In previous articles we’ve shared apps and techniques to help you be more productive. But without the right mindset guiding the use of those tools and techniques, you’re not likely to stay consistently productive. In this article we’ll share a few building blocks to create a better productivity mindset.
Own Your Workflow
Just as there are different learning styles, there are different working styles, and if you’re not working in a way that is personalized for you, you’re not going to be productive (or happy).
Snowball or MITs?
Some people prefer to knock out a series of smaller tasks on the way to the Most Important Tasks (MITs) of the day. Others prefer to do the hard things first and start with MITs. While there are passionate defenders of both schools of thought, we don’t think there’s a “right” answer here, only what works for you. You know your own working style best. Leverage that.
We’ve said before that multitasking is bad for your brain, but it’s also bad for your productivity. Don’t do it! You shouldn’t need research to back up what you can experience yourself.
Time of Day
While Jocko Willink advocates for a 4:30AM wakeup, we know that others do better in the late afternoon or even early evening. Again, don’t worry about what the experts say: focus on what you know about your own biorhythms. When do you work best? Are you supporting that in your schedule or fighting against it? What changes can you make to ensure you are giving yourself the opportunity to hit those few hours of peak performance each day (because we all know it’s unlikely any of us is performing at peak all day).
All the most successful Gents in the world have a routine. They use that regularity to accomplish great things. This doesn’t mean you need to have every minute of the day planned out, but you should have a general idea of how any given day will look.
Pause and Reflect
Productivity doesn’t mean go-go-go all day. It means doing tasks and working in an effective manner so that you get the most done. Part of getting ready to chop down a tree is sharpening the ax. Make sure that you are taking time not just to reflect on how you are doing your work, but on the larger questions about your life and why you are doing what you are doing.
An additional way to help you stay centered when you pause and reflect is a fellow Gent (or Gents) to help keep you accountable. Without accountability even the most productive Gents can slide into complacency.
What works for you at one stage may not work for you at another. Be willing to consistently 80/20 your productivity: what 80% of results is coming from 20% of your activity? Double down on those activities, cut out what’s not working get more results, and give yourself time for other pursuits.
Productivity in the long term is mastered by the right mindset. Don’t miss the opportunity to build and strengthen that every day.
What else helps you be a more productive Gent? Share with us in the comments below.