For the Love of Productivity
We all crave productivity. We want it now and we want it all the time and we certainly want it for the long-term. We can’t imagine being without it, especially when we are after something – a college degree through a paper, a book, a speech, a website, or a business. Productivity not only gets us closer to those goals and aspirations, it makes us Feel So Good. We feel we have accomplished something, made good use of our days and our hours, and taken a step, even if a tiny one, in the right direction.
On days when I am vastly productive, I feel simply exuberant and yet calm, and the feeling feeds on itself and leads into more productivity, which continues to fill me up with complete satisfaction. It gives birth to a cycle and so long as I can keep up the momentum, it continues to dazzle me with heaps of productivity and results beyond my imagination.
Are you familiar with this addictive cycle of productivity too?
As with all things, there is another side to the positive, and the not-so-positive part goes something like this:
One day we slip and take it easy. No biggie. We still feel confident and feed on the exuberance of previous day’s productivity. Then, we get a little more complacent and take a few days off, while the demands continue to grow. The exuberance of that initial burst starts to wane and soon, we don’t feel so great. We then realize what we’ve done. We’ve broken the cycle and realize getting back into the rhythm of things is not as easy as we thought it would be and on top of it all, we are laying the groundwork for a new cycle: less productivity, more self-doubt, more procrastination, even less productivity, even more frustration, and self-doubt.
This can continue to the point of rendering us completely useless for the hour or the day, and don’t be fooled by how harmless this place may seem, it is where real problems emerge, simply because it is not so easy to detect the seeds of troubles yet to come.
So how do you get out of the bad cycle and back in the right one?
Should you write things down before you do them?
Is it more about organizational skills?
Do you need to assign a priority to each of your tasks and projects?
Is it about self-discipline?
Or is it about the art of one task at a time rather than multi-tasking?
Should you turn off all of those distractions once and for all?
How about using a timer to stay on task?
What about tackling the ugliest thing on your lists first?
Could you use a mentor or a coach?
The answer could be a yes to all of the above; the list above is what top productivity experts and websites and books recommend, and every single one of them has merit so remember them, but stay with me as I tell you the real secret to your long term productivity. Everything else is secondary and pales greatly in comparison. This is the one non-negotiable in your list. This is the one thing you cannot afford to sacrifice when things get too busy and when you are too tired and too preoccupied. This is the only thing you will definitely regret if you overlook it long enough.
The Real Secret to Long Term Productivity
This is a question I get asked all the time: “Explain your super productivity, please!” I am always happy to answer it. My productivity right now is at a level which surpasses many 20-something-year-olds that I meet, including my own younger self and what I was able to accomplish then versus now. And it only gets better with time and age, baby!
The real secret to your long term productivity lies in your health and your well-being.
How well do you take care of yourself? How healthy are you? How good is your posture? How well do you eat? How much do you sleep? And how often do you meditate? How fit are you? How flexible is your body?
And most of all, how often do you exercise?
Think how productive you feel after a really heavy lunch or after a week of eating really badly? Think how much you can focus when you feel tired from a hangover (I’ve never had one but I’ve observed a few who did! Not pretty!) Compare this to how productive you feel after an hour of cardiovascular exercise or a few minutes of meditation before focusing on your work?
Oh yeah. It’s related alright!
Your health is the real golden asset in your possession. It is at the core of what keeps you going and it is also at the core of what can seriously slow you down or stop you. Are you taking good care of yourself?
Excuses are plenty. Spare them. This is a fight between you and yourself. No one out there cares whether you exercise or not. But do be honest with yourself about your priorities, and when you speak that honesty out loud, you may feel differently about your priorities.
Over the summer, when I was writing my book and trying to figure out the direction for my new business, I made a decision to not focus on exercise for a few weeks, to “save time”, or some such nonsense, and it was a colossal mistake. I placed my health and well-being secondary to my work, and I will never do it again.
You see, there are not enough ways to count all the benefits you get from exercise but I have made an attempt:
Exercise clears the mind. Exercise rejuvenates the body. Exercise helps with digestion and perspiration is a natural purifier and detoxifier. Exercise combats countless health problems. Exercise makes you stronger. Exercise builds your confidence. Exercise empowers your body. Exercise controls your weight, even enables you to shed pounds. Exercise improves your mood and kicks in your creativity. Exercise gives you time to connect with your body. Exercise simply makes you happier, cleaner and more wholesome than before.
If that’s not an ideal platform and foundation for awe-inspiring productivity, honestly, I don’t know what is but do tell me if you know of a better way.
How to Find the Time to Exercise
But what about the time?
Who has the time to exercise?
Trust me, I hear you on this one.
I chase every single minute from the crack of dawn until the hour before midnight and I never get as much done as I’d like, ever. This is what you must keep in mind: Exercise does not take time. It gives time back. It creates space in your mind to think and to do and you can accomplish that work in half the time or a fraction of the time. Sure, I feel I didn’t do “enough” at the end other day but that’s because I am unrealistically ambitious but I am massively productive on a general scale, and I owe it to my strict exercise routine.
Logic tells you that it takes time to get ready, go out there, do it, come home, take a shower and get back to work. That is time you cannot “afford” to give. Add to that crazy traffic like Los Angeles or some such place, and you are looking at more than 2 hours to get your exercise. Yes, that’s not practical but the answer is not to give up exercise so much as to find a way to get exercise in the most efficient way.
That is why I created the 10 Minute Daily Invigorator, because everyone, including you reading this post right now, wishing for more productivity, has at least 10 minutes a day to devote to self-care.
Everyone Has 10 Minutes for Invigoration
Some of the reasons why Prolific Living product is one of which I am terribly proud: I created it in 3 weeks and it is the best-selling product with the most rewarding results. It makes a difference in people’s health. It is enabling one of my customers to quit smoking. It is right now being translated into French with sub-titles. And it is being used for a group of kids from Trinidad as part of an International Inspirational for London Olympics 2012.
The 10 Minute Daily Invigorator is a series of breathing techniques and body movements that invigorate your body and infuse your mind with energy. You can do it in the comfort of your home, your hotel room or wherever you may be working and looking for that productivity zone, the 10 Minute Daily Invigorator is bound to get you there. Oh and you can watch and do Day 1 with me completely free!
Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.
So are you taking care of yourself? Are you doing what it takes to make your productivity stay for a long while?
And have you noticed a correlation between exercise and productivity too?
Agree or disagree, but I wouldn’t know what you are thinking unless you share it. Leave us a comment below then!
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