FOCUS ON PRODUCTIVITY – TO INSPIRE
As small or seemingly insignificant as closing a distracting browser window may seem, each little step you take toward good productivity makes the next step a bit easier. And every result of one of these actions, such as shaving a few minutes off a particular task, builds upon the one before. First it’s a few minutes off of one task, then a few minutes off a few tasks, and when this happens a few days in a row, it produces a bigger and bigger snowball of impact, not just on your life, but on the lives of others as well.
Just as a smile or words of optimism can be contagious and can raise the collective energy, enthusiasm, and positivity of others, so, too, can productivity. Good habits of efficiency are a model for others, whether they realize it consciously or not. We all could use a little extra inspiration in our lives. Inspire others to work better in order to be better.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 about the state of work ethics in younger generations, and the answer is likely to be the same. It is generally in decline. So how can you get more out of your employees? Be the model. Be the Ghandi-esque change you want to see in others. Once you find a product or technique that saves you valuable time, share it with your employees along with your personal experiences about how well it works. Not only is testing out a new method first-hand a smart practice, but your employees will see that you are not imposing a new strategy arbitrarily, but that you took the time to make sure it was effective.
And if all your employees’ new time-saving measures and productive work habits allow you to spend more time on the golf course or at the beach house, be sure you reward them appropriately lest they feel their backs are your footstools. It need not be much. You can reward accomplishments or achievement milestones with small tokens of appreciation like an “employee of the month” parking spot, a company BBQ (during working hours), or even just a name mention in the company newsletter. In this way, you’re inspiring through your effective leadership as well as your productivity.
It may seem as if your efforts go unnoticed by your employer, that someone else is constantly rewarded for something you might have done if… If what? If better tools were available to you? Create your own. If you had more time? Prioritize better. If you had more skills? Acquire them. You are captain of your proverbial ship, master of your fate. More often than not, if you see coworkers succeed in areas where you are not, it is because they have put more effort into success than you.
The answer to this may very well lie within your own habits. Step outside of yourself and look at you as your employer does. Do you hustle to succeed? Do you work efficiently in a team? Do you stay on task all day? Do you take initiative to improve the productivity habits of you, your co-workers, or the processes you follow every day? Do you possess the qualities that make you invaluable to your employer? If not, why not? What can you change? Begin with the tools and techniques described on this site. You will see changes in your level of productivity, which will change your output, and possibly even your position at work.
This does not mean that all employees are created equal, or that you could succeed as well as another in any environment. Your circumstances may not be ideal for you, or your skills may not be exactly what your employer needs for a particular job. In that case, the time is ripe for you to reevaluate your situation. Should you try out a different department? Is a change of job warranted? Do you need to go back to school to study something that suits you better? Life is too short to waste your time being frustrated or feeling held back from your true potential. Good productivity habits will not only reveal other deficiencies you can work to change, but they will benefit you in future jobs you may only have dreamed about having.
Like it or not, your career is important to your current situation. Your happiness at work will impact your relationships at home. Your income, though not the only factor, often determines whether you can take a rewarding vacation or pursue the hobbies that will bring you the most personal satisfaction.
If there were a series of incremental changes you could take to positively impact your job, impress your employer, increase your positivity and enthusiasm for life, wouldn’t you take them? Well, there are, and you’re in the right place to find them.
The disciplined productivity habits you develop for yourself will serve as a great example for your children as well. Parents are truly role models, and it might surprise you how closely they watch what you do and not just what you say. As W.E.B. DuBois wisely said, “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”
Imagine all the ways that your example can benefit your children, not only in their childhood, but throughout their lives. By modeling productive behavior, especially habits like setting goals, eliminating distractions, and focusing on a task at hand, you are setting them up for potential success in future endeavors, both work and personal. These habits benefit personal relationships as well, helping some curb workaholic tendencies by accomplishing more with time available, for example.
Everyone loves to be around a person who exudes passion and energy, the kind that comes with the pursuit of personal dreams. Once you embark on the journey to a destination of hope, promise, and possibility, you will find your enthusiasm for life grows exponentially. Your friends will certainly notice the change that overtakes you. Instead of not having time for any frivolous fun, you can now accept more invitations and participate in more activities that bring you joy instead of frustration. Instead of not being there for a friend in crisis, you can show up to assist, free of distraction.
On this point, take heed to draw and maintain healthy boundaries. Don’t accept all invitations to join or all requests for help. Establish the drawn lines early on, and develop a list of questions you can ask when a new opportunity arises based on what is most important to you. How will this benefit me? Will any of my other priorities suffer if I do this? What would I do instead of this activity? Once you know your own personal parameters, you can pick and choose activities wisely and banish regret for good.
From your immediate family like your spouse or children, to close family like parents or brothers or sisters, to even extended family like cousins or in-laws, chances are you will have the most impact on the family members in your life. To inspire your family is a noble endeavor, indeed.
Healthy, productive habits, a strong sense of discipline, credibility, and reliability are great characteristics to demonstrate to your family members. Become the source of their inspiration. Make them lucky to count you among their most intimate family members. It will benefit you both.
Has a stranger ever impacted your life in a positive or negative way? Have you ever been impressed by a salesman’s hustle and thought that you could do better at work if only you had his energy or enthusiasm? Has someone ever gone out of their way to do something special for you and you decided to pay it forward? The people of the world are nothing more than a community of people who have never met each other. We still have great influence over others, whether we are conscious of it or not, whether we know them or not.
Imagine if everyone tried simultaneously to better themselves, to increase their productivity, to get more disciplined in their everyday habits? Force and power to an extreme, right? You may never realize the impact you have on a stranger if you never come into contact with them again, but I guarantee you it happens every day. Don’t you want to be that person with the contagious smile, the infectious optimism, the extra hustle in their step that causes someone else to be a little bit better, too?
You might think that animals instinctively exhibit efficiency in action, but take a closer look. The next time you see your dog turn around twelve times before taking a seat on his plush pillow bed, you’ll see first-hand how you look when you waste time with mindless tasks that produce no result.
But that’s more about how your dog can inspire you. As for how you can inspire your dog, scoot him aside and show him how much quicker and easier laying down can be. Go ahead. Try it. He’ll thank you for it.
In the grand tradition of saving the best for last, one of the most important reasons to improve your productivity is to inspire yourself. Depression need not take a debilitating form to negatively impact your life. A few negative thoughts, a little lack of energy, or some disappointment at work or at home can keep your dreams just below the surface but, for all practical purposes, completely out of your reach.
The word “inspire” can also mean “to inhale.” Basically, in this way, it means to breathe.
And what is the opposite? Expire. Which has come to mean more than just to exhale, but to die. And at the risk of being too dramatic, what is life without inspiration, without motivation, except the patient wait for death, the daily grind of going through the motions of life until there is no more need or ability for those motions.
Instead, inspire yourself. Breathe life into yourself. Craft the productive habits and personal lifestyle that will create the time, energy, and ability to pursue your passions and achieve what you want to achieve: namely, your dreams.
The founders of Mush Monday believe that being your best self requires the discipline to change your habits. The level of productivity you achieve throughout your life, this year, this week, or this day can make a significant difference in how you think and feel, which impacts your overall happiness and level of commitment. You can take giant leaps or baby steps. We will help you. Let’s begin with Monday morning. And let’s do it together.