9 Ways to Use Habits Psychology to Develop Productive Habits
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If you ask the average person how to be more productive, they might tell you that you simply have to work harder and faster.
They might even tell you to stop goofing off or procrastinating.
Of course, you already know these things, and if they were that easy to do, you would have done them already.
Unfortunately, a lot of productivity issues are related to what goes on inside your mind. Because of this, you have to focus on changing the way your mind works if you want to boost your productivity.
Here are nine psychological habits to help you to accomplish that.
1. Break Big Tasks Down
The situation when you are faced with a large task that can act as a huge psychological barrier to making any progress at all.
When your brain is laser focused on how long the task is going to take, how difficult it is going to be, or how overwhelming it is, it can be difficult even to take the first step towards getting it done.
This is why your first step should involve breaking the intimidating large task into smaller chunks that you can manage.
2. Get a Change of Scenery
Highway hypnosis is a dangerous state that drivers can experience when traveling long distance on the interstate.
Essentially, the driver becomes dazed and ‘hypnotized’ because there is almost no variation in what they are doing or what they are seeing. A similar thing can happen to you while you are working. All of the sights and sounds around you are the same, and you zone out.
Fortunately, you can trick your brain into snapping out of it by finding a new location and working there for an hour or two. In fact, if may be a good idea to select a couple of alternative locations to your normal workspace.
3. Simplify Your Surroundings
Clutter and mess have the psychological effect of creating distraction and chaos in your mind. This can block your productivity.
If you just take the time each day to sort and declutter the area in and around your immediate workspace, you will help yourself immensely. Then, take it one step further and work on one room or one area at a time at home and in your office, until everything is uncluttered.
4. Download Your Brain
Everybody needs the occasional brain dump. Take a moment to think about this.
Your brain is probably full of account numbers, passwords, birthdays, appointments, phone numbers, and who knows what else. Then, when you need to access any of that information, you have to tax your already hard-working brain to recall that information and bring it to the front.
Try creating space and improving efficiency by getting all of that information out of your head and stored in a safe place that you can access when you need to.
5. Take a Class on Personal Development
Online education is becoming more and more popular. This means that people are now able to take a variety of online classes to learn more and improve themselves.
How does this help you?
It means that you have the opportunity to embark on a journey of self-education to learn more about yourself and how your mind works.
When you understand this, you can discover even more tricks to help yourself become more productive.
6. Give Yourself Permission to Say No
You cannot accomplish your tasks and maintain a great level of productivity in your life if you are constantly taking on new projects. This is especially true when doing so is of no benefit to you, such as it is in situations where you are doing favors for somebody else.
Remember that it is perfectly within your rights to say no every once in a while.
In fact, you don’t even need to provide any explanation beyond, ‘that doesn’t work for me’.
7. Use Your Tokens Wisely
Think of yourself as having a finite number of tokens each day. Every time you spend mental or emotional energy on something it costs you, at least, one token. When you are out of tokens, it is as if you are out of energy to be productive.
On your good days, you might have lots of tokens. On the other hand, if you aren’t feeling well if you are low on sleep, if you are stressed out, or you are otherwise distressed, you start the day with much fewer tokens. At the beginning of the day, tell yourself how many tokens you have, and then spend them wisely.
8. Don’t Take on Everything
Take a close look at your to-do list. Then, ask yourself which items are truly using your skills and talents, and which items are things that you must do to accomplish your goals. Then, see what you can do about outsourcing the other tasks, or cutting them out altogether.
Many people are often surprised at how many things they do each day which is completely unneeded. If you have your “TPS reports” in your life, get rid of them.
9. Stop Working so Hard
Sometimes, when you hit the wall, you hit the wall. When this happens, and you continue to try and be productive, it is a pointless effort. You won’t get anything done. You should learn to recognize when you are completely spent and learn to stop and take a break.
Try implementing just a few of these habits, and you should start seeing an improvement in your productivity levels almost immediately. Implement all of them, and you just may become a productivity machine! Habits psychology lets you know it is all in your mind.
About the Author
Ben Brychta is an MBA student from San Jose, CA. He is a big movie classics fan and loves to share his opinion on different things happening in the spheres of the film industry, self-improvement, and lifestyle. You can contact him through his Twitter or Google+.