There are no tricks — only a change of mindset.
I have to be honest: unicorns, dragons, and productivity hacks do not exist.
We talk about them, we love them, but they are not real. And if you came here for your daily dose of fantasy movies and optimism, I can’t give you that.
But if you came here to learn how to increase your productivity by committing to changes in your behavior, you are in the right place.
Over the past month, I’ve noticed an increase in my productivity which flourished in the past two weeks. At first, I couldn’t realize what it was. I experienced creativity sprouts before, so I thought it was the same thing as always. But this time was different because even when I was tired in the evening, I kept going out on the terrace and wrote for hours before sleeping.
The terrace triggered a change in my mindset. I was sure of that. So I wanted to investigate the reasons.
Find your inner terrace
Most people believe productivity is about doing more things. But what if it is more about enjoying the things you do so that you can do more?
What if having fun is the simple change that can enhance our lives?
Think about everything you call procrastination. You could procrastinate for hours without getting bored or tired. So why can’t you produce in the same way?
You don’t like the tasks you have to do.
Perhaps because those tasks are more challenging and require your attention, or maybe you need to do the same things every day. And if so, how can you increase your productivity?
The key is to discover a way to enjoy those tasks again, as I did when I went outside and started writing. You need to search for your safe place and use it to change your mindset. This way, you can increase the satisfaction that your tasks give you and, therefore, your productivity.
How to approach your change of mindset
On the quest to find your inner terrace and transform your tasks from boring to fascinating, you can change your mindset by following two structures.
1 — Pick a passion and transform it into a job.
The first structure allows you to pick one of your passions and chase it until you transform it into a job. But the path of passion is not that easy.
Not every person can become the next Picasso, but many people can become small entrepreneurs dealing with art.
Also, most of us don’t even know which are our passions until later in life, when it could be too late to try. So this approach only works in rare cases:
- when you are young and know your passion
- and you have the rare opportunity to follow your dream.
In all the other cases, following your passion is an uphill road.
2 — Pick a job and transform it into a passion.
The second structure allows you to pick a job and transform it into a passion. And since you have more control over your choice, it is a more secure way to find success.
So pick any job you like, and approach it in a new way. Try to find its positive sides and the motivation why you started doing it. There must be a reason you decided to pick it at one point in your life.
5 Steps to increase your productivity
Whatever your choice in the previous paragraph was, it may be too late to change it. Whether you started by picking a passion or a job might not matter anymore. And even if it still matters, you need to shift your mindset and increase your productivity, so you need to enjoy your tasks more. But how can you do that?
1 — Cure your environment.
The first thing that enhanced my change of mindset was writing outside, where nobody and nothing could reach me.
Last summer, I loved writing in the morning on my terrace. And I was waiting for it so much that I found it beautiful writing again with a fresh breeze going through my hair.
It was somehow poetic.
So the environment is a potent enhancer to increase your productivity, and you need to take care of it.
If you find a place that relaxes you and can keep you away from distractions, stay there. Try being productive there, and you will enjoy your tasks more.
Often, distractions link with negative emotions. If you have to finish a job but get interrupted often, you will blame yourself for not being focused enough. And the negative feelings correlate with your task instead of the source of distraction itself.
So cure your environment of any distractions first, and then make it comfortable.
2 — Use gamification.
Gamification is one of the most effective ways to have fun while working because it gives you instant gratification. So you can use it to increase your productivity.
Our minds understand instant gratification much easier than long-term success. And you need to give your body some adrenaline and satisfaction if you want to enjoy the task you are doing.
However, I see many people using complex gamification systems that make it harder to achieve their tasks because they focus on tracking short-term goals. I’ve been there too, and I fell for apps like Habitica that transform your tasks into a game. But at one point, it becomes too much.
Now, I simplified my gamification process a lot. And I only need some tracking and categorization.
For example, I use Notion to track, categorize, and schedule my articles. And I also use two daily word counts. The first, of 750 words, is the goal of an ordinary day, while the second, 1000 words, is the goal of highly inspirational days.
You don’t need too much gamification to increase your productivity. But a little can help.
3 — Give up useless things.
Why do we obsess over useless things?
I will never understand.
But a change of mindset also implies learning to give up on useless tasks and optimizing those that are profitable.
For many years of blogging, I’ve been repeating the same errors. I thought I figured it out, and I wanted to reach success by myself because I was obsessed with being original.
But I learned originality doesn’t work in the content marketing business. And following other people is the best way to increase your chances of success. So I learned how to give up things when they were not working.
Yet, giving up too early could also backfire. If you back off a few steps before reaching the goal, you may miss an opportunity forever. So it is risky to understand when to give up and when not. But which job doesn’t involve risks?
4 — Work with others.
Some jobs suit better teamplay sessions, while others don’t. But even the most antisocial content creator needs to cooperate with other people to scale up a business.
Also, working together is much more fun than doing it alone. Not only because your tasks become fewer, but you can share jokes, knowledge, and even failures.
And if you still can’t convince yourself, you don’t even have to share work. You can work on your projects in a group without sharing any insights. The only fact of being in the same room with other people makes it more fun. So it can help you enjoy your tasks more and, therefore, increase your productivity.
5 — Shift your mindset.
If you can enjoy something once, you can do it forever. Did you ever think about it?
Once you understand how to shift your mindset and enjoy one of your tasks, you can repeat the same actions another time and enjoy it again. And repetition makes it even better.
Each time you repeat the experience once, you can find new ways of improving that experience. Perhaps today you are having fun working when the sun rises like me. But tomorrow you may find out music increases your productivity much more. So you can add up those consecutive discoveries until you shift your mindset and associate the task itself with positive vibes.
There are many more ways you can approach life to change your mindset and increase your productivity. But don’t think about your tasks as something painful.
Finding a way to enjoy what you do is the worst process. But once you find it, you can repeat the same actions until it becomes natural.
And if you don’t know how to make your activities fun, you can use five boosters:
- Take care of your environment.
- Use gamification to have more fun.
- Give up useless things associated with negativity.
- Work with others to increase interactivity.
- Shift your mindset and think about your tasks as fun.
So instead of a life of struggle for a possible greater good, focus on having fun each day.
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Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels.