When most people think of productivity, they think of it in terms of tasks. Getting things done; efficiently and effectively. To accomplish tasks and to do work. While this may be true, I believe productivity is a state of mind. One that requires you to consciously enter in order to be productive. Once you enter the productive state, you will produce results.
This state of mind can be entered easily, when you know what it feels like.
The next time you are working productively, notice how your body feels (relaxed, tingly, etc.), how your mind feels (focused, confident, etc.). Really take note of your feelings until you have a solid picture in your head of what this state means to you. Once you know this, you can harness the state and achieve it in a more effective manner
Why do so many people spend so much of their time engaged in meaningless tasks? Why is it that we all have moments where we just don’t feel like working? Well, it all comes down to the state of mind one is currently in. If you’re lying down and watching a movie or on your phone (and comfortable), then your body won’t want to be productive. You need to generate momentum with your actions to change your state.
Momentum is how you get yourself out of one state of mind and into another. It is essential to transition from a lazy, unmotivated head space to a clear, focused head space. Now, there are certain actions you can take to build momentum. I am going to describe a few things that have helped me build enough momentum to enter a productive state.
1. As soon as you notice yourself slipping into a lazy state, get up and move. Say out loud to yourself, “I am now entering a productive state of mind”. Stand up, stretch your body, breathe deeply, and appreciate the life around you. Feel the sensations flow through you during the stretch, and concentrate on how good it feels. If you continue to stretch and breathe deeply for a few minutes, your body should feel pretty damn good. Right after, go where you need to go and do what you need to do. This should build enough momentum for you to hit the ground running with your tasks fast.
2. When you decide you want to start being productive, laugh. Laugh out loud, and laugh loud. It doesn’t matter if you feel the need to laugh or not, just start laughing. Think about how silly it is that you were previously wasting your time for so long. Think about how you are proactively changing your state, while other people sit around procrastinating. After a solid 10-15 seconds of laughing, and another 15 to take in the fact that it’s this easy to change your state, start doing your tasks.
These two exercises have greatly helped me enter a state where momentum comes easily. The most important thing you should do after trying these is start your work right away. For me, if I then work for at least 10-15 minutes, I’m fully immersed in a productivity head space, and won’t want to stop.
Let me know if these exercises work for you, and post in the comments any other state-changing tips that you have!