When introducing productivity to students, I always use an example of a factory worker. Each day workers are required to meet a production number. I ask students what happens if the worker doesn’t productivity a priority the first time.
Usually it is a warning.
On the second offense it usually means a sit-down meeting to form a plan to address and fix the problem.
The third offense means the person is usually searching for another job.
Students usually understand the importance of productivity for class, but there are always a few who still roll the dice and procrastinate.
Productivity doesn’t have an age limit. As we get older, it just just becomes a more dynamic term from a professional, personal, and physical standpoint.
From a professional stand point, three simple expressions have always gotten me through when I feel overwhelmed and have lacked a productivity mindset…
This is the first phrase I say to myself when I have the urge to become whiny.
There is nothing wrong with briefly whining to people we trust about not feeling great about a task that we are asked to do. However, there is a danger in staying in that negative place. Have a 10-minute pity party but move on to the next point which is…
This expression comes from my boss, and while it is simplistic, it has always provided me with more focus.
For the sake of a G-rated audience, I will just call it Get-Shhtuff-Done. 🙂 Divide and conquer.
This leads to the final step…
Prioritize and be deliberate.
Map out in your mind what must be done, and then write it down for the month and/or specific day. It isn’t enough to just make a mental note. Life happens, and without a detailed guide of what all we have going on, we forget some things or we devote too much time to things that do not matter or too little time to things that do.
Google Keep helps me keep my sanity for the day. It is super simple and I am able to keep up with a hectic schedule using this app. Everyone has their own approach to keeping track of a busy schedule, but whatever your approach, prioritize it and be deliberate in achieving each task.
Productivity in our personal lives takes an entirely different form. My priority people in my life, in no particular order, are family, parents, siblings, wife, and kids. When we leave our professional lives for the day, we must be productive with our priority people. They are the people who motivate us to go to our professional lives each day. So, why do we sometimes let our professional lives affect our productivity with our priority people when we go home?
Converse with priority people who don’t live in the same household, whether it be through a call or text. Touch base with those people to make sure they are okay. Never lose touch with the people who have always been there for you, even in your worst times.
Continue dating your spouse. That sounds a little silly, but it is OH. SO. POWERFUL. Ask how his/her day was. Go out alone together for dinner. Exercise together. Watch a movie together. Whatever it is, never give up what ignited the flame in the first place.
We are our kids’ worlds. We! Not a screen! Netflix is not the nanny! We must put our devices to the side and play with our own toys instead of allowing our kids to watch other kids play with toys on YouTube. Make up a scavenger hunt and go outside and search for things to get some fresh air. Go on a fishing trip. Kayaking is great exploration. Get involved in sports. Socialize with others at church or recreation centers. Wean the screen for what should truly be seen!
Be productive with your priority people.
Physical productivity or being a cheat all comes down to whether we move and how we eat. I will be the first to admit that I fall short often.
My shortcomings are due to the fact that I let distractions get in my way. Some days I don’t even go to the gym. Allotting one hour a day for physical productivity should be imperative. If we don’t, then we are only being selfish to ourselves, and we are shortening our lives for the people I mentioned earlier who truly care about us.
We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones.
Fitness should be deemed a power hour and not a social hour. Once we finally push ourselves to go to the gym, we need to be productive with that time, since it is limited.
Go hard. Go fast. Be strong. Remember the reason we attend the gym is to increase our heart rate, shock our muscles, and burn calories. It does not mean to talk for an hour. We should be so busy catching our breath that we don’t have the hot air to expend by talking.
Enter the gym with focus and priority.
Power Hour: What is your plan?
The same can be said for physical productivity as much as professional productivity in regard to writing down the workout we intend to follow during that hour segment. My go-to has always been compound exercises that cause improved aerobic activity within the body. The majority of my workouts incorporate mostly body weight exercises. I am able to get a nice pump and my joints feel much better than when I push and pull extremely heavy weight. Others may like a heavier workout, and that is perfectly fine. Find what appeals and do it.
As mentioned in prior posts, if weightlifting is not your forte, get on a treadmill. Go for a walk and admire the outdoors. Swim some laps. But always, always, stay away from the couch.
In regard to diet, I love the moderation approach and a gradual release mentality into an eventual full-blown change of lifestyle as referenced in the article entitled No S Diet Results.
The Magic Pill Thrill
Make no mistake, there is no magic pill or new groundbreaking protocol.
Improved diet is a no-frills change of lifestyle that should happen a little over time.
I highly suggest a journal or have a way of keeping up with what you are taking in on a regular basis. The No S Diet I speak of is simply a mnemonic that keeps people in line and is so simplistic that it is sustainable for a longer period of time versus a restrictive fad diet. There are some phrases to focus on when we make diet a priority: More moderation. Calories in vs. Calories out. Food group balance. Again, this is not reinventing the wheel, but instead, it’s being very deliberate in your chosen approach and making it a priority.
In conclusion, none of what I share on this blog is new information, but I treat it as a revival of sorts, to keep myself focused, and it serves as something that I can look back on as a friendly reminder to myself. Let’s be the best versions of ourselves today.