photo credit Jeff Sheldon

How to Make a Productivity System Work

I’ve always loved reading about the next productivity system in search of the best one. But the truth is, there isn’t. It’s not the productivity system that’s the problem. It’s procrastination, discomfort and uncertainty or fear.

As with a lot of people, getting inbox zero is on everyone’s to-do list. It’s pretty simple, you read and respond to them, maybe check your finances, and prepare dinner. Being productive is super easy when you’re procrastinating the big tasks.

The best productivity methods will always suffer from procrastination.

When a task is difficult, people procrastinate, just like everyone else. The same goes for uncertainty. Download a new to-do app, organize our most import files, and start going through our emails. This all can add to procrastination.

It’s a lot more comfortable to go into little distractions and small tasks instead of dealing with big, important tasks. It’s so much easier to check social media, your favorite blog, and youtube. There’s hardly any effort in that and there’s that

not-the-productivity-systemimmediate feeling  of gratification. The hard tasks can you give you negative results and got to go through hoops to achieve it. There’s quite a difference between these two.

Here’s a few important key take aways that helps:

Take a moment to reflect. Really think about these little distractions and tasks. Take a break from the computer and take a walk, a shower, or meditate. It’s a small and simple solution that a lot of people overlook. This allows you to refocus and find out what matters instead of what’s easiest.

Remember why you’re doing it. When you’re reflecting, think about who’s benefiting from your work. Is a client, a loved one, or even yourself? How will that make your life better? Meaningful work always solves problems. Instead of thinking about it for only yourself, think of it for others.

Get used to being uncomfortable. When you’re away from your distractions, focus on only one task and feel yourself to be uncomfortable. Don’t worry, like all things, we eventually get used to it. It’s like exercising or diving into cold water, you will get better from it.

Expect the feeling uncertainty. We all don’t really know everything that’s going on in our lives. This can cause anxiety which leads to stress and unhappiness. We don’t like to work on something or think about it. We just rationalize our actions of not doing it. Really, uncertainty is necessary and even mandatory. Think about how boring life will be if you always knew how it will start and end?

This is what makes life fun – the wonder, the adventure, the journey, how you spent your time and lived your life. Uncertainty is jumping into the deep end to find out it’s actually not as deep as you thought it would be.

Yes, if you do it in large amounts it can affect your life in a negative way – so only do it small doses, it takes time to do this well every time. Then go for a walk, meditate, or whatever to take a breather. Then focus again on your next project. Then do it again. This skill set is invaluable for any workload.

So while you’re set in a productivity system, remember it’s not about you, but the problems you’re solving for others.

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Nick Mann is host of The Don’t Quit Podcast and founder of TyypoPrints, creating motivational typographic prints to make dreamers into doers. Currently writing Ready to Start, how to efficiently remove obstacles and starting the life you want because you can. Graduated from PLU with a degree in Graphic Design and residing in beautiful state of washing with his dog, Coco. You can reach him at Lady Gaga concerts, art museums, and at Nick@TyypoPrints.com

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