We all want more productivity. It’s hidden somewhere in our genes, that desire to want more and to be more. We all want to achieve something but most often, we mostly want to impress others: our boss, our friends, our family, our neighbours…
Most of us, myself included, are also easily provoked into being more productive: a little nudge by our boss, a colleague that got the coveted promotion, friends that seem to be more successful, neighbours that swim around in there new in-ground pool while you’re toasting away in the heat, seating on your empty deck.
It’s no surprise that there are literally thousands of books relating to productivity.
I know this because I personally own and have read, plenty of these books, some of them, more then once.
As much as I enjoyed reading most of these books, they all pretty much concluded to the same advice: establish a routine, wake up early, exercise and eat well, schedule events ahead of time, keep a tight agenda and refer to it frequently, make a list of your goals and how you’re going to reach them…
Throughout my career as a corporate tax lawyer, I implemented many of those advices: I woke up early (4:45am), kept a tight agenda (scheduled at 30 minute intervals), followed an army-like routine, exercised and ate well.
Was I productive? YES!
Was I completely depleted? YES!
Every new goal I reached left me empty once the euphoria of the achievement had passed. All my energy had been spent on feeding the “productivity” monster yet nothing was feeding me back.
I knew something had to give. I needed to find another way to be productive, in all areas of my life.
So I dug through my spiritual books, attended meditation seminars, weekend wellness retreats and sought out people much wiser that I.
And after years of searching, implementing, testing and getting the tangible results I was looking for, I narrowed it down to what I call the 7 unconventional keys to increase productivity.
This isn’t about waking up earlier or setting a rigid routine. This is about being productive and achieving your goals while feeling complete. And I couldn’t be more excited to share this with you.
7 unconventional keys to increase productivity
A mantra is a word, set of words or sound that you repeat in your head or out loud, to help you concentrate, sharpen your focus, find calmness and encourage you.In yogic circles, mantras are often in sanskrit. Think of the word OM you chant at the beginning and/or end of a yoga class or other popular mantras such as Satnam or Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.But mantras don’t have to be in any other language than the one you speak and you can tailor them to what you specifically need. They are a very powerful productivity key.
Examples of mantras you can start with:
- Today, I am thankful for….
- I can achieve anything I want
- I am calm, focused and serene
- I feel happy regardless of the circumstances that surround me
- Thank you
This is one of my favourite productivity key.The reason I love it so much is because we live in a society that almost encourages negative self-talk. We continuously talk down to ourselves: you are not good enough, you’ll never make it, you are not qualified for this position.And when we’re not doing the negative self-talk, others in our circle are.
Negative self-talk is the #1 productivity-robber. It takes away your self-esteem, your self-worth, your motivation. It just sucks, plain and simple.
You need to replace that nasty negativity with positive, loving, motivating and encouraging self-talk. You want to tell yourself the same things you would tell someone you are totally in love with. Because that’s what you should be, totally in love with who you are.
Now I know that positive self-talk is not easy. It can even be painful at the beginning but I strongly encourage you to give it a try and keep at it.
I know it will do a world of good for your self-esteem hence, making you more productive at what you do.
Here are some examples of positive self-talk:
- My ability to do this job is undeniable
- I have so much to offer the world
- I am confident, determined and bold
- I can do anything I set my mind to because I am talented and I am worth it
Think like a kid
When I look at my 20 month old son, I am amazed at how limitless he thinks he is. In his mind, he can do anything. Even (or should I say mostly) when we tell him he can’t do something, he will find a clever way to do it. He will go around whatever obstacle is in his way to get to his goal.
It amazes me. It never crosses his mind that maybe, just maybe, he can’t do something or get something.
When was the last time you thought that way? When was the last time you thought you could accomplish anything simply because, and no one, nothing, could get in your way?
I’m gonna go on a limb here and say that probably hasn’t happened in a very, very, long time!
We let our past experiences and social conventions dictate what we can and cannot do, should and shouldn’t do. And I say that’s crap!
You are capable of so much more than what your past says or what society dictates.
The next time you are faced with a challenge at work or in your personal life, go back to thinking like you did when you were a kid and let the rest go.
You’ll notice that over time, your productivity will soar because you will become more bold, more creative and more willing to take risks.
Develop your courage muscle
Courage is not something that is innate to everyone. Some are born with what seems like an endless supply, while others have just enough to get by. But that doesn’t mean that you are doomed. On the contrary!
That simply means you need to develop your courage muscle.
Just like you would develop your chest or leg muscles at the gym, you need to work at it regularly, by challenging that muscle with increased pressure.
Make a list of a few things or activities that scare you or make you feel uncomfortable, say, meeting new people or talking in front of a crowd. And with those in mind, set yourself a daily courage goal.
If meeting new people is scary to you, set a goal to meet at least one new person a day. It can be anyone, the barista that makes your morning coffee or the vendor that sells you your favourite magazine.
If public speaking is not your thing, set a goal to talk in front of one or more people on a regular basis. Think about joining a book club where you can share your thoughts about a book you read and enjoyed. Or join a lunch time power walking group and share your thoughts with them as you power on.
They key is to practice your courage muscle on a daily basis. Start small and as you progress, increase your courage goals.
You will notice your productivity increase naturally because you will be more willing to take risks, you will be more creative and your approach will be more bold.
This one is no secret to many of you. In order to materialize what we want, we must first be able to visualize it.But visualization by itself is not enough.
Yes you need to be able to see, in your mind, exactly the outcome you are hoping for but most importantly, you need to feel the emotions relating to what you want.
For example, if you really want to get that promotion, it’s not enough to imagine yourself at your new desk. You need to feel the excitement of the announcement, you need to feel what it will be like to accomplish your new tasks on a daily basis, you need to feel the joy of sitting at your new desk.
The Universe works on a basis of energetic vibes not on thoughts. You need to translate your thoughts in energy and send those vibes out into the Universe so they can come back to you in a materialized form.
Practice visualization with the corresponding emotions on a daily basis and soon enough, your productivity will be impacted because your body will naturally follow the lead of your mind that is materializing what you want.
It’s no surprise that I’m including meditation as one of the 7 unconventional keys to increase productivity.
Meditation is the way you conversate with the Divine. It is the channel you tune into for your one on one time with the Universe.
Through meditation, you gain insight on your higher purpose. You gain a sense of self-realization and awareness that will bleed over into all areas of your life.
You don’t need to meditate for hours a day to see results. You only need to meditate for a few minutes, each morning, before everyone else gets up or on your way to work.
Journaling is the last of the 7 unconventional keys to increase productivity.
Journaling, or what I call free writing, is about allowing your thoughts to flow freely on paper.
If you’re wondering how this can increase your productivity, it’s a good question.
And here’s the answer: journaling allows your mind to release the excess buildup. It’s an outlet for your thoughts to flow freely without restrain, creating more space for new ideas and new energy.
In return, these new ideas and new energy will fuel your productivity.
These 7 unconventional keys to increase productivity were a game changer for me and have transformed my life. I hope they do the same for you.
As always, I love hearing from you so send me an email or leave a comment below and tell me which of these keys can you start implementing today.
PS: Click the button below and grab your FREE cheat sheet of the 7 unconventional keys to increase productivity. It includes even more productivity insights!