Last week, in Part 1 of Increase productivity with the 3 P’s, I shared with you how to not just manage your time but to actually get the essential, important things in your life done – the things that are going to move your life forward in a meaningful and significant way.
How many of the strategies did you incorporate this past week?What did you do well?
What could you do better on?
This week I’m going to share with you my 2nd P of productivity – your Psychology. Yes, productivity is not just about what you’re doing it’s also affected by your psychology and how you manage it.
Here are 4 strategies to help you with this 2nd P:
1. Manage your mood
Start your day grounded, calm and with intention. Having that morning routine I mentioned last week would definitely help in this regard.
Why is this so important? If you start your day rushed and stressed, with no thought to how it will unfold then most likely that is how your day will play out – rushed and stressful. If you start your day in a bad mood you will also be much more likely to procrastinate doing important and challenging tasks.
So if you wake in a cranky mood – ask yourself: How can I best help myself feel better now? It may be going for a walk, getting some fresh air, listening to music, meditating, journaling – know what you need and do it. Again your morning routine will definitely help with this.
Make a choice to start your day in the best and most positive frame of mind. It will make all the difference.
2. Limit the amount of decisions you make
Your level of self-control in the sense of self-supervision although renewable is an exhaustible resource. Our willpower and brain capacity both drop as the day goes on. Think of it like gas in the tank of a car – the more you drive the less there is.
Our brain responds in a similar way. The more we use it, the more decisions we are making – the more depleted it’s capacity becomes. So the more you can limit the number decisions you need to make, particularly earlier in the day – for example – what to wear or eat etc. the more capacity your brain will have to think clearly, to make those important decisions as the day goes on.
There was a reason Steve Jobs and others like him wear the same thing every single day – it’s certainly not because they cannot afford to buy other clothes. It cuts down the decisions they make! In other words save the gas for the things that really matter.
The fact that your brain capacity (and willpower) diminishes as the day goes on is another reason to get the important things done earlier in the day wherever possible, when the “tank is full” and use the later part of the day or evening to do less taxing tasks.
This scientific finding about how our self-control is exhaustible also helps to explain why, after a long hard day, you may be more likely to snap at someone or have one drink too many, or get into those cookies—you’ve depleted your self-control. So it is also important to set up your environment to accommodate this and make things easier for yourself. For example – don’t have cookies in the house to tempt you at the end of a long day!
Make sure you also pay attention to both what depletes you and remember to top up your brain with rest (meditation for example) and fuel during the day. Your brain uses a lot of your energy so make sure you provide it with a regular supply of nutritious brain-healthy nutrients. (I’ll talk more about next week.)
3. Do one thing
Stop multi-tasking – it doesn’t work – all you’re doing is dividing your focus and as a result your brain has to continually re-orientate. Not only does this result in each task actually taking you longer to do but typically it also results in you making more mistakes. In fact researches estimate that you lose about 28% of an average workday to multitasking and ineffectiveness.
When your focus varies so does your success – do one thing at a time and do it well. The sooner you develop this discipline the more productive and successful you will be.
4. Know your ‘why?’
What do you feel is your purpose in life?
What matters to you?
What do you want your life to be about?
What do you want to accomplish more than anything else?
Take the time to figure this out. Work with some to help you if need be. But the more clear you are on this the more intentional you will be in your actions and your life and the more purposefully productive you will be.
You will find that when you know your ‘why’ then your daily actions will be more in alignment with it, your ‘why’ will be your priority and that will absolutely influence the quality of your actions and ultimately your productivity.
What is your why? Take the time this week to figure it out! And if you’re feeling bold, share it below. I’d love to what yours is!
Also make sure you don’t miss the final segment in this 3-blog series where I’ll share with you the 3rd P of Productivity.
Until next week – embrace your inner truth, live your purpose and make your contribution in the world.
With gratitude and appreciation,