Mind is everything – if you can learn to control your mind you can create your future.
Without a doubt, you’ve heard something like this at some point in your life. The mind is the point of origin for everything we experience, feel, and do and so it’s pretty easy to see how important it is to work on.
We often don’t notice how powerful our energy level and our state of mind is to our goals and how we live our life. But if we can learn to harness this power it can transform our ability to live and work and make us more effective at everything we do.
However, this can often seem like a relatively difficult task because you need to work on the mind on a moment-to-moment basis, and considering the ebbs and flows of our emotions it can be a very difficult journey to mastering (or, at least, gaining more control over it).
The Simple Method That Increases Productivity and Beats Procrastination Every Time
Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.
– Victor Kiam
Seven years ago, I listened to Tony Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within. For those unfamiliar, Unleash the Power Within was (and still is) Tony Robbins’ classic CD set originating from back in the days when self-improvement systems were still primarily published on CDs.
It’s a sprawling program that teaches a ton of really amazing things, but there’s one lesson in particular that has always stood out to me, particularly with regards to productivity. It has to do with Tony Robbins’ mastery of understanding why we do what we do and how to influence that on a moment-to-moment basis.
It’s this: do something you’ve been putting off and do it now.
That sounds pretty simple, and it is, but the beauty of it is in its simplicity because it utilizes so much of what we talked about a moment ago with regards to our energy level and the mind to change our perception and motivate us to take action. And it does this with the minimal amount of effort while simultaneously being productive. Talk about a win-win-win.
When talking about the mind and how it influences us to take action (which is really what motivation is), it’s all about perception. Do we feel good? Do we feel capable? Do we feel like we can create or be productive? Or do we feel like we’re trudging through the mud, unable to put words on a page, move our body to workout, or think or any good ideas?
The key is in how we perceive our ability to do something on a moment-to-moment basis, not how well we can actually do it. In other words, we need to think we can be productive before we can be (maximally) productive.
So, let’s talk about this simple but highly effective tip that helps us do just that: generate energy and shift our mindset to believe we can be maximally productive.
Action step: Pick one thing (DO IT NOW)
Okay, so the tip is simple. As I mentioned above, all it entails is you picking something you’ve been putting off for a while and doing it immediately. Let’s break it down…
First, pick something you’ve been putting off. This doesn’t have to be anything huge. In fact, I’d make a quick list of “things I’ve been meaning to do for weeks” and then order them by how hard to how easy they are likely going to be to complete and then pick the easiest of the bunch.
You want something super easy to start yourself off because the trick is, no matter the size of the task, once we complete it we’ll be filled with that sense of energy and motivation. So, you might as well pick the easiest thing you could do, even if it won’t take you more than five minutes, and knock it out.
By doing so, you’re filled with a sense of energy that is hard to describe. Think of a time when you felt productive, like “today was amazing”. When you knock out something you’ve been putting off for a while we get a semblance of that feeling because it’s like breaking through a barrier. We’ve been putting said task off for all this time for a reason, and now you’ve broken passed the barrier and proved you can do it. Done and done…and you feel great.
The second part to this is to do it immediately. I’m not kidding or being general here, I mean as soon as you read my last word I want you to stand up, pick up that phone, go there, do whatever exactly it is that you’ve decided to tackle first and DO IT, do it now, and go all-in (you probably already have something in mind).
A magical thing happens when we drop everything and decide to move forward in the moment: we’re instilled with a momentary courage, just enough to get done whatever it is we need to do. The thing is, after reading this you’re going to be motivated, but a day from now? Later today? Even an hour from now? Not so much. So, by taking action now you’re making maximum use of the motivation you’re generating by reading this to take that initial action.
The great part is, that action then motivates you to take further action. Remember that list we made? Take it out again and do the next thing. Alternatively, you could do your regular work for the day or anything else. The idea is simply to fully utilize this energy you’ve generated. Don’t stop, use this energy and this charged state of mind to generate momentum and let these little victories build on one another.
So, to recap:
- Make a list of things you’ve been putting off ordered based on difficulty.
- Pick the easiest one and do it. Do it NOW.
- Pick another and do that (or something else, just keep going and use that momentum)
Your job is now simply to use this technique to your advantage whenever you need it. In the morning to generate motivation for the day ahead, when you’re feeling particularly sluggish, or when you’ve encountered a setback and just can’t seem to get yourself up to take action.
Our state of mind and motivation are fickle, but by utilizing this simple technique you’re able to generate a great deal of energy and real motivation which you can use to tackle the challenges of the day ahead.