Productivity Begins in Your Mind
Your mind – it’s powerful! It can work for you or against you! You get to choose! The way you think about time and what’s on your “to do“ list determines your level of productivity. Ultimately, the goal is to get more done in less time, freeing up space for those things that you keep putting off like self-care, connecting with those you love, or perhaps getting around to that something you’ve been putting off for way too long.
Productivity is not being busy. It’s about utilizing your time wisely so that you can accomplish more with less effort. That’s sounds pretty appealing to me! How does that sound to you?
No need to belabor the point. Here are some super sweet shifts in thinking to help you be more productive:
1. My Time is Valuable
What’s limited is valuable. And there is no way around it – time is limited. Like everyone else, you only get 24 hours each day and eventually your days come to an end. That’s not fun to hear, but it is a reminder that life is too valuable to be wasted. What’s worth investing your time in? How does that match up to the reality of how you use your days?
Unfortunately, when you don’t value your own time, it plays out in ways that impede your productivity. Do you find yourself giving your time away or saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way? Are you overly accessible, allowing others to interrupt you whenever they want? Do you allow meetings to run late or schedule appointments back to back with little margin between them? These are signs that you may be under-valuing your time.
2. My Time is Abundant
While it is true that you and I are limited to 24 hours a day, operating out of the belief that you never have enough time has a very negative effect on what you are able to accomplish. That kind of thinking tempts you to hurry, over commit, and skip necessary breaks. Before you know it you’re spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast! Believing that there is never enough time might cause you to question putting effort in tasks in the first place.
Believing that you have all the time you need allows you to approach tasks with a very different mindset. It allows you to focus and get creative. Even better, it opens up the hope that God is actively working on your behalf and that He knows exactly what’s ahead, and how everything will come together.
By the way, this is not an excuse to doddle, but rather a way to relieve the pressure you might feel to free you up to focus so you can get stuff done.
3. I Get To!
Some tasks you literally are chomping at the bit because you can’t wait to do them. And there are tasks that you feel like you “have to”. Whatever those “have to” tasks are for you, start thinking about them as items on your to do list that you “get to” do. It sounds silly, but it is a little like choosing to smile no matter how you feel. Soon your attitude it drifting in a more positive direction! And when you choose to think “get to,” before long, you actually don’t mind those tasks so much.
Kids prove this point perfectly. When they are two or three and attempting to assert their independence, whatever you want them to do, even if it is something they like to do, gets a quick “no!” It’s their way of attempting to feel more in control. Even though this stage is temporary with children, as humans we prefer to “get to” rather than “have to”. Choosing to think “get to” is simply a way of taking control, while thinking “have to” feels like a loss of control.
4. Done is Better!
If you have a tendency to be a perfectionist, this way of thinking is for you! Shooting for perfect is not only impossible, but may keep you from ever getting started! Accomplishing something less than perfect trumps something never finished every time! How can you do your best within the time frame allotted?
Remember, you can still learn and grow and improve how you do things in the future. It’s a process! It doesn’t have to be perfect today.
5. Positive Habits Help!
Your positive habits and routines allow you to be more productive. When you truly believe this, you will be motivated to develop the habits and routines you need to accomplish your goals. If you doubt the impact positive habits will have on your level of productivity, you will struggle to adopt the habits you need.
Developing a new habit requires knowledge, desire, and skill. Which of these three is most challenging for you?
6. I am LOVED!
When you don’t feel loved, fear shows up! Your Fear Monster will tempt you to go to all kinds of crazy lengths to entice people to love you more – lengths that will use up precious time. Rather than focusing on who doesn’t love or value you, focus on the One who gave His very life so that you can enjoy a relationship with Him. Did you catch that? A relationship with the very God of the universe! Forever! That’s beyond sweet!
When you are confident that you are loved, it changes everything including making you more productive. Not productive busy, but productive smart because you don’t have anything to prove or to earn. You are free to just focus on what you have to get done!
When it comes to being productive, which mindset shift would enable you operate more effectively?
© Can Stock Photo / PushnovaL