Struggling to BE productive? Try to FEEL productive instead!

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SUMMARY: 

Being productive is highly individual. Who could possibly judge if you’re productive? You have a different sense of productivity. Your boss has a different sense of productivity. Your spouse, your friends, have a different sense of productivity. It’s a highly individual thing. One could go even one step further and say it’s an emotional thing. Because you ARE not productive, you FEEL productive.

How do you do that? How do you get that energizing feeling at the end of the day? That feeling that allows you to tick off the day as a success?

It all boils down to one simple thing. It is all about constructing and being intentional about your day. It’s asking yourself one simple question, which is, “What would make the day a day to be proud of?

“Day” here is not referring to the eight-hour workday. Think of the day in its entirety. Think about the whole day. It is the balance across your goals that counts.

 

  • Identify those elements that are very important to you and that you want to have in your day and in your life. Make them more present. Get rid of those things that are not moving you forward.
  • Don’t get hung up or discouraged by small missteps or failures. This is not going to be so easy in the beginning. Particularly, if you have been more reactive in your day and rather responsive than proactive.
  • Make a contract with yourself. Promise to yourself something that you want to do, then do it, and get rewarded with this amazing feeling of accomplishment.

 

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT AND QUOTES:

Hi everybody! This is Tasso, and today we’re going to talk about productivity.

 

What is productivity to you? When do you consider being productive? When I ask this question to people, the intuitive answer is when they get a lot of things done. When they finish their to-do list. When they get more done in a shorter period of time. When they work fast. When they’re in the flow, in the zone, and they have a high-throughput day.

I’m going to share with you another way of looking at this that might change the way you look at productivity.

I come from a very high performing, big corporate environment. I talked to many colleagues and peers, some more successful, some less successful. I’ve been obsessed with productivity. I’ve been reading blogs and articles, and a lot of books about this. And what it came down to is (if you shared the same interest for this topic and you would have done the same thing, you would have come to the same conclusion) that it does not matter how many things you get done in the day. What matters is doing the right things. And even when you look at the right things, it doesn’t matter, really, doing a lot of these right things. Just doing the right thing matters.

 

Do the right things

 

See, being productive is highly individual. I mean, who could possibly judge if you’re productive? You have a different sense of productivity. Your boss has a different sense of productivity. Your spouse, your friends, have a different sense of productivity. It’s a highly individual thing. And, I would go even one step further and I would say it’s an emotional thing. Because you ARE not productive, you FEEL productive.

 

Productive is emotional

 

Look at those bad days, when you sit at work and you get things done and actually, while you doing something you think of something else. And you say to yourself, “Maybe I should be doing something else. Maybe I should be doing THIS instead.” Or at the end of the day, same thing. You come home and the whole day was like “Oh my God. I did THIS…I actually did some stuff…but I should have done, maybe, THAT.”

And, remember those good days, when you come home, everything worked fine, and, at the end of the day, before going to bed, you look back at the day and say, “Oh my God, this was a great day. I wish I had more of these days.”

I was saying the same thing, “I wish I had more of these days”. I was obsessed with that feeling. I wanted to understand what generated this feeling. And, how could I copy this feeling, so that it comes again and again.

It all boiled down to one simple thing. It is all about constructing and being intentional about your day. It’s asking yourself one simple question, which is, “What would make the day a day to be proud of?

 

A day to be proud of

 

That’s all you have to do. You ask yourself that question, “What would make the day a day to be proud of?” And, when I say “day” I’m not talking about the eight-hour workday. I’m thinking of the day in its entirety. I’m thinking of the whole day. And, this is not something that you can do and think about in a minute. This is about really sitting down and thinking this through. I’m going give you a couple of examples to help you with this process.

So, you might be, for instance, somebody that has installed a morning routine. And, one thing that will make the day a day to be proud of, might be that you actually run through this morning routine every single day. Now, “morning routine” is a very, very important topic, I find. I’m very passionate about it and I will cover this, for sure, in another post. For now, let’s keep it like this and say this could be one element that you want to look at in your day, which will make the day a day to be proud.

Another element could be that you want to see some progress in some short-term goals. So, you might want to exercise more, move more. Or, you want to hydrate more, drink more water. Or you want to, simply, take the stairs instead of the elevator. So, these short-term goals, making any progress in those, will give you that feeling. You say, “Okay, these are the things that I want to track, and I want to have a look at.”

Another thing would be looking at your long-term goals. You know, what are the long-term goals that you have? It might be that you want to learn a skill, you might learn a language. Or you might want to re-look at your career and give it another direction. So, look at these long-term goals and say, “If I would show progress in these long-term goals, if I just moved ahead a little bit, this would make the day a day to be proud of.”

And, then very, very, important, your behavior. If there’s something that you wanted to change. For instance, you wanted to be calmer with your kids, you wanted to be more understanding with your spouse, you wanted to be more open and listen to your colleagues at work. If you would make progress in this regard, this is also something that would make the day a day to be proud of.

And, of course, let’s not forget the play. It’s not all about doing things. It’s also about taking some time for yourself in order to rejuvenate, and in order to re-energize and come alive. So, again some things and some elements that might make the day a day to be proud of are that you take some time for yourself, that you watch a movie. That you play with the kids. That you clean up, whatever allows you to recharge.

Now, don’t get hung up on this list. This list is not exactly what you need to be doing. It’s an example of the things and elements that, for me, if I would be honest to myself, and progress in any of these, would make the day a day to be proud of. It is the balance that counts.

 

Look at the day in its entirety

 

What it boils down to, actually, is that you have, kind of, a contract with yourself. You have this upfront contract with yourself. You promise to yourself something that you want to do, then you do this, and then at the end of the day, you get this feeling, this amazing feeling of accomplishment, making the day a day to be proud of. And these kind of days are something that you want to have again and again.

 

Make a contract with yourself

 

How do you get started? These examples were some ideas that you might be looking at, but, for instance, for you, to get started…picture yourself writing a journal. Now, I don’t know if you’re somebody who journals. I do, because I think this is (similar to the morning routine), something that is critical, i.e. to close the day and take the lessons of the day. But, even if you’re not, just picture yourself doing this and thinking, “What would I like to capture in my journal? What would make an epic journal post? What would I like to see happening or have seen happening that I would like to capture? It’s important enough that I would like to capture it.” This is one way of doing it. And, this is a way for you to construct and be intentional about your day.

One more thing at the very end. As I mentioned before, this is not something that comes very easily. Particularly, if you have not been doing this before. If you have been more reactive in your day. If you have jumped into the day: woke up, run to the office, getting through email; being rather responsive than proactive. This is not going to be so easy for you in the beginning. But don’t get discouraged, okay? This is very, very important that you don’t get hung up or don’t get discouraged by small missteps or failures.

Going through this again and again will help you identify those elements that, actually, are very important to you. Once you do this, you will identify those elements that you want to have in your day and in your life, and you will make them more present. And, you will identify those things that you thought were important to you but, at the end of the day, demonstrated not to be as important and you can throw them in the bin.

 

Be intentional about your day

 

So, this is what I wanted to share with you today. It’s all about constructing your day, being intentional about your day. Asking yourself the very simple question, “What would make the day a day to be proud of?” It changed my life, it changed my day, I’m sure it’s going to help change your day. Of course, only if you actually implement it and take the time to reflect a little bit about those things that matter to you and that are important for you in your life.

Thank you very much for watching this. I really appreciate it. I hope it helped you. I hope it served you. I hope that, in some way or another it opened up your eyes and you might consider doing this. Until the next post, all the best. Have very, very creative, productive, and wonderful day.

 

4 thoughts on “Struggling to BE productive? Try to FEEL productive instead!

  1. I feel I’m going to have a productive day today…. Keep the posts coming Tasso. Great stuff

  2. Hi Tasso,
    Great post , very inspiring. I’ve currently been reflecting on the meaning of responsibility for me:
    – being responsible for the effects that my mission, values, beliefs, thoughts, behavior has on myself and on my environment.
    – to be willing to look on a regular base at the effects without judging , just accepting what is.
    – to learn from that and to take actions by reframing/changing values, beliefs, thoughts, behavior to have other effects

    Your post gives guidance on how this can be done on a short term/daily base.

    And as you say it has all to do with how we feel about how productive we are, how responsible we are for our life.

    1. Thanks Dirk. That’s come great reflection there. We are on the same page 🙂 At some point we will have to come to the conclusion that we are the architects of how we feel at the end of the day. We can “construct it” based on what we allow to enter our days and lives and what we focus and act on.

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