This is the first in a series of four blog posts for the seminar, “The Tenets of Productivity” by BrainStorm’s Chief Brainiac, Scott Doty.
In this series, you’ll learn productivity tricks, tips, and find resources for further review.
Productivity can sometimes mistake efficiency (doing something quickly) with effectiveness (doing the right thing well). When done properly, true productivity represents the synthesis of the two.
To be efficient, we need tools for speed and discipline; to be effective, we need to ascertain what vision of our future “best self” drives us. The latter is more important, and more difficult—finding a mentor or hiring a life coach is often a worthy investment to this end.
This seminar touches on effectiveness, but focuses a bit more on efficiency—that is, assuming you’ve got a sense of where you want to go, how might you best ensure that you get there? Following are a few tools discussed during the seminar, with a list of resources for further study in the last post.
Tenets & Tools
Feelings, THEN Tasks.
People often chase down a to-do list because they believe accomplishing those tasks will make them feel a certain way.
One way to live more effectively is to switch the order: Not “I will get these things done, and then feel accomplished,” but rather “I have decided to feel accomplished right now, and will prioritize my day to get things done while already in that positive emotional place.”
This cart-before-the-horse technique is sometimes called “resonance,” and is a powerful tool for effecting a mind-shift from “hoping for victory” to “already victorious!” People are usually far more productive when in this mindset.
Check out this video for more:
Body and Soul, or Nothing.
In essence, this tenet says “Put first things first.” We all know that we struggle to be productive when we feel physically sick or emotionally wounded—and yet we have been taught to press through, to power through fatigue and pain to the Promised Land of “getting things done” ahead.
It’s a deception, a mirage. The Promised Land continues to recede in the horizon as more and more tasks get added to our lists, and our cycle of “doing” continues ad infinitum.
We need to break this cycle by prioritizing good food, joyful physical motion, worship, meditation, human connection, rest, and everything else that feeds our body and soul.
If we gain the world but lose our (body and) soul, we have nothing. Productive people prioritize physical and spiritual health, because they realize that this is the essence of productivity.
Read more from The Tenets of Productivity series:
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