When we’re not pushing, we’re reverting to our old structures of behavior. But you can’t push every day. You can’t be on the forefront of your best self all the time. No matter how good you get, there is always that day, when you lack energy and consistency to push through with your best. And in this article I give advice on how to avoid those days happening in the first place, and how to nullify their bad effects, despite them happening.
What do you do, when bad day crosses your path?
The best bet is working your day, around your habits. Those habits that you’ve been cultivating for days on end, that have internalized in your core and that let you accomplish your minimal daily quota of work done.
Instead of giving up, just work on those habits. Even on my worse days, I know I was writing. I’ve been cultivating the habit of writing for years now. And it’s been internalized in my behavior, it’s my second nature now. That translates into: Time Management is not a technique, it’s a habit.
Cultivating the right habits
Whatever is your day job, or your business, you have to understand what is your goal completion activity. Your life needs to resolve around these hot spots if you truly desire to succeed.
Habits let us simplify our lives, as they remove the effort away from our willpower. When your mind is clear, you have more unspent energy in the background that can allow you to focus on the things that enable your growth.
Habits are the precursor of personal productivity. Time management if we can even consider it’s existence, is actually a habit of friction removal and smart allocation of resources that are available to us.
We could define it as:
Habit pattern that lets us work ahead of deadlines.
Fighting procrastination with smart habits
Procrastination is a mix of negative emotions that paralyze our actions. The only way to fight procrastination is with action, and clearing up the overwhelm of the daily life. Objects that are moving, tend to stay in movement, static objects tend to remain static. If you are static, tendency is, that you will remain static.
When we have to much on our plate, our mind can give up. Either give up, or revolt, by lowering productivity. We need to tone down the volume of activity, and pay attention to our energies.
Most of our low productivity occurs when we allocate resources into unnecessary and redundant actions, instead of operating on the things that can support our structure, and move us closer to completion of our goals.
Buffer deadlines – The habit of working ahead of yourself
The concept of buffer deadlines is something that I’ve started practicing recently, and it elevated a lot of pressure in my blogging. The concept is rather simple, but removed whole lot of unnecessary friction. I’ve started working way ahead of myself, creating a buffer zone, in which I could schedule deadlines, and still deliver work, before they end. This liberated so much time, and so much more thinking.
The problem with blogging though, is the drive for the instant gratification. It was strongly linked with hitting the publish button, and than going out on social media and sharing it, so everyone and their grandmother could read it. This instant gratification made a short sited image of my work.
Only once I’ve started working ahead of myself, have I started feeling the true freedom. Not because I’ve started working more, but because my work became reliable. Technically I am doing the same things, but now I am creating a buffer between the present, where I have time, and future in which I might not have time, due to unplanned and urgent events.
So in the cases when urgent and unplanned doesn’t happen, I’ve found myself having even more time, and creating even bigger buffer. I started measuring my productivity, by checking how much work I have ahead of myself.
Liberate adrenaline addiction, make more time
Now you have a sudden feeling that you have time. But no matter that you have it, you still utilize it. Takeaway is working ahead of yourself. Being prepared. Creating a sense of freedom, opens your mind to create even more. I’ve found that I do my best work, when I am not pressured.
There is an inherent desire for adrenaline and excitement. I know I had adrenaline addiction when I was younger, when I was putting off everything to the last minute. That rush was my addiction. Often I could pull off and cram a lot of knowledge in fairly short amounts of time. Pressure was the only motivator. But today, as I grew older, I’ve discovered that the pressure is motivating me less and less. It became a nuisance, a bothering pesky problem that is sitting at the back of my brain and consumes more energy than it’s worth it.
This is something I’ve always wanted as a student, but couldn’t figure it out on my own. The desire was there, but I always lacked a willpower to push it through, as there were so many distractions that felt more urgent and pressuring than studying. This way around, I felt as if I was protecting my future time. And when I was putting it in that perspective, it felt great. I knew I could work well ahead in the future, and in case I go through “burnout” I could easily take a steady break from work, and fully pursue living my life, by doing the things that are more interesting to me at that moment.