The productivity I am talking about involves actions that get you closer to your authentic goals—you know the stuff that you actually want to do.
Whenever I am coaching a client, I always listen for words like “I need or I should.” These words are so commanding and boring. Who wants to “should” all day, nobody!
Changing your language from “I need, have to, or should” to “I want” will change your whole perspective on any task, even cleaning the toilet.
For instance, if someone were to say, “Aggg, I need to clean the toilet,” then they are not likely to see the benefits of having a clean toilet. This statement is so negative and heavy; it’s hard to appreciate the good in anything when people talk like this.
However, if this person said “I want to clean the toilet today. In fact, I’m going to clean the whole bathroom, I love when things are clean!” This positive statement opens up opportunity for gratitude and appreciation.
This person could then imagine coming home after a long day of work and walking into a clean bathroom. With much gratitude for their great effort, they could just relax in the tub and read a good book. Ahhh…the bliss of positive thinking.
If you are finding yourself doing a bunch of tasks that you hate, then ask yourself: “Is what I am doing getting me closer to my goals? If so, how can I change my attitude toward these tasks? If the tasks you are doing aren’t moving you toward your goals, then stop doing them!
Watching Your Words for Productivity Exercise
Okay, now here is an experiment for you do, if you so choose to do so. First print out this document below. Then for the next 24 hours, monitor how many times you say the words “I need, have to, or should.” Every time you catch yourself saying these words, write down what you are doing and feeling at the time.
Remember being productive and just crazy busy are two different things. Do what you want and have fun while you do it. As Mary Poppins would say, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. When you find the fun, snap, the job’s a game…A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.”