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How To Be More Productive - A Life With Intention

How To Be More Productive

We have compiled 5 powerful tips to help boost your productivity based on research from leading thinkers in this area. | how to be more productive | how to be more productive at home | how to be more productive life | how to be more productive time management | how to be more productive tips | how to be more productive articles | #howtobemoreproductivetips #howtobemoreproductivelife

About This Article

In this article we are going to give you practical steps to be more productive but before we do that, we wanted to do some internal work. Why internal work? We think that being more productive starts by dealing with our internal issues.

Your First Time Here? Welcome!

Hey! My name is Rachel Swan and I am part of the team at A Life With Intention. Sorry to interrupt the internal work we were about to go into, I just thought it would be good to say a formal introduction to people who haven’t been to the site before.

I write most of our blogs as part of the mission of A Life With Intention which is to share our journey of growth to help other people on theirs. Our hope is that the content that we post here will be helpful to you and if there is anything you would like to see featured please drop me an email. Ok back to the internal work!

The Truth About Productivity

The truth is that being more productive is pretty straight forward and you probably know exactly how to do it. Here are some of the usual things that you will see in articles on being productive. 
– Get Up Earlier
– Watch Less TV/YouTube/Netflix
– Go Out Less
– Create Deadlines
These are great things to do and I am not knocking them or articles that highlight these practical steps. The problem is that people know this stuff and yet they still feel that something is holding them back. This means something else is at play and in tip #1 we will explore this unseen factor. 

Tip #1 Realise Your Own Internal Struggles

There is an amazing book by Steven Pressfield called The War Of Art which looks at how you can be more productive by understanding how to handle your own internal battles. If you want to be more productive, you need to understand this stuff because it is something you will face every single day. 

The links in this article are affiliate links. This means that at NO additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. If you do click through and make a purchase…thankyou!

Click The Image To Check Out The Book

You Have Two Lives
You have the life you are living and you have the potential of the life you could be living. The life you could be living is your potential and when you move towards your potential you will have to make different choices that are harder to act on but will yield amazing results. What is stopping most people living to their full potential? Resistance. 
What Is Resistance?
Resistance is an invisible internal force that turns up to self sabotage your self development. It can’t be seen, touched or heard but it can be felt and we all feel it every day, usually at the crossroad of making a decision to do something that will improve our lives. Resistance will fabricate, falsify, seduce, bully and say anything to cut a deal with you so that you stray from the path that leads to the success you want. Resistance is a self generated engine of destruction and only turns up when you are trying to evolve, it doesn’t show up if you are regressing. 
Activities That Create Resistance
– The pursuit of a calling like writing, painting, music, film, dance or creative art.
– The launch of an entrepreneurial venture.  
– Any diet or health regiment.
– Any program of spiritual advancement.
– Any course or actions that is to help you get over an addiction.

Please don’t be discouraged by this especially if it is new to you. Resistance can be used as a compass that will show you exactly what you need to do. The thing you are feeling resistance for is probably the thing you need to pursue.  

How I Experience Resistance
I have huge resistance when I write and in fact I had resistance on how to approach this article. It would have taken half the time if I had just given you a list to help your productivity. I had resistance to do the research because it is more work but that showed me that the research was exactly what I needed to do. 
Here are examples of resistance I faced before writing this article. “Ah chill out Rachel, you will write it quick let’s watch some Youtube clips”. “You need to send that email first”. “Nah forget the research, just write the article and make it quick”. “Clear up your desktop first”. 
This is normal and this happens regularly when I need to start something important. Resistance blocks productivity and that is why you need to be aware of it and have tactics to deal with it. 
How Do You Beat Resistance?
In The Art of War, Steven Pressfield says that resistance can be beaten when you turn professional. This is fundamentally a mindset shift and by going from “amateur” and turning “professional” the way you do everything will change. 
The Actions Of A Professional
This is what a pro does and these actions will also ensure your productivity. 
– They turn up every day.
– They show up no matter what.
– They stay on the job all day.
– They are committed to the long haul.
– The stakes are high and real.
– They accept payment for their labour.
– They don’t over identify with their jobs.
– They master the technique.
– They have a sense of humour about our jobs.
– They receive praise and blame in the real world. 
The Imposter Syndrome
When you become a professional you will most likely face the imposter syndrome which is when you question your validity as a professional. Am I good enough? Is this good enough? I am not authentic, I am not a pro. Steven calls this “the amateur vs the professional”. This is HUGE productivity vampire! Every person who is hugely successful went through what you are going through so don’t worry or allow this type of thinking. 
Resistance From People
When you start to move up and move forward, expect resistance from people. The reason this happens is that when you are challenging and tackling your own resistance head on, it will shine a light on the people around you that are not dealing with theirs. 
Fear Blocks Productivity
Bill Russell is known as a great athlete. He won an NCAA Championship, a gold medal and an NBA Championship in the same year. Would you be shocked to know that Bill Russell would throw up before every single game? He could have looked at his involuntary puking as a sign that he was on the wrong path and that he wasnt good enough but he didn’t. He just ignored his fear and anxiety, trusted that he had put the work in and he didn’t let anything deter him. You can’t get rid of fear, you just look it in the eye, accept what comes with it and keep going.  
Falling In Love Makes Your More Productive
When you are in love with the work you are doing, you will get up early, cut back on socialising and making other sacrifices to pursue your vision. You might have slumps but you will be so motivated you won’t find it hard to be productive. If you don’t love what you do your self-sabotage mechanisms will beat you every time. 

If you don’t know your life purpose check out this article we wrote on How To Create A Great Life as it has a very simple exercise that can help you find it. Click the link below to check it out.

The button will open the article in a new window so you can read it later. 

Give Your Gift
This concept from the book is really powerful and should motivate you to be more productive. The concept is based around you looking at your work as a gift to the world. Your gift can help other people and by you not sharing it, people will end up missing out.

“Are you a born writer? Were you put on earth to be a painter, a scientist, an apostle of peace? In the end the question can only be answered by action. Do it or don’t do it. It may help to think of it this way. If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children. You hurt me. You hurt the planet. You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite the Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter farther along its path back to God. Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” 

The Struggle Of Productivity
Steven Pressfield presents the struggle of productivity as a war within yourself than more anything else. This makes sense as we are usually the people who hold ourselves back and once you identify your own self deception mechanisms, you are one step closer to beating them. Resistance is our own internal battle. 

Tip #2 Focus On Your One Thing

This is a concept that writer Gary Keller has explored on focussing on one thing and being great at it; you can do anything but you can’t do everything. 

Click The Image To Check Out The Book

If you are looking to start a business online, then that needs to be your focus. Not starting a business plus writing a novel, creating a set paintings and learning how to fly a plane. If you try to do everything you will have average results at everything. Focussing on one thing at a time will increase your productivity. Your brain is not designed to do a million things at once.  Did you know that 28% of the day is lost to multitasking? In order to increase your productivity on a macro and micro level you need to be very clear about what you want. 

You Have To Be Focused In Your Pursuits and Productivity
If you study any successful entrepreneur, inventor, artist, writer or athlete they all focussed on their “one thing”. This is powerful stuff, rather than go wide with your focus go deep and go deep with one thing. If you don’t know your purpose (your one thing) then please check out this article on building a great life as it has a tool that can help you find it. 
“If you try and catch two rabbits your wont catch either”. Russian Proverb

Tip #3 Have Sessions Of Deep Work

In the book Deep Work, Cal Newport looks at the power of doing sessions of uninterrupted, focused work. This is powerful stuff, rather than go wide with your focus go deep and go deep with one thing. 

Click The Image To Check Out The Book

What Is Deep Work
Cal Newport describes deep work as “professional activities performed in a state of distraction free concentration that pushes your cognitive abilities to the limit”. These efforts create new value, improve your skill and are hard for others to replicate. Learning new things in a state of low concentration will inhibit your ability to learn quickly and reduce your productivity. 
What Is The Value Of Deep Work
To thrive in our economy you need to learn hard things very quickly and produce work at a high level in terms of quality and speed. Creating a daily habit of deep work helps you achieve this. It also worth considering that we have entered into a time where AI (artificial intelligence) is taking over jobs. Your skill base and your ability to develop your skills at speed is going to be a huge asset to you and deep work can help with this. 
What Is Shallow Work ?
Non-cognitively demanding, logistical style tasks often performed while distracted. For example, I have been part of the process of creating some of our Instagram posts into Pinterest posts. This takes almost zero brain power as it is merely a case of copying and pasting the content from one template to another. That work is shallow work. 
Is There Science Behind Periods Of Deep Work
Apparently there is scientific studies that show that intense focus in isolated periods of work helps to create myelin in relevant areas of the brain. Myelin is a white tissue that develop arounds neurons that helps brain cells fire faster and cleaner. 
Tips On Creating Deep Work
1) Schedule Distractions
Are you currently watching an addictive series on Netflix? Schedule that for your “distraction time”. Have a set time of deep work and build incentives into your day to help you push through your sessions of intense focus. 
2) Create a Deep Work Ritual
You will have to work out the best times you should do your sessions of deep work. Early seems to be a very good time for me as I am fresh and ready for the day. I have also found I get a productive day of work achieved if I do the hardest jobs first.
3) Have an Evening Shutdown Ritual
When you get to the end of the day, review what is left to do and write that down in a list with an action plan of how and when you are going to do it. Then shelf it until your next work day as this will help your mind completely switch off for the rest of the night. 

Tip #4 Declutter Your Brain

When you have two hundred things floating around in your brain you will find it very hard to create deep work and focus on your one thing. The solution is to get it all out of your brain into a system that can help you deal with it. How you do this? Yep you guessed it, with a list.
Lists get thrown around in every article on productivity and it’s for a good reason, they work. Notes and list taking is the best way to keep your brain clear of clutter and we have some tips to create a smooth system for making lists. 
“You mind is for having ideas, not holding them”. David Allen

You need a short and relevant task list for each day. The main aim here is not to overwhelm yourself with things to do it is just to make sure the main things of high priority get done. Have the list in a place that is easy for you to see and refer back to so you know what is left to do. 

What We Use To Write Our Lists
I use Evernote for lists, notes and other info I need on a daily basis. Evernote is such a great tool; it is easy, tidy and efficient. We have written a very short article on how we use Evernote which might give you some ideas on how you could use it.
In David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” he has a devised a few systems that are worth trying. 

Click The Image To Check Out The Book

This is based on how David Allen suggest you note down the things that are floating around in your mind.
Capture – Write it down the things you need to do.
Process – Think about when it need to be done, why, how can you move it forward.
Organise – What area of your life is this? You need to store that info in a place where all of those things are relevant.
Review – Keep reviewing all your goals and analyse if the short term actions you are taking are moving you towards them. 
We suggest you try different methods of making lists to see what is working for you but the best advice will always be, keep it simple. The main aim is to get the ideas and things you need to do out of your head, in a place you can find them quickly to take action. 

Tip #5 Gamify Your Life

This is a very abstract one but I have some people on my team that swear by it…they turn their life into a game. Yes, this is a real thing, no you are not being trolled.  
I say it is abstract but it isn’t really that abstract, it is simply making things that you do on a regular basis into games so that you will be more engaged in the process and execution. Social media has a gamification aspect to it, many companies have this idea built into how they build loyalty with their audience and it can be a very powerful tool to get you motivated on the projects you want to do. Most people love games and for this reason it is a great way of increasing your productivity. 
You guessed it, there is a book on this topic which we found very helpful and definitely worth checking out. Actionable Gamification by Yu-Kai Chou. 

If this idea appeals to you, a very simple way of trying this in your life would be to use an app for a while and see how it goes. Below are a few apps we found that can help you gamify your objectives and make you more productive. 



Here Is The Long List

To satisfy you list lovers we wanted to give you a selection of all the things that can help you increase your productivity. This list can be used as a quick reminder of things you need to keep a handle on or try.
1) Manage your actions by prioritising.
2) Cut out TV.
2) Go to bed early and get up early.
3) Party/socialise less.
4) Have a vision.
5) Be aware that no one has forever.
6) Create deadlines and keep them short by applying Parkinson’s Law; work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
7) Know your purpose.
8) Get the heavy lifting (hard work) done in the beginning of the day.
9) Exercise daily. Exercise is proven to have many benefits to your body that will help you be more productive. You can do a very effective body weight routine at home that will keep you lean, healthy and energised. 
10) Take regular breaks. 
11) Meditate.
12) Use the Pomodoro Technique and build incentives/rewards into your working day.
13) Use automation where you can. 
14) Say no to things you don’t need to do. 
15) Have a singular focus.   
16) Create an accomplishment journal.
17) Find ways to reduce the friction between the things you need to do. If you are a blogger is your laptop cleaned and backed up so that it is running smoothly and ready for you to write on? 
18) Create efficient systems. This will take time at first but it will end up saving you time and valuable headspace. 
19) Use your downtime in a way that will help to refresh you and build you up. Read books, listen to audiobooks, listen to a podcast where you will learn something.
20) Realise your time is precious. 
21) Delegate. You can’t do everything.
22) Clear your mind and meditate every day. 
23) Build rewards. The brain responds to rewards. 
23) Create necessity. If you have to do it, you will find a way. 
24) Be kind to yourself, everyone struggles with procrastination. 


In this article you should have found a selection of ideas and concepts that have been tested and proven to work. This has included Steven Pressfield’s idea of understanding and grappling with your internal resistance. Cal Newport’s ideas on creating a habit of deep work and Gary Keller’s idea of focussing on “one thing”. We also looked at practical steps on managing your time with lists and we even looked at how you can gamify your life to become more productive.

You can do this, there really are no excuses as all the tools and information are out there. We would encourage you to read back through this article make some notes and start living a life of productivity today! 🙂 

Tools To Boost Your Productivity

Reading has changed our lives including our level of productivity. The problem most people have is finding time to read. We recently found an amazing tool that has doubled the number of books read in a month and in turn changed our lives and our business. 

It uses all the learning styles (visual, auditory & kinesthetic) to help you learn the concepts from the books at a faster speed. 

The biggest feature by far is the fact that you are getting taught by the authors of the books through videos and cheatsheets. This is an amazing way of reading, we have called it smart reading.

Click the link to find out more about this cutting-edge learning tool. If you don’t read you are missing out on a tool that will help you move forward quickly.

Learn about smart reading today by clicking the link below.

Tools To Help You Become Your Best

Check out our other blogs which have tools to help you grow and content to inspire you.

We have compiled 5 powerful tips to help boost your productivity based on research from leading thinkers in this area. | how to be more productive | how to be more productive at home | how to be more productive life | how to be more productive time management | how to be more productive tips | how to be more productive articles | #howtobemoreproductivetips #howtobemoreproductivelife

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