that will help you to stay in the productivity-zone!
There are so many ways that we humans use to deal with our anxieties of living in the modern age. We drink wine, watch television, eat potato chips, or smoke cigarettes — these are all just methods of self-medication, to smooth-out life’s rough edges and frayed nerves. Getting organized is also a way to deal with anxiety. But it’s a much, much healthier way.
Do you believe that an organized person has a calmer mind and a better day ahead?
Technically speaking, getting better organized is not that difficult. What makes getting organized challenging for some people is changing their internal dialogue — the way they speak to themselves inside their mind about what they want to get done — and installing new, positive little habits into their day.
But, actual productivity habits themselves are pretty simple.
The Kind of Difference that Being Organized Makes
Have you ever had a day similar to this, when you get an enormous amount accomplished before 11:00am?
- ⊙ you wake early
- ⊙ exercise
- ⊙ have a healthy breakfast
- ⊙ drop everyone off at school
- ⊙ have two back-to-back meetings
- ⊙ land a new account
- ⊙ return all of yesterday’s calls
- ⊙ and outline a new report
…and it’s not even lunchtime yet!
However, you’ve probably also had days, when you look up at the clock, and it’s 11am, and all you’ve accomplished is to check your email!
This sort of thing happens a lot, and it’s an example of the kind of difference that being truly organized makes.
To be a get-it-done person, you’ve got to swim in a different direction from that of our current culture.”
When you have your systems in place — you have a plan for the day and a way to stay on track when potential distractions present themselves — you can flow through your day accomplishing one task after the other, and it feels fantastic!
3 Steps to Getting Yourself Organized
Anyone can know what it feels like to be in “the productivity zone!” The productivity zone is a place that organized people inhabit that feels happy, effective, and prosperous. True productivity is about having a:
- holding a clear intention
- having systems and tools that work uniquely well for you
- having a positive attitude
The Joy of Self-Efficiency
As you might already know, I’m pretty fascinated by the topic of self-efficiency (which, of course, goes hand-in-hand with being organized). To me, it’s like a fun game — to see how much I can get done during a typical day if I’m really organized.
The pay-off to this game is pretty big: the more organized you are, the more free time you will have left over for relaxation and recreation — to spend quality time with your friends, family and children, and also to engage in those activities that you enjoy and feel passionately about.
I like these insights from Jessica Stillman at BNET’s Entry-Level Rebel, in which she debunks some common myths about how to get-things-done. These principles are counter-intuitve, yet often accurate:
- ▸ your productivity will vary wildly from day to day — this is normal
- ▸ working more hours means getting less done
- ▸ working stressfully means getting less done
- ▸ procrastination can be good for you (you can’t get it all done in one day!)
- ▸ happiness is the ultimate productivity enhancer
The bullet point that I least agree with is “procrastination can be good,” because I do believe that, every now and then, it’s best to take that one thing from your task list that has been there the longest, and just gut-it-out and get-it-done.
But perhaps Stillman meant that it’s better to procrastinate a task than to burn yourself out — which I totally agree with. And I think Stillman also means, that — like it or not — sometimes you have to procrastinate some tasks because higher-prioritized tasks will be the focus of the day. Which is true.
The big, ultimate point here is this:
it’s very hard to be awesome at anything if you just “wing it” each day.
When it comes to improving your own personal productivity, you simply can’t do what mostly everyone else does, which is to “react” to their day. You have to be organized.
Do not swim with the other reactive-fishies! To be a get-it-done person, you’ve got to swim in a different direction from that of our current culture.
I’m tellin’ ya, here and now, and please believe me: it’s in your best interests to, periodically, look objectively and consciously at how you habitually spend your time each day.
I mean, really look at it.
Evaluate, and determine where you can make small improvements. Then, play around with different efficiency systems until you find ones that work particularly well for you.
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