Being productive involves many things, but today I would like to focus on some things outside of your office that can mean a more productive day.
For the past several months I have been participating in early morning exercise at the gym. Now, if you have known me for a long time, you just did a double take. Yes, I said early morning exercise. I am not exactly what you would call a happy morning person, so this benefit was news to me too. What I have noticed over the past four months, since I made the commitment to go to the gym at 7:00am is that I have more done before lunch on gym days than on those days when I do not go to the gym. So why do I see a difference? Well, it could be the intense satisfaction of achieving physical goals that I once found impossible, it could also be that my trainer is a warm, funny, positive and skilled professional who shines a light on my goals, and guides the way through challenge after challenge. It could be the improved cardiovascular function leaves me warmed up and ready for what I want to accomplish later in the day. It could also be that being in a positive place mentally after exercising helps me to overcome self-doubt about what is possible. It is also very possible, that all these things are true.
The next thing outside your office that can help your productivity is to feed your soul, your heart and your mind. Make these items a priority, just as you have your early morning physical exercise. How you will accomplish this is your own personal decision based on what fills you up. What do you love? It could be going to museums, seeing live performances, listening to great music, spending time in the presence of people you respect and admire who lift you up. It might also be found in meditation, prayer, reflection, and journaling. Giving yourself these gifts can fill your reserves and open the doors to powerful productivity.
Now, think about the people who you know that have the gift for getting things done. These people have the same number of hours in a day to work with as you do. What do they do that you can use in your own system? Ask them to lunch, and ask them what helps them. You may be surprised by their answers. You may find that they struggle too, but press on despite their challenges. There may be tools that they use that are helpful, but even more powerful, I will bet, are the habits that they follow every day.
Ask someone to be your productivity partner. Set aside time to touch base to discuss your mutual progress. We can all benefit from a cheering section, we all achieve great things, but we don’t often have the validation of others for our efforts. Know that you can create this for yourself. I often think during the Hollywood award season that we all should have public applause for our hard work.
The lesson here can be applied to our productivity as well. The perspective of our colleagues and trusted advisors can often be the positive uplifting presence that moves us forward. Are there things we can change? I am sure there are, and I hope you will remember to look for the things outside your office that can help you to be more productive.