One of the greatest challenges we all face is the ever-increasing struggle to get things done. Our "to do list" are getting longer, the demands on our limited time are increasing daily and we spend much of our day juggling the mountain of communication that is directed at us, across multiple platforms. We need all the help we can get to simply feel a little more in control on a daily basis.
I think there will ultimately be a communication backlash, and we will disconnect more and more, and look for ways to avoid the growing sense of daily overwhelm and try to find some kind of harmony in a radically out of balance world, simply by remembering how to turn things off. But we've got a long way to go before we are brave enough to do that. So what can we do in the meantime?
For me, I need to feel that I'm in control and making progress from the start of the day. Most of the time, I feel out of control and like I'm not making progress from the minute I get out of bed. I've started doing something really simple to try and trick my brain into believing I'm a productivity and progress rock star. I make a point of putting between five and ten things on my "to do list" that are really easy to complete. And that in all likelihood I will do them, simply because they are a part of my daily routine.
For example, I have "get up" as the first item on my list. Now I don't have any trouble getting out of bed, I never have. But I love looking at my "to do list" and putting a tick next to the first item. From there I might get a little more adventurous and realistic and put something like "check my calendar for the day's activities". That's another easy one to check. Then I might put something like "determine my mood for the day". This is where I decide how I'm going to act and feel today. You get the drift. These are really easy things to do and I can rattle through ten of them in about ten minutes (if not less).
Having between five and ten of these types of daily takes lets me look at my "to do list" early in the morning and enjoy the satisfaction of ticking off a pile of things, which then makes my brain happy because it feels like we are making progress. I don't care that some of the tasks are ridiculous, like "get out of bed", as far as I'm concerned I'm still making progress.
This in turn gives me a sense of satisfaction early in the day and it also helps me to build momentum. It's 8am and I'm powering through my "to do list". I feel positive, productive and satisfied. I find that by starting the day like this, the mood stays with me the entire day and I actually do get a lot more done, and it feels a lot more effortless.
I believe that we need to do whatever we can to win the war on productivity and overwhelm on a daily basis. If we have to trick our brain to do that, so be it. We need to enlist the help of whatever techniques we can and this certainly works for me. Maybe, just maybe, it will work for you. If you can trick your brain into thinking that you are a productivity rock star you might just become one.