The 3 Secrets of Long-Term Productivity Life Hacks
Do you struggle to get sh!t done? Do you go to sleep thinking that you’ll stop procrastinating starting the next day? Do you have handfuls of projects and ideas you want to work on, but you never end up doing more than just planning. This guide covers the three secrets of long-term productivity, and how I’ve gone from having Zero-Sum days of binging Netflix and video gaming to productive weeks that still finds time for me dedicate a two days a week to getting caught up on the latest season of Always Sunny.
1) You don’t understand how your brain works
This part is focused on the established neurological phenomenon of neuroplasticity. What neuroplasticity means for you is that your perception and reality can be molded over time with your thoughts and actions. Meaning, if you consciously apply yourself through positive thinking and action, you will reshape your view and habits.
All it takes is that you ignore what your monkey brain has been programmed to get you to do. If you’re accustomed to binging on Netflix, then you’re stuck in that habit until you consciously and continuously do other things instead of the thing you don’t want to do. If you wanted to get into the habit of writing each day, consciously fight the urge to turn away and do something else. The length for this is about 7 weeks to build or remove a habit. There is a free Coursera class called Learning how to Learn that explains this phenomenon.
I highly recommend that you complete the course. Its one of the top 10 recommended courses on there.
The Two Wolves or How this issue is universally deeply rooted
There is a Native American Cherokee Legend that I interpreted like this.
There are two wolves in a constant fight within me.
One wolf represents all the Evil within you. He’s full of the laziness and sloth that prevents you from getting things done. He loves when you give up and take the easy way out by quitting. He represents the Ego and the regret of unfilling your promises of self-improvement.
The other is the Good within you. He is the joy you get from conquering new tasks and the humility that you overcame to solve the problem. He is the peace that comes forth when you fulfill on your promises to yourself and the love that returns. He feeds on the fact you don’t lie to yourself — you can lie to others, but never to yourself. The Wolf of Good feeds on the benevolence you build for yourself.
This battle is within you as well as every other individual.
The wolf that wins is the one that you feed the most.
Neuroplasticity is the modern scientific response to this phenomena. Even if you have neglected either wolf, they can still come back: Good or Evil. All it takes is one step to start a habit, and one chance to go back into a vice.
Think about this as you start or stop a habit.
2) You’re motivated to work instead of dedicated
The difference between being motivated and being dedicated is based on the level discipline you have. Motivation is good for sprints of productivity but isn’t sustainable.
If you work just because you feel like it, you’re a b!tch who doesn’t get stuff done plain and simple. Back then, if you were part of a tribe who didn’t want to work because you kind of felt meh, you’d be exhiled and kicked out to die in the wilderness.
Tell yourself you did a thing, but unless you keep working you’re not going to keep the work ethic working for you. That’s like saying a person is a business owner just because he sold a few things over ebay on a whim (source middle school me). Newsflash older me: until you get the discipline to continue to be a merchant on at least a weekly basis you’re not a business owner. Get over your Ego and get to work.
I’m not saying I’m perfect nowadays, I do fall between being motivated and having the discipline to wake up and work, but the two work together. Discipline is the base that will keep you going longer and the motivation is what you can add on top of that.
You take control and get things done. I’m able to consistently put out 12 hour plus days, and the motivation is added on top of the discipline. I have done weeks of 16+ hour days just because I was both dedicated and motivated to solve the problem. Once the problem was done, I was still disciplined and moved onto the next problem to solve the very next day. This separates the Men from the Boys.
There’s no way about it. Pair this with how your brain works. Develop the mindset that you cannot just solve a problem just because you feel like it. Do it because it gives you the passion for continuing to work for yourself.
3) You’re focusing on everything or simply not doing it.
BE SELECTIVE WITH FORMING YOUR HABITS. Unless I say something, you like anyone else that reads a post about productivity hacks will be motivated (perfect usage for it) to build a bunch of habits. You’ll learn how to build the guitar. You’ll write a book. You’ll do the dishes every night and apply for new jobs daily. Life will be per-fect.
But no, you ended spreading yourself too thin. You didn’t stick with focusing on completing and establishing one habit at a time. So you get disheartened when you fail to keep it going. Maybe you forget. Maybe you didn’t care. Maybe you just wanted to give in to your monkey brain. Now, you dun goof’d and you gave up on it entirely until you read the next post (this one) and finally decided to STICK with one habit at a time.
I’m serious. In the span of things, two months isn’t that long. Stick with one habit at a time unless you’ve done the cycle before, and you know you can stay consistent, then you can experiment. If this is your first time doing conscious habit building and if you think you can successfully handle building another life-changing habit you’re going to fuck up. You’re going to justify adding more and more to your workload until you fall apart.
Seriously, how many life-altering lifestyle habits can you REALLY change? You could: eat better, exercise, read or write, have a new creative outlet, play an instrument, build household habits, be socially involved more, maintain new hobbies, be more socialable, or talk to more people. You’re not going to do all of this in one week and make it lasting.
Remember, to feed the appropriate wolf, and keep going forward.
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