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5 Timeless Productivity Lessons from Artists and Entrepreneurs

Seek Mentorship

We all need to grow, learn, and take risks. Having a mentor or coach makes this massively easier.

Additionally, a good mentor helps you avoid making the same mistakes they have

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5 Timeless Productivity Lessons from Artists and Entrepreneurs

5 Timeless Productivity Lessons from Artists and Entrepreneurs

https://www.outsideonline.com/2234366/5-productivity-lessons-artists-and-entrepreneurs

outsideonline.com

5

Key Ideas

Consistency Over Heroic Efforts

Though inspiration can suddenly strike, turning it into a tangible finished product is a matter of sustained effort. It’s getting up every day and doing the work.

The best people in their field are the best not because of a few massive efforts, but because of consistency over a long duration.

Seek Mentorship

We all need to grow, learn, and take risks. Having a mentor or coach makes this massively easier.

Additionally, a good mentor helps you avoid making the same mistakes they have

Sleep

Sleep is not just about rest. It’s the period where the mind is shut off and reset. 

When we sacrifice sleep, we also sacrifice creativity, self-control, and attention span. When sleep is lacking, so is self-control.

Put Yourself in Good Company

Seek out people who know things you don’t and try to learn from them.

Surround yourself with positive, honest, smart, and diverse people who bring new perspectives and are not afraid to challenge you. 

Focus on What You Can Control

Worrying about the result is a distraction from what you really should be thinking about: how you can respond, and what happens next.

Your work leaves your hands at some point and what happens next is almost always out of your control. People either like your work of art or they don’t. 

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The +, -, = system
 Everyone needs to work with someone better than them, equal to them and someone who they can teach.
Taking small steps

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better. It’s about the small steps you can take each day to make a tiny bit of improvement.

Beat resistance
The biggest enemy of progress lies within us: The voice that tells us to work tomorrow, that we are not ready, that we are not good enough.

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Noise

Organizational noise comes in endless streams of information and communication. At the individual level, there is internal noise, which manifests from our biases, fears, and competing priorities...

Fear

Fear of failure, fear of making the wrong decision, and fear of our own inadequacy all affect the actions we take and quality of the decisions we make.

If you frequently question your ability to make sound decisions seek out a coach or mentor who can help you boost your confidence.

Attention

Multitasking slows us down as the brain is optimized to focus on one task at a time. Spreading our attention across multiple tasks becomes draining and leaves little energy for those tasks that matter most.

Pay attention to what you're doing. Turn off any distractions that may take your mind elsewhere.

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Energy-management strategies

Organization has less to do with making lists and putting things in a calendar and more to do with energy levels.

When energy is high, you feel ready to tackle any task. When it's low,...

Close loops in your head

"Open loops" are all those tasks that you've had on your mind for weeks, months or even years that are still not completed. They quietly drain a lot of energy out of you by taking up space in your subconscious.

Take an hour, day, or week to close the loop and do that thing.

Minimize task switching

To preserve your energy, focus on starting one "type" of task and finish it before moving onto the next.

You can even organize your days for various kinds of tasks to keep the different types of energy contained.

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Stories create “sticky” memories

...by attaching emotions to things that happen. That means those who can create and share good stories have a powerful advantage over others.

Facts and figures and all the rational thi...

Start with a message
First, settle on your ultimate message; then you can figure out the best way to illustrate it.

Every storytelling exercise should begin by asking: Who is my audience and what is the message I want to share with them? 

Each decision about your story should flow from those questions. 

Use personal experiences
The best storytellers look to their own memories and life experiences for ways to illustrate their message. 

Think of a moment in which your own failures led to success in your career or a lesson that a parent or mentor imparted.

There may be a tendency not to want to share personal details at work, but anecdotes that illustrate struggle, failure, and barriers overcome are what make leaders appear authentic and accessible.

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Bruce Lee

“Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”

Bruce Lee
Making mistakes

Mistakes are opportunities for learning and for creating something truly new.

And the trick for making good mistakes is not trying to hide them. Be honest with yourself and really know your own mistakes, so that you learn from them and that you'll never repeat them.

Reductio ad absurdum

It's a mode of argumentation or a form of argument in which a proposition is disproven by following its implications logically to an absurd conclusion. 

Take an assertion and see if you can inquire about any contradictions out of it. If you can, that proposition has to be discarded.

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Stick With The Plan
Stick With The Plan

Most training plans become hard, and difficult to stick to after a while.

Some sure-fire tips to stick to a rough and tough training plan, sailing through the low-motivation days:

  • ...
Picking Something Fun

You are more likely to keep doing an activity that you enjoy.

It shouldn't be a daily fight against yourself. Being consistent needs doing what you like doing, not something that you find miserable. Avoid physical or mental burnout.

Showing Up

To change your mental state, you need to change your physical state. Your mood changes based on the action you are performing.

Action is the biggest motivation. Show up and get started, and the rest is easy.

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Copying successful people

Putting highly successful people on a pedestal can unknowingly hinder our own efforts. We get caught in comparisons and it’s easy to forget that they’ve had and still have their own set of struggle...

Maximize every moment

Working well is not about maximizing every waking moment of the day, in order to get more done. And the focus on maximizing time may actually diminish our creativity.

Instead, try identifying and focusing on the few hours of the day you are most productive.

Setting Big Goals

To achieve sustainable productivity habits, it’s best to build up with easily achievable tasks.

Small chunks of accomplishment will amount to something big eventually.

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Higher cognitive performance

Our brain can change throughout our lifetime, in relation to factors like behavior, process, and environment. It means we can still improve ourselves with strategic and incremental changes to our d...

Find your internal rhythms

To improve your mental ability, you have to understand its natural peaks and drops throughout the day. It can be different for every person, so pay attention to what time of the day your mind is functioning at its best.

If you find it difficult to see what time of day your mind is functioning best, keep a productivity log. At two-hour intervals, write down your physical and mental status. You'll find a pattern of peak performance or sluggishness.

Multitasking is a myth

Most people have little pockets of time throughout the day, between meetings and calls and emails, with 15 minutes here, and 30 minutes there. To perform at your best depends on simple time management hacks.

  • Set aside one or two times a day to check and respond to all your messages and emails, then close your inbox.
  • Try and structure your day in one-to two-hour chunks of focused work.
  • Introduce a clear protocol for colleagues to contact one another in case of an actual emergency.

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Writing The List In The Morning

Although it might feel natural to create your to-do list first thing in the morning, it's too late.
Writing the list at the end of the day allows you to leave work behind and tra...

Including Too Many Tasks

Ideally, create a ‘top three’ tasks at the beginning of your to-do list. 

Long lists are a problem because most people aren’t aware that “we only have about three to six good hours of work in us each day.”

People also tend to underestimate how long a task takes. 

Including Someday Items

Aspirational tasks, like writing a book, don’t belong on a to-do list; instead, create a separate bucket list. 

Daily to-do lists should be focused. If you have a big project you want to complete, you can put it on your to-do list if you chunk it out into smaller, more attainable tasks.

4 more ideas

Defining "wellness"

It's a lifestyle or state of being that goes beyond merely the absence of disease and into the idea of maximizing human potential. 

Once someone’s basic needs are met (e.g., ...

How "wellness" is marketed

Wellness is simple: it’s about committing to basic practices as individuals and communities. And unfortunately, these basics tend to get overlooked in favor of easy-to-market nonsense.

Nourishing the 5 interrelated dimensions of health (physical, emotional, cognitive, social, spiritual, and environmental) does not require that you buy any lotions, potions, or pills.

Move Your Body

30 minutes of moderate to intense daily physical activity lowers your risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s, mental illness, and many types of cancer.

Any kind of activity that makes your breathing labored for a sustained period does the trick.

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