Productivity Principles
Productivity Principles

How to improve today's reality, set new goals and move forward? 6 new proven principles of productivity for successful people.

6 new proven principles of productivity that have proven to be extremely useful to me personally - and, for sure, can also be useful to you.

Principle 6: Your goals must be relevant to the present, not the future

I got this idea from Steve Pavlina's book Personal Development for Smart People. And it is as simple as it is effective.

The point of goal setting is to improve the quality of today.

Until recently, I set goals that were a punishment for me: they served as a whip to keep me working. “Sacrifice yourself now for future rewards” was the rationale behind this concept.

Unsurprisingly, I also maintained a relationship that I hated - in order to gain benefits in the future. Fortunately, all this is behind us.

How to apply this principle

Set goals that motivate you, give you a sense of strength and energy as you focus on them long before you get the final desired result. Thus, there is no need to argue about whether to set goals for each day, week, or year. The only thing that matters is whether these goals can improve not only your future, but also your present.

How to simplify your life and become happier?
How to simplify your life and become happier?

Ask yourself, "Will pursuing these goals improve my reality today?"

If you cannot clearly answer this question, then you need to either reconsider your goals, or completely abandon them. For example, your goal is to save money. This goal is meaningless if you feel inferior to achieve it at the moment. But if this money saving today gives you the confidence that you can influence and control the events of tomorrow, then this is a worthy goal.

Principle 5. Want to improve something? Observe

Want to get used to regular exercise? Then mark the days on the calendar when you will exercise. Want to write your best book? Note in your journal how many words you actually write each day.

You can improve whatever you want if you pay attention to it on a regular basis.

When you regularly record what you have done in a calendar or diary (tracking), you are faced with unforgiving bare facts. For example, you note that today you wrote zero words for your book, no more, no less - an empty square for the number of lines written in your diary clearly tells you this. Nothing in the world is more revealing (and shocking!) Than stating real-time data - the bare facts about your real life.

Virtual friend and assistant who is always with you
Virtual friend and assistant who is always with you

And what do you think: Once you start taking regular notes about what has been done, you don't even need to make a conscious effort to improve the situation. This phenomenon is called the Hawthorne Effect: we change our behavior automatically just because we know that we are being watched.

This means that regularly taking notes about what we have done will in itself cause the necessary changes without any additional conscious effort!

How to apply this principle

Observe. Determine what you would like to improve in your life and create a simple spreadsheet in a notebook.

Keep a diary. Journaling is a great informative way to keep track of your thoughts. This will help you clarify what you yourself think about this or that matter.

Principle 4: Be Responsible for New Unexpected Ideas

I firmly believe that taking your responsibilities seriously is paramount to ensuring a rewarding lifestyle (as I said in one of the first 6 principles, “Keep Your Commitments”).

However, one big question arises here: if we set the goal of fulfilling all our obligations, we tend to strongly doubt about new things and ideas that suddenly appear in our lives.

Rejected new commitments are usually perceived as deferred decisions. In the end, all matters related to the newly made decision automatically enter our life and become obligatory for us, whether we like it or not.

What shouldn't be done in life?
What shouldn't be done in life?

These delayed decisions strongly suck energy and become the cause of delays, delays, in a word, an inhibiting factor in our life.

They not only shackle energy, but, even more significantly, force us to stop vital matters. Thus, the decisions that will potentially bring us the largest reward we tend to postpone to a large extent.

How to apply this principle

Be clear about unexpected decisions. Don't let important decisions get lost in your head. Write them down and work with them.

Write them down on your to-do list and take the time you need to review and detail them.

Limit the time to make decisions. Often we become victims of the illusion that it is worth waiting a little longer, and the decision will come by itself or it will be much easier for us to make it. In fact, this approach only complicates the problem.

Most often, it is more useful to make a decision and adjust to the results of your choice in the course of execution. Take the time and make a decision, parting with all the accompanying worries at the same hour.

Principle 3: Take it easy

When I create a to-do list, set goals, etc., I always mean that the mediocre and slowest person in the world will do it all - i.e. I am.

And here I am right: just as smart and dexterous is the person who makes decisions and makes plans, just as stupid and slow is the other person who is inside me - the “executor” of everything that was conceived.

Be memorable and vivid
Be memorable and vivid

The “Other I” (which is under control most of the time) tends to hesitate and slow down. He is looking for any excuse to avoid work. He wants his plans to be difficult to carry out - because the complexity justifies his efforts to avoid work and does not feel guilty about it - while he considers himself very busy.

So we really want to set goals, analyze, make plans; but let's treat everything more simply, otherwise the performer in us will begin to look for ways to avoid difficult work and important matters. Simple task lists, simple goals, simple reminders.

How to apply this principle

Use simple tools and systems. Don't overcomplicate.

Use pen and paper or other simple tools. Remember: your goals and plans are only means, tools at hand for your actions. And you shouldn't spend more time and effort on them than is really necessary.

Always look for ways to make things simpler. This is not just a separate, independent action - it is a state of mind. Always look for ways to simplify routine tasks and save time and energy on them. Simplification is one of the hardest skills, but it pays off!

Principle 2. New start every day

You can't be productive every day. There are sure to be retreats, regressions, failures. Sometimes we succumb to weaknesses, distracted. This is life and that's okay.

Get out of the swamp
Get out of the swamp

Do not regret wasted time, do not frantically try to make up for yesterday's unfinished business, do not look for yesterday.

If your yesterday was bad, start over today. I call this “productivity meditation”: if something unsettles me, the only thing that worries me is to focus again.

Do not analyze, do not criticize, do not evaluate the situation; just try to focus again on what is needed and get back on track. Be condescending to yourself and keep moving on.

The flip side of the coin is that if you have had too long a succession of good days, there is no guarantee that the next day will also be good.

So, take each day as a personal mini-challenge of fate: forget past successes and failures. Now is all that matters.

How to apply this principle

Think of each day as a starting day. Let go of all sunk costs: act as if all you have is today. Forget about tomorrow and about yesterday, make every effort only for today.

Don't play the same game twice. I use this technique with great success. This is simply a “way to avoid repeated mistakes”: if you have failed once, make it a priority to make no more mistakes in this assignment. Those. if you missed today's lesson, no big deal. But for tomorrow, your top priority should be attending this class. This is a guarantee that you will quickly recover what you missed and will feel in shape.

Why does nothing work out in life?
Why does nothing work out in life?

Principle 1. You already know what to do

Let's face it, for the most part, you don't need special “productivity systems” to get things done as planned and needed.

While I am convinced that tools such as to-do lists, goals, and observation techniques are useful, the fact remains that they are just tools. As with any tools, you can do without them or even refuse them altogether.

Simple goals can distract us from more important things. Long to-do lists can only show how busy we are, even though we're not really sure what to do next. In such cases, we like to postpone the planned indefinitely in order to avoid tasks that we find unpleasant for ourselves.

It turns out that more often than not we - instinctively - know in advance what we should do.

And usually it isn't on our to-do lists or diaries.

No system can force you to do anything. You can "prioritize" and "schedule a daily routine," but in the end it doesn't matter how perfect your lists are; it will take courage first and foremost to accomplish what really matters.

How to apply this principle

Listen to your fears. What are you trying to avoid?

If you are wasting energy trying to avoid something, you should pay closer attention to it. Learn to recognize your own tendencies to postpone or slow things down and learn to complete it, even if you feel uncomfortable at first.

If you fell, then try to pick something off the floor while you lie
If you fell, then try to pick something off the floor while you lie

Keep the most important things in front of your eyes at all times. Ask yourself the question, "What needs to be done?" Write the answers on a piece of paper and keep it in front of your eyes at all times. Make sure you can't avoid them. Get in the habit of saying goodbye to important things by doing them, not by running away from them.

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