Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Productivity Project

One of the first things I love about this book is that it is productivity within the book. What do I mean? Each chapter has the time it will take you to read it for example, Chapter one takes 8 minutes 35 seconds.  Love the irony and productivity!

Is it okay and productive that I took a break to dance while reading at midnight with a glass of wine in my hand and dancing to some of Shakira's early Spanish works? Love! Needless to say, I was trying to be more productive and he was telling me that I wasn't by multi-tasking-- say what now?! LOL

You know those days where you just are dreading going, say to the DMV because you know how long it is going to take to get through the line just to get a number, then to sit and wait? Then your number finally gets called only to have to get through the rest of the process? Should be an easier process. And because of how long it takes, we just put off doing it, right?

Okay, I admit I did that. Now it is coming to bite me in the tush because I am in between having my license right now. It sucks. That was not very productive was it?

How many times do we put off things and put them on the "dreading-doing-it to do list"? How does that impact our productiveness in life?

Just like when we were in college, everyone I knew procrastinated at some point or another. You did too, I am sure. It went something like this...

So what to do about it? Pick up this book by Chris Bailey! I have shared some of his useful advise here and why you should read this book!

He gives practical advise. Sometimes down and practical is what we need. He has done the research and practiced all these on himself.

You really need to evaluate the values you have and how that fits into what you are trying to do. One that I can relate to very deeply is that I like him am not a morning person at all. I would much rather stay up until 2am and then get my stuff done. I can't explain it but it is easier for me, like it is wired in me. He tried to wake up at 530am every day and he was successful in getting to that goal. Then once he was able to do it, it wore off. After a while it caught up with him because it was not being true to him. So in all this reading and practical application, be true to you!

At the end of the chapters, he gives you homework. And you thought you were getting off easy? In fact, you are. Because he tells you get to get pen and paper so you don't waste your time reading a book without having the tools being used so you get much more benefit out of it. And don't worry, it saves you time in the end.

He goes through all the experiments he has done over the year and even shares his results on his blog
and I can't wait to delve more into to see the results he has produced over the years. Anything from the most absurd of meditating for insane amount of hours and even the small things. It goes to show that big and small things matter in both productivity and happiness.

The Productivity Project, Self Help

TAE! (The Core Things in Productivity) 

Time: How you use it. Productive versus Procrastination.

Attention:  Focus versus distraction.

Energy: drive, motivation, ebbs and flows

How do you utilise those three to work smarter?

Not all tasks are created equal and we need to honour that. I remember sitting down and doing the top priorities items as 1, medium 2, and eh-will-get-done 3. I would label them and this is the same idea! This was a great reminder of that.

He clearly does research, experiments on himself and even blogs the results.
We can look the other way on our own results, which most of us do, but if we want to be productive, logging our times in of what we spend on our time on would be important.

A great practice that I will start trying is every day when I wake up is to meditate and to figure out the three things I need to get done that day.

Also, what this helps to do, which he covers on in the chapter is not wasting time.
Okay, how many of us procrastinate? I do for sure!

What causes procrastination?
#1 Bored
#2 Frustrated
#3 When something is tough
#4 Unstructured or Ambigious
#5 Lack of personal meaning
#6 Lack of rewards (wine, anyone?)

He talks about making what I would like to refer to as the reverse procrastination list.

Instead of focusing on what actually procrastinate on, make a list of what you SHOULD procrastinate on. This could including checking email every hour, watching a lot of tv, eating snacks, etc etc.

I love this!

Other Cool Productive Techniques

1. Write a Letter From Your Future Self
What I even love is doing the letter to you from your future self. What would be your goals? Where are you?

2. Aging Booth APP
He used the app Aging Booth to see not only what he would like like many years from now but hung it in his office to show himself in a more tangible way what he would look like.

3. Working Less
He goes on to talk about Working Less and that if you are working so much that the list of to do's is not making much of a dent that is a sign that you are doing too much. Full admission- this can be me all the way.

4. A Maintance Day.
Oh how I dread the every day tasks. Especially when you have kids it is a revolving door. He says rather than sectioning them amongst the week he does them all on one day. Now that is not realistic for me but doing them over the week is better. He gives great tips of listening to music while doing it, doing with others, etc.

He then goes on talking about Zen within the busy. How is that possible?!
Everything from shrinking your to do that isn't necessary and giving proper time due to it.

He talks about the importance of emptying your brain and how the effects productivity. This includes on the maintence day to go through and go through yoru inbox, get rid of unnecessary email. This includes turning your phone off and allowing down time.

When you are able to try to implement these thing you can look back at the week and see what you have done and see what has helped you and what has hindered you. And of course with imperfections, you will make mistakes.

Are the places where you put your energy balanced?
#2 Soul
#3 Emotions
#4 Career
#5 Money
#6 Relationships
#7 Fun

Breaks for the Brains are necessary... Do things like...
#1 Exercise
#2 Learning
#3 Reading
#4 Mindfullness
#5 Listening to Music (Like I am doing right now... I am being productive :D )
#6 Hobbies
#7 Meditation/Praying
#8 Nature
#9 Relax your body
#10 Time with Friends and Families

Reprogramming and relying on AutoPilot is important. We need to build need habits and stick with them. There is something to having a rhtyhmn of things.

He also says to do one thing at a time and not multi task--- he obviously isn't a mother! LOL This is one I struggle with. Right now, I am listening to music, dancing, reading and writing at the same time! And it is helping more than just sitting down and reading. Why? I don't know. But I do go with the flow of my body. Sometimes I can do 1 thing at time, sometimes I have to multi task to get it done.

He goes over mindfulness which was his point of doing one thing at a time. More over, meditation will help with more mindfulness and intent in what you do.

What Meditation is Not:
#1 Makes you more passive
#2 Makes you less motivated
#3 Make you care less about your work
#4 too much time
#5 Hard

He talks about eating well, watching that what you drink is not out of habit as that is just borrowing energy, drinking water, excerising, and sleeping. All no brainers in productivity.

Re- Focusing:
#1 Disconnect from productive train
#2 Recall grateful things
#3 Journal about the positive
#4 Break down task
#5 Ask yourself for advise
#5 Reward yourself
#6 Know you will grow
#7 Make accomplishment list
#8 Look at cute baby animal pictures

I really like this book and it is backed by research, and his own experiments.
I like it and there is not other book out there like this! Buy the book here! 

I am going to use all these techniques both on my self and on my own kids even-- especially the meditation part! We all need to silence the outside world sometimes to get more productive and just be before we start our day!

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