IN LIFE, WE ARE doing one of two things.
We are either (a) moving forward or (b) falling behind.
There is no middle way.
- Sleep in, or get up (despite the discomfort)
- Do sports, or stay on the cozy couch
- Let others do the work, or roll up your sleeves and pitch in
- Take a cold shower first thing in the morning, or a warm/hot shower
- Write the daily article and hit “publish”, or don’t write at all
- You get the idea
And don’t get me wrong.
You need to rest. Getting enough sleep is vital. Blocking time for friends and family is vital, as well. And whatever else is important to you. You don’t need to push yourself all the time. Life doesn’t need to be suffering all the time. Heck, life also doesn’t have to be hard all the time. Finding the right balance is what matters most.
A healthy balance is necessary.
For you to perform at your highest level. Because that’s what’s required of you—if you want to make progress in your own life.
Let’s talk about moving forward.
Because that’s why we are here. If that’s not you, do yourself a favor and stop reading. This is not for you.
Still there? Ok, let’s continue.
Being brutally honest with you, I have fallen short on many items of the list above.
However, I don’t let setbacks set me back—anymore. I bounce back.
How? An all-in-or-nothing attitude combined with a getting-back-up mentality.
Something hard to teach; it’s a learned behavior. A habit. Now established for over a decade when I started my journey to becoming the man I am today.
I am not perfect, nor do I want you to aspire being perfect. Perfectionism does more harm than it helps you. In fact, instead of perfection, what’s required is waaaay simpler.
Here’s what has helped me get out of my head and finally get back into my daily writing routine.
I take one hour every morning—no matter which day it is—to reflect and work on myself. I also remind myself that I must do something daily (DSD).
One main action item for the day. If I get this one thing done, I’ve won the day. I can now either keep on working, or enjoy myself. The key is to determine what the one thing is.
In order to get back into my daily writing pursuits, I asked myself this simple question (and keep on asking it every single day):
What’s the ONE THING that moves the needle forward the most?
Writing this goddamn article. No matter how bad it’s going to be. Whether I feel like writing or not.
- Write it.
- Edit it.
- Get it done.
Nothing more, nothing less.
This is real productivity for me.
On fake productivity:
We should not kid ourselves.
There are only so many hours in the day where we can be truly productive.
Eventually, it’s about results. It’s about efficiency and effectiveness.
Not busting your ass off for 18 hours straight, neglecting your body and hating your life. Pumping your body full with toxic shit like energy drinks. Basically 99% of what people preaching hustle culture do. If you look closer, all they do, is busyness with a big fat “Y.” Not business. Not productivity. It’s self-destruction, to say the least.
In the realm of creative pursuits there’s a matching counterpart, as well. It’s overthinking and overplanning. Why not create and edit along the way?
More on that soon.
Let’s finish with a quote by Cyril Parkinson:
Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
–Mario M. Montreal
P. S. Have you ever experienced the following? You go for a run/gym/take a walk in nature, or you’re have a good conversation with a friend about seemingly unrelated topics… You come back home. And suddenly you feel more energized, focused, and motivated to do the actual work? This is the power of true productivity.
Further, chances are that you’ve gotten new ideas and insights; while before you were stuck in your head, had no clarity, nor motivation to keep going? That, again, is the power of true productivity.