Every second, ask yourself: What is the purpose of this moment?
You are sitting in front of your computer, typing away trying to curb the fierceness of your thoughts, when an urge to look up an online sale comes along. And you step on the breaks of a 100 mile per hour train to full stop to skip to the next open tab and look for a few seconds. When you cannot find the item you want quick enough, you jump back to the previous tab, but the train is not there anymore. It exploded, and it took the tracks with it. And you try to go back to the online store tab but you realize you don’t even really need the item, so you go to where all days go to die: Social Media.
No matter how scrambled your brain is, or how scattered your ideas, you can always head back to the purgatory that is social media and scroll your day away and feel, if not slightly accomplished, at least normal.
May I suggest an alternative?
With everything you do, ask yourself “what is the purpose of being here?” In this moment, why did I set out to do? When you opened the lid of your laptop, what was the plan? What compelled you to do it? Were you aiming for a productive morning of writing before you ended up on an online store and then on social media? Make it your life’s mission to protect that purpose at all costs. No one is going to tell you what to do. Every truly difficult endeavor is yours only to traverse. There are no parents, teachers or bosses pointing you in the right direction. You have to point yourself, to force yourself to walk the way.
Find some tips on productivity elsewhere on my blog. But always try to only keep at hand the tools necessary to complete the task you set out to do, and nothing else. One thing at a time is way better for productivity than all at once. There is no such thing as multiple priorities running in parallel. The word priority is derived from the Latin prioritas, meaning “first in rank, order, or dignity.” The word itself contradicts having multiple priorities. There can only be one priority.
Do less, better.
If I was a person who ONLY made the right decision, what decision would I make right now? This is a question that should take permanent residence in your mind. It will help you make better decisions.
When working out, there are a few ways to perform the same exercise routine. There is the light weight high repetition count, there is a high weight low repetition count, and then there is the no weight version. All of them have something in common: they allow you to pick and choose your difficulty level so you do not stop moving. Ever.
Apply this to all other areas of your life and watch your day blossom, and never remain stagnant. Wether you are in front of your computer, stuck on a complicated problem, or frozen in traffic, there is always something you can do to keep your brain or your physical being in motion. Get up from your desk and sweep the kitchen floor. Or go to the garage and reorganize it. Do something simple that you have been putting off. Those things claw at your attention and hinder your development in other areas of your life, it doesn’t matter how small a task it is.
When in traffic, why listen to the same songs you have been listening to for decades? Either go check out that album you have been meaning to check out, or listen to an interesting podcast. You are what your thoughts are, they say, so feed your brain with what you want to become. In order to make better decisions, you have to have better thoughts. The only way to have better thoughts is to feed your brain and body better food.
Si what if your neighbors or friends do this or that? Do you take advice from financially or mentally broke people? You know better.
Ask yourself this simple question: “If I was a person who ONLY made the right decision, what decision would I make right now?”, and then do it.
Fix your morning routine. Consider keeping a journal, and reflect upon these questions.
Living in the moment is as important as looking forward to the next thing. How often an upcoming show, concert, or even a new episode of a beloved show have kept your mood up for an entire day or weeks?
Give yourself mini rewards to look forward to in the future to get through the tough parts of your day.
Do you want to write 500 words? Think about the video games or the movie you’ll be able to watch after you get that done. Don’t know how you’ll get up early to work out? Think about the delicious and healthy breakfast you’ll cook and eat after you’re done, and picture yourself drinking coffee or tea feeling like a champion.
Invent rewards throughout the day to get you through to the next goal post. Don’t wait until a good thing comes along at a distance, create them and place them carefully in your path to greatness.