Rants and Lessons Learned

Productivity Tipping Point

There are times I am extremely productive and other times I am just scatterbrained and all over the place (can be good too, but not when you mean to be productive). I believe there is a productivity tipping point; a point where you can bump yourself into an exceptional level of focus to get things done. Often times, I want to get into that point, but don’t “feel” like it. Here I’ve listed hacks I use on myself to start the ball rolling.

1. Take a Shower – (Even if you are clean and don’t need one) Taking a hot shower is known to assist in relaxation and relieve stress. A cold shower can help you to be alert and mentally sharp.

2. Something Physical – I’ve been known to do push-ups, chin-ups, and hand stands (great for getting blood to the head) all to get the blood moving. Simple stretches, or even taking a short walk helps circulate that blood, which aids in your ability to focus.

3. Accomplish a Small Task – One way to start tipping that scale in the right direction is by actually accomplishing something. Pick something small to do, once you are done you’ll get a taste of the “I did something productive” feeling.

4. One hour Time Attack – Create a time based goal and challenge yourself to keep on task for one hour (great for that competitive nature). I have accomplished this by using a timer or playing a music album and staying on that task until the music stops.

5. Change of Venue – Coffee shop, conference room, empty cube, park bench… Pick yourself up and work somewhere else. The environmental change forces a mental shift (hopefully in the direction you want to go).

6. Back to Paper – One of the fastest ways to start being productive is to use your good old pen and paper.  I often forget how easy it is to flow ideas by hand, especially when it comes to roughing out flows and diagrams. You can also take it anywhere (see #5)