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4 Habits That Will Dramatically Improve Your Productivity

Deep Work

This is the holy grail of productivity when your mind is in high gear. As it is hard to summon at any time, we need to cultivate a routine, along with a system for keeping you consistent with your deep work. To get started on a deep work routine, you need to:

  1. Decide on a consistent time for the deep work.
  2. Start small, and gradually expand it.
  3. Eliminate distractions during that time.
  4. Track your progress and reward yourself on accomplishing your daily routine.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

4 Habits That Will Dramatically Improve Your Productivity

4 Habits That Will Dramatically Improve Your Productivity

https://medium.com/personal-growth/4-habits-that-will-dramatically-improve-your-productivity-6c451f55f71

medium.com

6

Key Ideas

Learn To Use Procrastination

The desire to procrastinate is a healthy brain craving, a natural need for novelty and curiosity. We must stop the negative self-talk we have towards us not working as a machine all the time. The leisure ‘do nothing’ time is extremely important for the brain's creative juices to start flowing.

Our feeling guilty and ashamed will only hinder our progress.

Observe Your Need To Procrastinate

  1. Observe the need to procrastinate, recognizing and being aware of your desire. This is called meta-recognition and is what all the Gurus keep talking about when they speak about awareness.
  2. Label and accept your urge to waste your time, but without any negative judgement.
  3. Validate your urge to procrastinate, increasing your self-esteem.
  4. Approach procrastination as a friend, not as a threat.

The Real Enemy of Flow

The biggest obstacle, the main villain hampering our productivity is always in your hands, and rarely in your pockets. _It’s your smartphone. It needs to be powered off for some time. Your laptop, clamouring for attention, is not helping either. Remove all distractions and notifications so that you can get in the ‘flow’ mode.

Creating friction between us and the open black hole of the online distractions helps us focus on work.

Get Organized in a Timed Way

To eliminate distraction, we need to find where we start doing it.

Often it’s when we are organizing and doing the prep work, the stuff required for us to start working. Getting yourself organized in a timed way (about 5 minutes) helps us deflect any possible entry point of distraction.

Deep Work

This is the holy grail of productivity when your mind is in high gear. As it is hard to summon at any time, we need to cultivate a routine, along with a system for keeping you consistent with your deep work. To get started on a deep work routine, you need to:

  1. Decide on a consistent time for the deep work.
  2. Start small, and gradually expand it.
  3. Eliminate distractions during that time.
  4. Track your progress and reward yourself on accomplishing your daily routine.

Productivity Tips from the Experts

  1. Bet your friend that you will complete something at a set deadline or will pay him something out of your pocket.
  2. Go to a cafe with your laptop and no charger, and see yourself getting focused automatically.
  3. While working from your home office, remove the TV from your work area.
  4. Get your trusted family members to change your social media passwords, and only give them to you once your assignment is complete.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Self-Efficacy

A person’s belief and expectation that they are capable of completing a task. 

When we don't trust the fact that we'll be able to complete a task (with good results), we're mor...

Value

The more enjoyable a task, the less we procrastinate on it. 

Boring tasks are more likely to lead to procrastination than difficult ones, that's why we keep postponing all the busywork (work that keeps us busy but has little value in itself.)

Impulsiveness

Difficulty maintaining focus in the face of immediate and more appealing distractions.

If we work in an environment where we're bombarded with distractions and we are not capable of resisting them, we're more likely to procrastinate.

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About Procrastination

Everybody procrastinates, but it depends on the type of procrastination: harmless or harmful.

If we procrastinate doing a useful or informative activity that we find refreshing, or if we take...

Making Decisions

People take a break or procrastinate because they don't want to decide anything and let their brains drift away wherever it is comfortable, enjoyable and easy.

If someone is tired, the mind naturally moves away from what we perceive as work.

Simplified Habit Reversal Therapy

It is a way to be aware of what is sucking you into habits that are not rewarding to you.

Example: Facebook is designed to be easy to check, and one can find interesting things in it quickly, leading to procrastination and time-wasting to someone who is not aware.

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Obstacles to Getting Stuff Done
  • The habit of putting off starting, because it’s uncomfortable.
  • Maybe you get started, but then constantly switch to other tasks.
  • You put off starting (or finishing) because con...
Picking one important thing

If you focus on getting the small stuff done but not the big stuff, or switch between tasks all the time, you’ll be less effective.

Pick one important thing to focus on at a time and learn to evaluate what tasks and projects are of higher value to you.

Starting

It's best done by focusing on the smallest first step and practicing just launching into that.

Pick the tiniest first step, and launch into it.

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Using a productivity system
Using a productivity system

The idea of a productivity system is to organize the stuff you need to do.

There are many systems out there. But you may have no idea which system to pick. You may start we...

The purpose of using a system

There are only three different kinds of systems:

  1. The system of other people: You respond to the time pressures of other people.
  2. The system of feelings and moods: You might work a lot when you feel creative.
  3. A system of your own design: Moods and outside pressures still matter, but they're not the only guiding factor on what to do.

Building a habit of a productivity system is about creating a buffer between you and your temporary emotions or external pressures.

Your system needs to fit your work

Any system is designed using a particular set of assumptions about your work. The assumptions need to fit your situation.

For instance, the weekly/daily goals system works well when you have a number of concrete tasks to complete. But if your tasks are open-ended or contain only one task, then the system doesn't fit the task.

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'Eat that Frog'

This is a productivity method developed by Brian Tracy. The 'frog' refers to the most important and most impactful task you have to complete.

If you work on it first thing e...

Clarify your goals

If you don't know what your goals are, most likely you won't be able to identify and prioritize the specific tasks you need to work on to achieve those goals. 

Write your major goals down and break them into tasks. Your goal tasks are your frogs, the things you want to work on first thing every day for greater productivity and success.

Think long-term

... to make better short-term decisions.

If you question the consequences of doing/not doing a to-do before you start on it, it not only makes it easier to find your frogs, but it also makes it easier to find time-wasting tasks that are better deleted from your list or delegated to someone else.

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Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life de..."

Brian Tracy
Work Around Your Energy Levels

Productivity is directly related to your energy level.

Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.

You’ll be better prepared mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.

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How we may be numbing our feelings
  • Procrastination and running to distractions.

  • Social media, messaging & online reading.

  • Video games.

  • TV & watching v...

What Time Management Is

Time is our precious resource. It is perishable, it is irreplaceable, and it cannot be saved. It can only be reallocated from activities of lower value to activities of higher value.

...

Eat That Frog!

Your “frog” is your most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.

If you have two important tasks, start your day with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Focus on completing it before you go to the next one.

Failure to execute

We tend to confuse activity with accomplishment: we attend endless meetings and make plans, but at the end of the day, no one does the job and gets the results required.

“Failure to execute” is among the biggest problems in organizations today.

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Default behaviors

They are actions we make without thinking (habits, routines, compulsions). They control more than 40% of our daily actions.

So if we want to change our lives and be more productive, we...

Inbox always open

This behavior keeps you from dedicating your time to meaningful work. Replying to email may feel productive, but the truth is emails are rarely the most important thing on your to-do list.

So instead of keeping your inbox open all day, change your default behavior to working on emails in batches.

Immediately responding to messages

Real-time communication sets the expectation that you’re always available. And for many of us, our default behaviors support just that.

In order to change this behavior, you need to set expectations on response time. Mute specific channels, get rid of pop-ups, turn off mobile notifications, etc.

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Procrastination

Procrastination is not just avoiding or delaying a task.

It also has to include an aspect that’s counterproductive, irrational or unnecessary.

Procrastination triggers
  • People procrastinate because of a lack of value [associated with the task]
  • because they expect that they’re not going to achieve the value they’re trying to achieve; 
  • because the value is too far from you in terms of time
  • or because you’re very impulsive as a person.
If timing is the issue

Many people are inherently more productive at certain times of the day. 

Work around these natural productivity ebbs and flows when you schedule your days. 

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