • What can cause you to stop once you start?
  • How do you know what to do once you get started?
  • What if you're not capable of achieving your goals?
  • How would you know if you're making progress?

Don’t wait until you're ready, start today

  • Even if you don't feel like it, take control by starting today.
  • Shift your mental energy from thinking to doing.
  • Believe there's no better day to start than today.
  • Set a micro goal for today without worrying about tomorrow.
  • Commit to taking one small step.
  • Tell yourself that when you gain momentum, the task will become easier.

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Make planning a habit

Make planning a habit

Some mornings we feel motivated to create a to-do list, but that is often the exception. We need to get things done, even when we feel disengaged.

Start by setting ...

Align your to-do list with goals

  1. Break down your big goals into daily tasks. You can't add "Get in shape" to your daily to-do list, but you can add "spend 30 minutes on my bike."
  2. Consider your week as a whole. You likely have multiple goals. Some goals benefit from daily activity, while working towards others a few times a week can create momentum.
  3. Add your have-to-do tasks last. We often fill our to-do lists with have-to-do tasks that crowd the whole day. Adding it last forces you to fit your have-to-do tasks around your goal tasks.

Have one daily priority

Many of us start our mornings with dozens of things we need to get done, but later realize that we haven't crossed any of them off our lists. We did get stuff done, but none of the things we planned.

A balm against hectic days that pass without progress is to choose a single activity to prioritize and protect in your calendar. If you struggle to select your top priority, ask yourself, when you look back on your day, what do you want the highlight to be? That's your priority.

Become more organized

Become more organized

In order to be successful and reach your goals, you need to be organized.

One first step in this direction refers to starting your day planning: choosing the agenda that wo...

Practice a lot

Acquiring organizational skills, as in getting better at planning, can take a while. While finding the appropriate agenda is essential, making a habit out of using it is just as important.

Plan important moments monthly

When preparing your schedule on a monthly basis, make sure to add not only the daily tasks and objectives, but also the big moments.

For instance, integrating your friends' birthdays can prove both useful and time saving for the future.