Let’s picture a young man in his late 20s. He woke up in the morning, prepared his breakfast, took a shower, and headed back to his room closing the door behind him. He spent almost the entire day in there.
Later that day, he went out to hang out with his friends at a local cinema, headed back home a few minutes to midnight, took another shower, and fell into a deep sleep.
It’s his regular day.
This man does this routine every single day, regardless of whether it is weekends or weekdays around the calendar days excepting the few special occasions of every year.
And for someone that develops video games for a living, this man is being productive and doing excellent at what he does.
On the other hand, if I try to live like that for a week, it would last a century. I might even end up beating myself up for wasting a complete seven days of my life.
The point I am trying to make is that:
1. Being productive isn’t a static concept for everyone.
You first should understand that as an entrepreneur, you can be doubly productive even as you slice up someone’s definition of a perfectly productive day.
One can spend the whole day on Twitter having a good time being unproductive in their way. A social media strategist or promoter will tag that as one hell of a productive day!
Standstill the idea of having a good time becoming a pang of guilt blinding you to believing that to be productive you’ve to always strain yourself beyond your capacitated limit, and do something unnervingly hectic.
You, my friend, at one time or the other must get out of your comfort zone and go the extra mile. But that doesn’t, in any way, means that you can’t be productive as you flow through the day being yourself and enjoying every bit of it.
You shouldn’t have to go through every day as a trauma. If you do that, then you’re being traumatic and not productive. It is what it is.
There is a thin line between your actions and how powerful your thoughts can change what you make out of them. Hence the terms pessimist, optimist, opportunist, and any other -ists that you can think of.
2. What works for others might not always work for you.
“… the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you’re copying these [successful] guys, you aren’t learning from them.”
The above statement is made by the co-founder of PayPal and an investor in hundreds of startups, including Facebook and SpaceX, in the person of Peter Thiel in his book “Zero to One”.
Then why try so hard to be the present Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page or Bill Gates?
To figure out what works for you is no one’s responsibility but yours, no matter how long that takes you. What works for so many is reasonable, but nobody as a person understood your very nature more than you.
We can be inspired by other people. But the most important thing to keep in mind whenever we read someone’s success story, listened to a podcast, or even read someone’s blog is to try to take as many pointers as possible to aid us in figuring out what works best for us.
This is the best way to ignite productivity.
Lewis Howes made sure that his readers of “The School of Greatness” understood the importance of trusting and believing in one’s ability to make the right decisions all by themselves without turning them into programmable walking machines by piles of philosophies.
To demonstrate, Lewis began or end each principle particularly about himself with: “This is what works for me…”
By extension, Lewis isn’t compelling you to copy and paste his routines. But to think, and think hard as to what will work for you too.
Observe how artists draw, with so much passion, you can see their love for what they do vividly on their faces.
They are not being rushed, so took as much time as they want. They don’t fear to fail, or at least they don’t seem so hassled or anxious as to how good the outcome will be. They look relaxed, focused, determined… and the outcome? A prodigy! belleza! Or as the Spanish and Italians would say.
And that is the same with an instrumentalist playing his flute. What you’re listening to is more than just a sound. It is a blend of passion, focus, dedication, and years of practice.
That should be the relationship between you and your goals. Create a bond, and keep strengthen it with practice and consistency in a reasonable manner.
Try applying these in reckoning what will work for you and until you do, your job is to keep trying.
3. Your thoughts are more important to your productivity than you think they are.
“The great leaders of business, finance, and the great artists, musicians, poets and writers, became great…” scribbled the great Napoleon Hill in his famous book — Think and Grow Rich, why? “because they developed the[ir] faculty of creative imagination”.
He didn’t say because they wake up at so and so time or train for a specific period, but because they can develop their minds first.
And think about it, not just because Napoleon said that.
Think of when Dangote started his business. When he started, there were businessmen in Nigeria with double if not triple of his capital. But he surpasses them all to become the richest black man in the world!
Was it because the rest didn’t take enough risks? Didn’t invest in the same niche as his? I don’t know that.
But what I do know is that whatever that was, tracing it to the root will show that it was a decision of the mind.
What if there is a website where one can check the availability of a domain name, Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter handles at the same time. Saving the trouble of doing that individually. That is how namevine.com was born.
God knows how much they make with the rate at which new startups are being born.
The bottom line, Namevine like every other success began as a thought. All the actions that followed, all the hard work and all the productivity that made it what is today were in line with that single thought.
Thoughts precede actions, they stir actions. They even guide the plans for action.
Get yours straight focusing on them with all significance before you stick to decisively forming habits marking your days as productive or otherwise.
Oh, and just when you think that your thoughts are crazy or hilarious, then remember that somewhere, someday, someone woke up and thought that jumping off a plane thousands of meters above the ground will be fun. And well — who doesn’t like skydiving?