Productivity is top of mind for any entrepreneur. Now that I’m a parent, productivity is even more crucial as my hours dedicated for working are a lot less. Having two children in tow means I have to be more intentional with my time. Whether you have kids, pets, community obligations, or anything else that can divide your time, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed too. So I reached out to Lana Shlafer, a mindset coach, to give me her top three mindset tips to productivity.
Here are three things you can do in under three minutes that will help you be more productive.
3 Productivity Hacks That Take Less Than 3 Minutes | Stephanie Burns
1. Start With A Finished List
When you get in the mindset of feeling accomplished — not overwhelmed — tasks become infinitely easier. That’s why you should start your day off by briefly meditating on your “Finished List” which is a list of three things you absolutely must get done that day.
Once you make your list, put a checkmark next to each of the tasks, close your eyes for 10 seconds and imagine it done. Feel the excitement of getting that proposal written or the joy around wrapping up that grueling presentation at work.
This exercise will spark the physiological response of excitement in your body and decrease the feeling of overwhelm or discomfort. Once you open your eyes, it will seem so much easier for you to do even the most grueling tasks because you are past the anxiety and fear of how and when it will get done. You’re firmly seated in the delight of it being completed.
And, as a bonus, by not wasting time and energy on worry and overwhelm, you’ll be able to tackle those duties efficiently and enjoyably.
2. Skip The Coffee, Take A Walk
A jolt of caffeine may increase your energy, but it usually comes with a crash later. Instead try a three-minute gratitude walk.
Research shows that going for a stroll can increase your creativity far beyond sitting in a chair at your desk. Plus, you’ll turbo-charge your productivity when you think about all the things you’re grateful for while you put one foot in front of the other. When you feel thankful to have this level of a “work problem” today, you interrupt negative mental patterns that cause you to see problems instead of opportunities. As Wayne Dyer loved to say: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Just remember not to list boring general things you’re “grateful” for but actually don’t really care about, like “I’m grateful I have clothes” or “I’m alive” (unless you really are in-your-bones thrilled about either one). Mention something that is actually meaningful in a specific way for you. For example, maybe you’re a parent who is usually sleep deprived but last night you got a solid night’s sleep. Say to yourself, “I’m so grateful for how rested I feel.” Or if you’ve ever been unemployed, you may even say something like: “This job may not be perfect but I am so grateful for having a check.”
3. Focus On Your Wins.
Spend three minutes thinking about the last time you really shined with the client, closed a huge deal, or came up with an unexpected solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem. Tune-in to that feeling of winning and then turn your attention to the tasks you want to complete today. Now ask yourself, “What can I do that will make these tasks feel more purposeful, enjoyable or doable?” As you remember what made your biggest wins successful, you may get ideas about how to complete the current tasks on your list more easily and faster or maybe even to realize those tasks are not important for today.
The effect of firing up the synapses where you store memories of accomplishment, ingenuity, fulfillment and success will help you stimulate creativity and, more importantly, turn pain into gain.You’re training yourself to associate fulfillment or gratification with tasks that used to be uncomfortable or daunting. And once you associate discomfort with an opportunity to grow, you will become a whole lot more unstoppable.