Simple Productivity Tip To Break Through Barriers

Today’s message is about productivity and performance, it’s extremely simple, yet super powerful…when applied. This tip is perfectly summed up in a quote by one of my favorite authors James Clear: “The more disciplined your environment is, the less disciplined you need to be. Don’t swim upstream.” 

Coming across this quote is fortuitous since it’s what I needed to be reminded of most right now. Perhaps you are in the same situation?

The past couple days have been less than stellar from a productivity standpoint. There are so many tasks to do that I allowed myself to get caught up in the rush of trying to “get everything done” and failing to look at the reason I was struggling to get the right things done.

Seeing this quote helped me reframe my perspective, cut through the clutter, and get back to doing what was most important and moving me forward. If you’ve found yourself in the same situation, let’s look a little closer at James’s tip.

PRODUCTIVITY TIP: Create a more disciplined environment

This tip works at both the practical and psychological levels, for both work, and your health and fitness. At the practical level, things like the distractions in our workspace detract from our focus and productivity.

This could be clutter on your desk, additional tabs open, notifications popping up on your computer, the “dings” of new emails or texts, or kids and pets running around. At the psychological level, it requires dealing with our mental “clutter”.

Perhaps it’s distracting thoughts, that song on repeat in your head, and the constant self-talk or analysis of our day that robs us of focus and productivity. Regardless of the type of environmental stimuli that are distracting us, progress requires two simple steps.

Make the POSITIVE things more OBVIOUS and remove the NEGATIVE things

Make the POSITIVE things more OBVIOUS and remove the NEGATIVE things in your environment, or at least make them harder to do. Essentially, this tip is about putting the positive front and centre and getting rid of the negative as much as possible.

For example, cleaning your desk, finding a quiet place to work, closing down all browser tabs except the one you are working on, turning off notifications and putting a post-it with your most important task at the top of your computer monitor are ways to stay focused and avoid distractions.

For fitness, it’s things like laying your workout clothes beside the bed, putting a dumbbell in plain view as a reminder to workout, and pre-setting reminders and calendar invites for your exercise sessions.

RELAX, BREATHE, REST!

Practicing meditation, mindfulness, or just deep breathing can help you clear the mental distractions and “put them away” when you need to focus. During the work day, you can also use the Pomodoro method to keep the positive front and centre and push distractions for a set period of time.

This is simply setting a work-rest interval where you COMPLETELY focus on a specific task for a short period of time (i.e. 25 minutes), and then REST or do something different for an even smaller period of time (i.e. 5 minutes).

By giving yourself permission to “unwind” or “waste time” after the work period, you are much more likely to maintain your focus during the work interval. This has the potential to dramatically increase your productivity.

In fact, I am using it to write this post and it’s working great! 🙂

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Have a happy, healthy, and productive day!

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Comments

  1. Great productivity tips! Thanks! I’m gonna be trying to implement some of these in my life.

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