What’s the use of spending all your time knocking out tasks and getting stuff done if you still cling to counterproductive behavior? It takes serious effort to make positive strides in the direction of being productive each day, but it takes courage to eliminate everything not conducive to it.
Issues you’re having
- Not being able to pin down what is important OR which tasks to tackle first
- Being a perfectionist
- Lack of support when you make productive changes
- Not getting the extraordinary results you want
You will learn
- Not to focus on making things absolutely perfect and what to do instead
- The mindset behind which tasks to tackle first
- To prefer respect over friends
- How to dig deep and uncover your genius
- Foundations that are essential to serious productivity
No solutions, only trade-offs
When you push down in one spot, another spot gets the push-up. Meaning that there are no perfect solutions in life. You will have corresponding positive and negative consequences for every decision you make.
This means there’s no reason to search for the “perfect” solution because that perfect solution doesn’t exist. The better way is to understand what outcomes you want and be satisfied making the sacrifices that it requires.
Being Superficial is counterproductive behavior
Letting yourself get bogged down by extraneous details is counterproductive behavior.
Everything can benefit from being prioritized. This means everything. As small as you can go, that’s how detailed your prioritization can get.
It’s what makes your “doing” each day the most effective, only accomplishing what needs to be accomplished, and in the right order.
You can break your long-term goals down into near future and short-term goals.
Those can be broken down into monthly and weekly goals, which can then be broken down into daily and momentary activities.
Personally, when I write posts like this, not only am I applying Pareto principle to action steps like “writing a blog article” but I apply within that step as well.
Questions to ask are ones like
- What is the overall message or goal of this article
- What sections should I focus on the most and first in order to accomplish that
And they came from larger breakdowns like
- Be the most helpful writer I can be (direction)
- Start a blog (an avenue for the direction’s pursuit)
- Grow the blog to a certain level (serious productivity)
- Create second-to-none content (serious deep work and quality)
- write an article (more productivity)
- Choose most relevant topic to tackle
- What is the most effective way to deliver it and using what medium? (video, podcast etc…)
You can apply this to anything you do, and go as far as you need to.
No solitude means no Deep Work
Anyone can scratch the surface, and there will always be competition in your niche, category, field, etc…What sets you apart is your own genius when you can access it. The only way to access this is in the realm of “flow” where you can start producing deep work.
Across the board, you will find that deep work stems from solitude. It doesn’t mean that you need to go find a cave, but it does mean that you’ll want to
- eliminate distractions
- find your own space
- figure out what time of day you work the best
- use productivity techniques until you are not wasting any time during your working periods
- prioritize your work and give it the time it deserves (like raising a child)
in order to produce your best work. It’s almost like diving into something, and not knowing what you will come up with. At a certain point, you are waiting for your work to reveal something to you, rather than you discovering it.
There is no reinventing the wheel, the only thing we can do is take the basics and build on them with our own unique discoveries.
Health Standard to prevent counterproductive behavior
Foundations are essential. Likewise, not making sure your bases are covered is counterproductive behavior. There are things you can do to make sure your batteries are always at max and the work that you do is excellent.
It’s not always about the amount of work you put out, but the quality. What use is quantity if that huge number isn’t at all valuable to anyone?
Too much focus on quantity leads to you becoming a commodity, and when it comes to commodities, everyone is looking after the lowest price. You don’t simply want to target productivity, but productivity plus being sought after.
Think about big box stores. They put out tremendous amounts of productivity, but it’s all the same stuff. Because it’s all the same, you shop at the store with the lowest prices. This is commodity syndrome. You have nothing that sets you apart, that makes you genius, so people only look at your price because that’s really all they’re paying for.
There are many aspects to producing something genius, but you DEFINITELY WILL NOT producing anything that anyone wants without having your bases covered.
- Eat the right foods
- Prioritize sleep
- Get ENOUGH and the right amount of REGULAR physical activity
These sound basic, and they are. Nobody ever became a master at anything without understanding the fundamentals first.
If you take those three suggestions and really work on them, your productivity will skyrocket. It’ll blow your mind, promise.
We can talk about the Pareto principle all day and for good reason. There is no reason to not be unabashedly selective when it comes to moving towards a goal you have. Use an investor’s mindset when it comes to your activity each day.
“Which of these activities will give me the most bang or my buck”
You have the desired outcome and a list of actions that will help get you there. But you don’t just want to get there. You should only choose the top choices on that list that will PROPEL you there.
The word is comprehensive. It means “killing two birds with one stone” (no animals were harmed I promise).
Look at your list and determine which activities will eliminate the need to do others. In some cases, you will find that organizing your list this way will make your task build upon its self, where preceding tasks make the next on the list easier, until the end of the list is almost nothing.
Choosing popularity over productivity
When you get concerned with ousting your counterproductive behavior and embodying more of what it means to be superlatively productive, you end up irritating people.
- You say no a lot
- You focus on one thing at a time
- You are adamant about maintaining the atmosphere you keep that facilitates your deep work
- You make great effort to eliminate all nonessential elements of your life
It’s not always pretty, and it’s not always comfortable, but neither is a life that lacks serious productivity either. There is no life that exists, or ever will, devoid of suffering and problems. I REPEAT: you will always have negatives, so choose the positives you like best and take whatever negatives come with them.
When you get adamant about the aforementioned four things, you will
- Irritate people who are used to you doing whatever they want you to
- Step on the toes of people who sacrifice quality for the sake of multitasking
- Youll “ruin” peoples fun because you want to focus and they want to play
- You will end up saying “no” to people and they will get their feelings hurt
Provided that you are mature about your approach to these things, all the negatives are their fault, not yours.
- There is nothing wrong with you deciding that you have things you need to accomplish and giving them the focus they deserve
- You understand that nothing of quality ever splits its time with something else of quality. If you are diving into the ocean of focus and genius, you will give each task the solo time it needs
- You will be working, when they are messing around and losing focus. That’s their fault for not caring as much as you do.
- In the end, you will resurface as someone who understands how valuable their time is, and the value of what they are doing with their time.
Pressure like this comes with the territory. Stick to your principles: high-quality work, as fast as possible!
You have “goal slayer syndrome” meaning you are attacking productivity with the idea of being productive as your endgame. Being productive is counterproductive behavior if there is no direction attached to it.
In fact, productivity is nothing but you understanding precisely where you want to go, where you would like to be in the future while eliminating everything that doesn’t lead you there and focusing intently on what does.
- Target your endgame (10, 5 and 1-year goals)
- cut that time in half to know at which point you should be halfway there
- keep doing that until you get to individual units (days)
- and use that to understand what you need to focus on now
Everything else goes into the “can wait until later” bin, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s called serious productivity.
Summary: How to rid yourself of counterproductive behaviors
Conquer your fear of developing a roadmap for yourself. Figure out where you want to go, whether it’s now, the near or even distant future. Learn to work backward to understand what you should be doing now, to get where you want to be.
Cover your bases. Sleep, Food, and water are still your BEST BETS for productivity. It’s basic, but most of us STILL don’t do it. So it still needs to be repeated over and over. Basic also means essential, remember that.
Get serious about which tasks are the best use for your time, and dive deep into understanding just how much further each activity is getting you to your endgame. Within everything you do, what part is the most effective at delivering the results you want? Attack the best investments first, then finish off the latter bits. When you do this you will be combining two ESSENTIAL elements of serious productivity:
- Investor mentality: those activities that get you the most “percentage” points out of 100 should be done first. Why accomplish twenty and get twenty, when you could work on one and get twenty. Work on the smaller ones later.
- Imperfect implementation: it doesn’t need to be perfect, it only needs to be effective. Effective means, good enough to work as intended. It means you do whats necessary to get the results you want, and if life happens and you cannot accomplish the extraneous parts, who cares.