You are a self-help junkie. You love collecting every productivity hack. If there’s a new trend in the morning ritual, the task tackler, you’ve try it. And yet, your productivity isn’t improving. In fact, what you used to get done before noon, is now oozing into late afternoon. Heck, you even find yourself pushing tasks to the next day! This new routine you’ve adopted is actually making you less productive. Don’t panic. There’s hope. You have the power to change one thing and that one thing can change your life.
Hello Productivity Hack Junkie
Hi. My name is Linda and I’m a productivity hack junkie. At least was until I hit my limit – when my morning routine kept me busy until lunch. Every productivity guru wants that very first slice of my morning. ‘Do this first before anything else’, they say. But I can’t do ALL of them first! Something has to change.
The last straw fell one Tuesday after lunch. As I reviewed my accomplishments for the morning, I realized I had completed ZERO tasks related to my goals. Yes, there were check marks on a dozen tasks, but those tasks were all related to the morning productivity rituals, not my own goals.
Yes, I love doing those tasks, but they weren’t making me more productive. They were only delaying my true work and providing a false sense of accomplishment. It was time for a change.
Change One Thing.
To determine the true value of each productivity habit, I changed one thing at a time. Here is an example of my results.
HABIT: Daily Journal. A good portion of my day is spent writing: essays, books and workbooks, and thoughtful correspondence to clients. Did I really need to journal daily? There’s value in using writing as a method to explore thoughts, ideas, and even work out problems. But to journal daily simply to check a box was of no value.
CHANGE: Instead of writing daily in a journal, I decided to use it as a tool on demand. It’s still helpful, but I don’t feel obligated to journal without purpose.
RESULT: This one change saved me 30 minutes a day. I’m on a roll!
HABIT: Morning Meditation. I stopped my daily meditation and after just one week I noticed a difference – and it wasn’t good. With regular practice meditation helps me stay focused on the deep work activities that are so important to my success: writing and coaching. On occasion it even helps calm my nerves before a speaking event. That value is lost if I don’t meditate daily. But I wanted to try something different so I wondered – must it be first thing in the morning?
CHANGE: If morning meditation feels great, why not use it in other ways? Deep mental focus after lunch is a problem for me. This is a perfect opportunity to test the impact of meditation after lunch.
RESULT: This one change makes a big difference in my productivity. It feels as if I have two mornings in one day. That’s great news for someone who is most productive in the morning. I still have the physical energy dip, but that’s a different habit to change.
Change Your Life.
Not all changes are successful. This experiment helps to confirm what to keep and what to change. One small change at a time works surprisingly well. And over time these small changes lead to greater shifts.
What habit do you have that has added up to an unproductive or unhappy professional life? Make one small change to your productivity habits to find the perfect combination. One that inspires you to find your own way of elevating your productivity and reach your goals. You have great things to contribute, keep learning, keep growing, keep changing (one thing at a time) – for the better!