We’re at that time of year when we’re all thinking - “What can I do better next year than I did this year? How can I be more effective, more productive? How can I get more done? And how can I do it well?”
There’s no shortage of productivity hacks, tools, techniques and secrets. We’ve all tried them and we’ve all had varying degrees of success with them. Or lack of success as the case may be.
The trouble with most of these approaches is that they address the issue of getting things done as a ‘time’ issue. The truth is though, that getting things done is more about energy than it is about time.
And we don’t mean adrenalised energy - double shot coffees, caffeinated drinks, sugar hits, or [insert your preferred stimulant of choice]. We’re talking here about energy in both a physical sense, and a non-physical sense.
Non-physical, meaning the energy we experience around clarity, creativity, intention, decisiveness and so on. And physical, meaning having the energy to sustain and follow-through on what needs to be done.
So while the productivity hacks and techniques work on a superficial level, and in relation to time, they are rarely as effective as they could be because they are working on an energetic foundation that’s not stable.
It can be like stacking dominos on a ship. You can make great progress, but if the ship leans a little…
In this podcast episode we unlock the secret to having a stable energetic foundation that you can control so you can be truly productive using whichever productivity technique is your preferred weapon of choice, even if it’s just pen and paper.
Listen or watch via the audio or video below, or read on to catch the essence of what we’re talking about.
ON Again, OFF Again, ON Again, OFF Again
One of the things that hampers productivity is the ‘busyness’ of our minds. When we’ve got a lot going on in our heads it’s hard, impossible in fact, to reach any level of harmony.
Without harmony, you have fractured energy, physically and non-physically. Without harmony, you don’t have productivity. It’s that simple.
Even the productivity hacks that tell you to focus on ‘one thing’ don’t take into account that your focus is compromised severely if your energy is down. If you’ve got some ‘decision fatigue’ going on, even the most intense focus is going to be ineffective. In fact it can make things worse.
If you’ve got some low-level anxiety going on, or not so low level anxiety for that matter, you can be sure that your productivity will be severely compromised. That has to be addressed before you can become more effective.
So the REAL secret to productivity, the REAL secret to managing your energy is to have the ability to ‘switch off’ and ‘switch on’ at will.
This is what we teach our clients and it falls into three important steps:
- Learning how to switch on for 110% focus, concentration, and performance;
- Learning how to switch off for 110% relaxation; and,
- Learning how to rapidly switch between those two states.
This is super important so it’s worth repeating…
- Switch on for 110% focus, concentration, and performance;
- Switch off for 110% relaxation; and,
- Rapidly switch between those two states.
If you can master those three steps, and layer your preferred productivity techniques on top of that, you won’t know yourself. You will become more effective in every area of your life - business, health, relationships, financials… EVERY area of your life will improve if you learn those three simple steps.
You will become more effective, confident, decisive, discerning, creative and of course, productive. You will even be able to think more critically if your body is energetic and your mind is switched on.
Three. Simple. Steps.
Most of us rely on sleep for our deepest relaxation. But more often than not that’s just a respite rather than a relaxation. That’s because the key is to relax, to switch off 110% before we go to sleep. Not many people know how to do that.
And a small number of us rely on meditation for deep relaxation. For most people, that’s a techniques that’s fraught with frustration, thus it can and does have the opposite effect.
But breathing for relaxation has a different impact altogether. It sounds like a paradox but it’s an ‘active relaxation’. Active in the sense that you can see and feel the relaxation actually happening.
We ran an online breathing program recently where our participants were reporting back to us the impact their breathing exercises were having. Some reported intense sweating while others reported releasing of tension in their body that they didn’t know they had. We’ve seen this hundreds of times in our live and online sessions. Intense relaxation, 110% relaxation, in a very short period of time.
And on the flip side, we also witness, and experience ourselves, 110% focus, concentration, and performance simply through breathing.
How you use the breathing techniques is up to you.
Some people take a ‘vending machine’ approach. They summon the relaxation or focus/concentration/performance modes on-demand and as they need them.
Others prefer a more ritualistic approach. Building them into their morning and/or evening routines.
We suggest a mixture of both. Use regular routines to lay a solid foundation then use step 3 - Rapidly switch between the two states - as required.
One of our business heroes is Keith Cunningham, the ‘Rich Dad’ in Robert Kiyosaki’s classic book ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’.
Cunningham says - “Great operators get tired while great business owners get rich.”
Don’t get tired. Be productive. Get rich. Let us know if you need help with that!