Connect with us

A Better You

Stop listening to those self-help gurus – you can’t ‘schedule’ yourself into productivity

You’ve listened to all the experts, read the life hacks and all the self-help articles, and when things are really bad you find yourself on Youtube watching motivational videos on ‘how to get your life back on track in 8-steps’, or ‘6-minutes’, or through this ‘productivity master class’, or that ‘5 time-management principles to save your life’

Planning is procrastination. We might as well make that clear before we go along.

The reason why most of us are enamored with the ideals of perfect productive lives and eventually just get by – not really being as productive as we want – is that we spend much too much time planning, fixating, scheduling or itemizing our work. All of which are just monikers for the good ol’ procrastination and laziness.

You’ve listened to all the experts, read the life hacks and all the self-help articles, and when things are really bad you find yourself on Youtube watching motivational videos on ‘how to get your life back on track in 8-steps’, or ‘6-minutes’, or through this ‘productivity master class’, or that ‘5 time-management principles to save your life’

You’ve seen them all, and have probably gobbled down most of it. You know what I’m saying, so why is your work life not any better? What aren’t you churning out results in your career or school or whatever at the rate you want?

Because…planning is procrastination, not action.

It’s easy to get stuck in the analysis paralysis. For example, people stumble on an idea and the first thing is “What is the plan?”, “Let’s draw out a work pattern”, “Can we identify the modules and set out schedules on how we’ll handle them then?”…and on and on and on. We love to strategize and schedule work, and therein lies the problem.

Want to know why we always need a plan, in one word: Fear.

Sometimes, many times even, it’s not laziness, it’s the fear that cripples. What if this app fails, what if that idea is stupid and I end up wasting all of my time, what if I start this work-out plan with bae and I get tired before the end of the week, and so he sees me as lazy.

This crippling fear, of uncertainty, of failure, of never fulfilling our passion, of disappointing someone dear, of being inadequate…these fears are what keep us laboriously tethered to these plannings and schedules. As those give a false sense of productivity but actuality hide us from the real vulnerability of doing the work and seeing if it blows or not.

Whatever the task is doesn’t even matter. Want to start a business for example, you want to make sure you know why. Is it to run away from poverty? To secure a future for yourself and kids? Because the product from the business serves a need you care about? It’s important to note that there are no wrong reasons.

Well here’s a bomber: Sometimes it blows!. And that’s just life. On some days you’d feel great. Like you could sumount all your goals and what not, but on some other days, that project you have been slaving on might not seem like it makes sense anymore. But this, that period of fear, or uncertainty is where you must show grit.

What the self-help gurus don’t tell you about productivity is that on some days it gets really dark, like really dark. You flop badly at that product demo, you get scored terribly on that paper you worked tirelessly on, you begin to doubt the validity of your ideas or ability…it gets overwhelming.

What the self-help gurus should be telling is that to be productive at anything, absolutely anything, the first, last and only step is to find an absolutely indestructible and unshakable reason why you’re doing that thing – this is the only trick, or hack or mantra to productivity. Almost everything else on planning or motivation or whatever, is just people just trying to push interesting content your way.

Whatever the task is doesn’t even matter. Want to start a business for example, you want to make sure you know why. Is it to run away from poverty? To secure a future for yourself and kids? Because the product from the business serves a need you care about? It’s important to note that there are no wrong reasons.

The only rule is, make sure that reason, that ‘why’ rings hard and rings true for you. So that when things get dark, or the fear sets in, or laziness creeps in, or you are lacking motivation, or your work plans and schedules seem too rigid… and there will be days, you can fall on these rock-solid resolve and find the courage you need.

Any other source of motivation, say from a Denzel Washington video on Youtube will probably only see you through the next hour, but will certainly not guarantee productivity in the long haul.

You are your motivation, stop looking for it elsewhere and you’ll see how productive you become at whatever you do.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

More in A Better You