Trick Yourself into Productivity

I am not a naturally productive person. However, I am now a firm believer in the need to trick yourself into becoming productive.

And for those of you who are skeptical, it can also work for you.

See what you think about these examples.

  • I started achieving my reading quota much easier thanks to audiobooks. By default, when I am travelling alone, I am reading.
  • I hide notifications for nearly everything. “Out of sight, out of mind” applies; otherwise, I get distracted. If I’m not constantly being reminded of incoming emails, I won’t check them constantly. (What’s the worst that could happen if you try this?)
  • Television is a big distraction for me, so I sit with my back to the televisions at restaurants so I can focus on the person across the table.
  • I use hourly alarms during the workday to remind me to breathe, prioritize, and focus on the task at hand. If I am distracted, I leave the alarm on the screen until I begin focusing.
  • You can see I get distracted easily. Once I fully realized that, I started getting up early, when everything is quiet, so I can read, write, pray, and prepare for the day. This one trick has led to incredible productivity!
  • Every event and reminder goes on the calendar as soon as I learn about it, and I get a reminder when it is time. This allows me to stop tracking them mentally, which I was never great at anyway.
  • I used to have a problem checking Twitter. Believe it or not, all I did was delete the app on my smartphone. I haven’t had a problem since.
  • I lack the self-discipline to resist eating candy in the house. For whatever reason, though, it’s easy for me to resist buying it in the first place.
  • It’s hard to “ship” anything unless there is a deadline to meet. When I started Leadership Vacuum, my goal was to post three times a week at 8am. This one trick alone has forced me to ship tens of thousands of words and flesh out dozens of ideas which would have stayed dormant otherwise!

You have many things you want to get done. Maybe you want to lose some weight, write a book, get a new job, or some other milestone.

You can do it! But some intentional trickery will help you get there much easier.

Learn your quirks and weaknesses. Discover tricks to counteract them. Use these tricks often!

Think of one specific quirk you have. Now decide on a simple yet effective way to trick yourself into counteracting the quirk. Repeat as necessary!