I’m sure all of you have seen and read articles on productivity hacks that promise you high levels of productivity and success, articles like, “10 Things That You Need to Do Every Morning” or “One Thing That Will Boost Your Productivity”, but you have failed to adopt and practise them not because the tips they gave were ineffective but because they were too difficult to be adopted into your current lifestyle. Things like, walking this amount of distance or having a standing desk or exercising every single morning.
However, I’m here to share with you One Concept That Will Set You Straight. Haha. No, I’m serious.
If you do not know, I am a master procrastinator. A good example is this article, I had the whole day to do it but I put it off till the evening, lying to myself that I am only productive then. I would procrastinate by looking through social media or doing things that do not add any value to my future. One other thing that I would do to procrastinate is to read articles on motivation and productivity endlessly (such contradiction) on Medium. I can never sit down and do work for an extended period of time unless it is something that interests me, and I honestly think it is partly due to my lack of discipline.
Other than my lack of discipline, I also lacked action and have a weak mind. I would rather sit down and think of ideas rather than executing on the ones that I have already thought about. I would also give up easily at the first sign of hardship. However, all of these might change once I practised the following concept.
When all of us are hungry, what do we do? We find food. If we are thirsty? We search for water. If we really need to pee? We run to the toilet. So, now, allow me to ask you a question, will any of these tasks get accomplished by sitting down on our chairs, procrastinating? No. It only gets accomplished if we stand up and move. This is precisely the idea behind the concept I’ll be introducing.
I’m sure this might not be the first such a concept is introduced nor I’m the first to come up with it but allow me to dwell in my own fantasy okay?
The idea is this, “Do what you need to do and nothing else!”
You might think, “that’s it?”
This concept comes in two parts, the problem and the most direct solution to the problem.
In my earlier example of hunger, when we feel hungry, we stand up and walk to the kitchen to find food. We do that because we innately know that that is the most direct way that will guarantee us food. Same thing goes for peeing. The problem is that you need to pee, and the most direct solution is to find a toilet. So, how do we apply it to stop procrastination and be productive once and for all?
You have a list of things that you need to do, and instead of taking them as things to be completed, think of them as problems to be solved. Once that is done, you have to find the most direct solution to the problems. An example would be posting an article on Medium. So, what is the problem? The problem is that we need to write an article. The most direct solution? Start brainstorming and write the article in a notebook or as a draft on Medium. You can see that there are no two ways to go about it, no intermediate step nor a route that allows for any kind of procrastination to happen.
This concept focuses a lot on the process of doing work and on the problem at hand. By simplifying the process into only two parts, it drastically reduces the chances for procrastination.
However, like most other productivity hacks, there is a certain amount of willpower one needs to possess. It might still be hard to push away the urge to check through your phone for notifications but know that as long as we are conscious of our actions, we will be able to muster the willpower to stop ourselves.
Therefore, we might not need to drown ourselves with productivity hacks that are too difficult to adopt. Instead, a simple one like the one above could be of most use and remember, “Do what you need to do and nothing else!”