Productivity patterns - your most important employee is yourself
(by Simone Lawrence)
Do the same thing get the same results
Albert Einstein famously stated ”Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. If you are 100% happy with the results you are getting then stick with what you are doing. Let’s be honest here, for most of us there is always room for improvement in developing healthier rituals that can further serve our success.
Self care comes first and is non-negotiable
One of the most common pitfalls in creating the foundations for sustained performance is having a low level of priority for self care. Exercise, nutrition, mindfulness, taking time out to think, continuous learning, getting enough sleep are an essential and integral part of achieving our success, not something separate that we will do when we get time.
Figure out what works for you-yes you and only you!
The secret sauce for optimal productivity lies in understanding what works and what doesn’t work for you as an individual and designing rituals that work specifically for you. The gurus, the blogs, well meaning friends and colleagues all have tips and tricks to share that have worked for them and these can be helpful as a guide. What can be most helpful is taking a step back from the busy day to day tasks and booking a daily recurring meeting with yourself. This can help to create the most important ritual, a daily space to reflect and understand for yourself what is working well that could be further leveraged and what is working less well that we may need to address or let go of.
Understand what gives you energy
Identify for yourself the things that you are good at and enjoy doing the most. These are your strengths, your energisers and aligning your energisers to your professional and personal life will provide the strongest base for productivity. Allocating larger portions of your time on your energisers and creating the resources you need to delegate or outsource your energy and time zappers. Often the emphasis needs to be on what do you need to stop doing rather than starting something new.
Be your own project
Creating a daily log for yourself can help provide valuable insight into your daily patterns which you can design new rituals around and stop doing what is not serving you. This can be through having a special “me” notebook or a project planner again depending on your preference. Asking yourself things like: What were your most productive moments in the day? What time of day did they take place? What conditions were present around you at that time? How were you feeling in that moment? What would you like to replicate and do more of the next day? What would you like to do less of? Is there anything you need to let go of or stop doing?
Just 10 minutes a day at the best time for you, prior to sleeping, first thing in the morning, at the end of your lunch break before resuming work, take time to reflect and continually evolve your daily rituals.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and look to overhaul everything, start with one or two goals to capture a key change you would like to make and conquer this before moving forward into other areas. Simplicity and focus will get you there.
NO NO NO
It is OK to say NO to requests and tasks that are not serving you and the 1-2 goals you have identified for yourself. Develop a set of guiding principles, these are your filters through which you can decide how your prioritise what you say yes to and what you say no to based on what is most important to you. In this way you can stay in your most productive zone and not slip back into old habits.
Congratulations you got this!
Appreciate, acknowledge and reward yourself for good productivity and the small steps you are taking to continually evolve. There will always be setbacks, we are humans not robots. It is how we respond to the setback that will make a difference. As human beings we are not always wired at acknowledging the good in us and may more easily look for faults. Taking a closer look and spending time with ourselves may reveal that there may be more going right than what we give ourselves credit for.