“It’s never difficult to do things, what is difficult is putting ourselves in a state of mind to do them.” – Rimple Sharma, Leadership Facilitator | Mentor | Executive Presence Coach | Confidence Coach | Founder of La Joie De Vivre
Productivity is less about time management than it is about mind management. We all have 24hrs in a day. It’s about how effectively we spend those hours and how well we can manage and harness our fragile mental state and energy towards it.
Over the years of my Corporate Coaching & Training career I have realized that when I started, I often had set calendars, daily schedules, and routines. However, as the day progressed my mind would always navigate towards planning it all over again, based on what can I leave for the next day resulting in a jam-packed schedule with a lot of work piled up day after day reaching a point of negative return.
I started to realize it is more to do with my mental state, spending time procrastinating, or taking the easier way out than managing time effectively.
I found myself asking questions – What kind of work do I need to do right now? What kind of mental state I am in right now? Is there something I can do to get myself into a right mental state?
The goal of mind management is to align your mental state with the work that needs to be done.
The average person has 70,000 thoughts each day, and if you don’t learn to organize them, they have the potential to wreak havoc on your productivity.
When you succumb to the flurry of thoughts running through your head, your mind becomes disorganized, and the more you ruminate on intrusive thoughts, the more power you give them.
An organized mind, on the other hand, falls into a state of flow. Flow is a blissful state of balance, where you are fully immersed in a task, completely free from distracting thoughts. Flow states enable you to enjoy your work and perform at the peak of your potential. Research shows people working in a state of flow are five times more productive than they’d otherwise be.
A few ways that I use to organize and declutter my mind, find flow and keep myself on track for a productive day.
Take Control of your emotions and identify them.
While you might feel it is impossible to control how things make you feel, you have complete control on how you react to your emotions. Start with being honest with yourself about what and why you are feeling in a particular way. It gets much easier to channel your emotion into producing the behaviour or mindset you want. The key is to identify and label your emotions becoming more aware of them as you experience the. Figure out what is behind the emotion and move forward from there. If you try to stifle your emotions and tackle your work without addressing them, they slowly eat away at you and impair your focus.
Sustain your focus.
We all know that frustrating feeling of sitting down to tackle something important, only to quickly lose focus when we expected to dive right into the task. The best way to get your mind to start focusing and taking action rather than just procrastinating is to put away or turn off all of your typical distractions (phones, e-mail, social media), then keep an eye on the clock until you’ve done nothing but your task for a good 20 minutes, even if you aren’t getting much done. Chances are that things will really start cooking for you once you hit the twenty-minute mark.
Take the smallest step.
When you don't feel motivated, take the smallest step possible toward your goal. After taking that step, you're more likely to continue taking more steps toward that goal.. Taking a step bypasses that part of your brain that is alerted when you're trying to make a change.
Identify A Positive Outcome From Your Action.
To overcome your tendency to procrastinate, focus on what the reward is when you take action. This assumes the outcome is something you want. Be very selective about what you let into your experience and surround yourself with to keep your energy as clean as possible to achieve the goals you want.
Be Kind To Yourself.
Remember it is ok to take some time to come into the right frame of mind to do the work. However, you need to make sure it is done purposefully.
Bringing it all together organizing your mind to experience flow isn’t particularly difficult, but it does require attention and monitoring.