Productivity

This is a ridiculously, almost laughably, ambitious list of 365 Days of Your Commitment to Improving Your Productivty … as laughably ambitious as it might seem, the list contains NOTHING NEW … in fact, most of it is nothing more than a RE-presentation of ancient advice from Stoics and Eastern philosophers from thousands of years ago … the only thing that has changed is that nowadays, in our affluent world, there are more distractions and more diversions from productivity than ever … it’s as if the bulk of our technological advantages have been channelled into making most of us dramatically FATTER, LAZIER, LESS PRODUCTIVE than at any point in human history.

  • Day 1 … Commit to working on ONE habit per day; start now – do NOT wait until January 1 or even tomorrow. Commit to NOT QUITTING on this system and do it NOW.

On the first day, review this list of productivity habits to work on each day and THEN either use it or throw it away and make your own … but develop a list of productivity habits and then WORK ON YOUR OWN LIST of 365 habits. It probably takes about 25 days or so to actually turn a simple intention into a subconscious or involuntary habit, so you will simultaneous be working on institutionalizing about twenty-five habits. Some will be easier than others, but you should try to work on the “biggest bang” habits first … the first of all firsts is COMMITTING to the process of spending about 25 minutes a day to really work on clearing out all of the obstacles to really institutionalizing a new or better habit … and a huge part of hat commitment is developing the list of 365 habits, or at least developing the list of habits that you will be working on in the next three to four weeks, ie the very first part of developing a better habit is thinking about that better habit and what it’s really going to take for you to overcome your old reasons for failure, including your brilliant intellectual rationalizations and unstoppable excuses that give you the cover you need to QUIT … the first part of developing better habits is for you to be honest about what kinds of things give you permission to QUIT … if you are serious about developing better habits, you have to SYSTEMATICALLY develop the structures, lists, reminders, nags, rewards, whatever you need to drive out the QUIT.

{NOTE: You might think that coming up with 365 days worth of habits to improve is overkill … and maybe it is … if you can just sustain your current good habits and somehow improve THREE really significant habits in the next year, your year will be a success … but the important habit here is to always be looking for a new habit to improve … to always be asking, “WHAT ELSE can I do for MY productivity?” You don’t need a list of 365 habits to improve in order to impress anyone – it’s about YOUR productivity and what you are going to do today, tomorrow, the day after and as fall as you see into the future. You work on ONE habit at a time, but you should also be looking forward, to stack habits, to build habits that will will reinforce other habits … that’s why Day Two is about improving your physical exercise regimen, because of the impact that it will have on subsequent habit improvement plans going forward. You might not be able to come up with a list of 365 things right away … but keep working on it, keep focusing on today and building for tomorrow and the days that come after.}

  • Day 2 … Start with where you are and IMPROVE your daily exercise regimen and make it a habit to push yourself and improve each day.

Discipline is FREEDOM and your skills in spiritual and mental discipline will almost build upon your skills in physical discipline. Physical exercise is not just important for your physical health … improving your physical health is going to make you more productive in every other endeavor in your existence, so time spent exercising will actually give you more time for OTHER things … but this habit is not just about exercising, it is about making the time that you do exercise MORE PRODUCTIVE – of course, it’s also about adding exercise in to the rest of your life, eg taking the stairs to race the slugs who take the elevator OR parking in the back of the parking lot in order to walk into work, check yourself and it allows those paralyzed, fat, geriatric slugs who need those handicapped spaces to have them. This habit is about taking a careful self-evaluation of where you are at in each micropart of each one of your calesthenic tabatas, dead lifts, kettlebell exercise, heavy bag routines and to commit to doing it BETTER. In some cases, better might simply mean doing more reps or doing the reps faster, but often it’s going to mean doing the reps as if the person who you most wanted to impress was personally watching and coaching you. Remember, the habit is not about exercising everyday – it’s about IMPROVING the execution of that exercise routine everyday, to get more out of each minute or hour that you exercise. Not just working harder, but mostly it’s about working smarter.

  • Day 3 … EAT LESS … but when you do eat, IMPROVE your diet today, IMPROVE your grocery list and the contents of your food pantry, IMPROVE your garden and the fresher, healthier produce immediately available to you, IMPROVE your understand of nutrition, biochemistry, gastrophysics, your intestinal microbiome … EAT LESS and then try to EAT even less tomorrow, but get a lot smarter about diet and nutrition.

The big improvement for most people is in the area of appetite management and not putting JUNK into their mouths. The one piece of nutrition advice that we could safely give well over 99% of the people in a country like America is to EAT LESS, ESPECIALLY EAT LESS OF THE STUFF THAT YOU ALREADY KNOW IS POISON … it’s simply impossible to correct a bad diet of JUNK, with more healthy food … if only because people who are swallowing junk are BY THE DEFINITION OF THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR completely clueless about nutrition, ie if they had the start of beginning of a clue about nutrition, they would not allow themselves to poison themselves with the junk that they find ways of rationalizing.

  • Day 4 … SLEEP better

Get to bed earlier [so that it is even possible to get up earlier to sieze the day], ie don’t allow yourself to be like the toddler who wants to stay up to watch five more minutes of mindless schlock on the TV OR to respond to one more comment on social media OR to waste more time not sleeping in a cool, dark room without any devices or distractions. MOST of the civilized world is sleep-deprived because undisciplined people need to stay up to fritter away their sanity rather than getting the sleep they need.

  • Day 5 … Make yourself ready to handle more stress, more aggravation, more MEANINGFUL work

WORK at becoming more resilient, better able to take on challenges.

Get rid of the STUPID mindless challenges. Get rid of the toxic people and depressing souls who drag everyone down – associate with people who DO THINGS and expect that the people who they hang around with will do things. Downsize your time commitment to the half of your friends who simply do not push you hard enough to be a better person … you might have to downsize your commitment to people who don’t exercise, who complain about things but don’t make changes, who are too attached to accumulating more stuff or gaining more status … taking on more challenges and the right kinds of challenges means that some people are not going to spend as much time with you – don’t abandon them, but allow them to make the changes that they need to make in order to be more productive, to join you in taking on more challenges.

  • Day 6 … Prioritize your day’s task, prioritize your week’s plans, prioritize your month SMART objectives – de-prioritize the merely urgent, be ready to tell people “NO!!!” without making excuses

START with the end in mind … develop Specific Measurable Aggressive Realistic Timebound Goals for the month … from these SMART objectives, develop an agile workflow of action plans and weekly missions which then map into daily ToDo lists.

This sounds easy enough and it is … the tough part is disappointing people and perhaps disappointing yourself by saying “NO!!!” to things that are not on the critical path to completing your projects. You HAVE TO BE IN THE POSITION TO SAY NO … without just saying “No.” because you are lazy or don’t want to help.

  • Day 7 … Resist distractions

Open your email inbox twice a day, AT MOST. Same for your phone, txt messages … if at all possible, avoid social media altogether.

Get rid of the STUPID mindless distractions … take back control of your mind.

  • Day 8 … Prioritize the list of habits you want to build, Brainstorm additional habits for the list

First of all, set the stage for the next week; but as you are working through this list, keep brainstorming new productivity habits that you intend to improve

5S / Shine, Sort, Simplify, Standardize, Sustain

Use D.O.W.N.T.I.M.E. to eliminate waste

Landscaping / build the quality of biomass in your sculpted edible landscape

Be AWESOME, celebrate AWESOME, curate AWESOME

Find ways to think ORTHOGONALLY different