Perhaps you started with tips and tricks on Lifehacker, or you’ve read a book or two about organizing yourself and improving your productivity. Or you are brand new to this. But you still don’t have a clear idea where to start your productivity journey. I was thinking hard about where to send of a person who is brand new to productivity, and deliver him instant results. What are those first steps that will make a true difference in your life?
Your first step
First you need to stop, detach yourself from the your current inner world, and come to a peaceful place, where you can think for yourself, by yourself. In the book 7 Steps to Alpha Efficiency, Mike, one of my mentors described this as “doing your own thinking“. He mentioned me this concept ages ago. But what I didn’t realize back than, was the fact that “doing your own thinking” actually required me to be alone, and actually do the thinking. Sit quietly, and think about your life. Be mindful of what’s going on.
The actual first step is sitting alone, and clarifying your Source Code.
There are some questions that might pop out, some of them might seem distant and unrelated, but the fact that they are crossing your mind, means that they have importance for you. All these thoughts need to be transmuted into your personal constitution, or Source Code as I like to call it. Every day we go through our life defining things around us, but never do we stop and define ourselves.
This “source code” is something you’re building for yourself. It doesn’t have the form, rules or definitions how you can write it. It’s completely up to you.
But this exercise is the practice of mindfulness over your life. It is the first step in defining your productivity. What actually productivity means to you, what are the things that are making you feel more productive. For the purpose of this exercise you need only two things:
Everything else is redundant. I don’t want you to get distracted in gadgets and technology. All you need is you, and your true thoughts down on paper.
The problems I’ve encountered while writing Source Code
Eventually I created a recurring task on my smart phone, where I forced myself to read through the Source Code, and I’ve found myself doing it, but rushing through it. I wasn’t actually being mindful. Some words would remain, but I would be in such a rush to get back to other things that were on my list. Perhaps it became boring to read the same thing over and over again, so I started evolving it. I started changing and adding sentences, finding what are the words that sound true to me.
Don’t consider this exercise as a chore, it’s an exercise of mindfulness. It has little to do with what’s written, it has everything to do with what you are thinking. This is my substitute to meditation, even though it might not appear to you that way.
The way you feel as you define and redefine yourself
This is the way of Athlete. He has a clear vision of earning a Gold medal and being the best. He is visualizing the prize in his mind, prize and recognition, and he’s focusing on the end result and end result alone. He knows that he needs to pay the price off his success in advance, in order to get where his mind takes him. Everything starts within your mind, and mindfulness of where you want to be. It’s like a synchronization of your goals and reality.
We all have hopes, dreams and ideas on how we want to accomplish our goals, but more often than not, we’re not mindful of those ambitions and we aren’t connected to them. Nor we are conscious of the ways that we want to obtain them. The end goal of this exercise, which can last anywhere between 5 minutes, or a whole lifetime of search, is finding your main activity, that will allow your dreams to transmute into reality.
Once your goals are set…
…you need to identify that activity, or activities that are linking you to your dreams. That is where the magic happens. Once you realize what are the actions that you feel you need to take, than you can move on working on them, and practicing mindfulness while approaching your goals.
It is bringing your thoughts and actions together to work in harmony. That should be the cornerstone of your productivity. And one mighty way to start and create results right away.
- Practice mindfulness about your life
- Write those thoughts down into Source Code
- Identify your goals
- Make a habit of those activities that are leading you towards your goals
- Repeat them daily and do them mindfully
- Devote yourself to continuous progress
If I was starting all over again, I wish I started here. In a simple place, where I can build up, and avoid reading things that aren’t of value or use for me. This is a foundation of Alpha Efficiency. Finding out what truly matters to you, and how to get there.
The strength of this approach lies in it’s simplicity. It puts you in a “drivers seat” from the get go. It puts emphasis on what’s important to you, not some arbitrary idea of what’s important.
Let me know how this went for you. Did you sit down and thought about your Source Code? Did you identify your productive activity? Did you focus on making a habit out of it. Let me know in the comments, and when you’re ready, than it is time to move on to the Next Step…