Sometimes you just need to crank out the work…
Today’s one of those days for me. I’m working on a deadline for a big project, and I need to get it to the client before my work day is over.
It’s a somewhat tricky, complicated project. And I’ve admittedly allowed a whole lot of it to wait until very late in the process. (ADHD is sometimes a superpower, but sometimes it’s a real pain in the hiney!)
That said, I’ve been confident with every bone in my body that I’d be able to get all the work done that I needed to—IF I could have a productive last couple days.
Thing is, not every day is as productive as I’d like it to be. And sometimes, my days are very UN-productive.
I smash right up against the writer’s enemy of Resistance, and if I can’t knock it down, I don’t churn out nearly as much work as I’d like to in the day.
That said, I have a trick…
A hack to make sure I’ll enjoy maximum productivity throughout the day…
You see, I normally work from home. It’s familiar. And, it’s cheap—I don’t have a lease, and I don’t have to pay extra rent to work from my basement office.
I have everything I need there. I even have my extra monitor that I can use to be able to quickly go back and forth between research and writing.
That said, not only do I have all the GOOD things, I have all the BAD things, too. All the distractions. All my worst working habits usually take place in that same home office.
While I can be extraordinarily productive working at home, I can also be extraordinarily UN-productive while working at home, too.
While I’d love to be able to tell you I’m above letting these bad habits influence my work, the reality is that I’m not. Not at all. I don’t know if I’ll ever be.
(Add to that the fact that it’s summer and my kids are home, or at least coming and going, all day, and home can be a tricky place to get stuff done—even if I’m hidden away in my office downstairs.)
And so I have to resort to tricks.
And my favorite, most reliable trick for turning on instant productivity?
Change your place, change your state!
Our brains work in sometimes mysterious ways. They are doing all sorts of processing on a subconscious level that determines our conscious reality.
And a surprising amount of our subconscious is driven by place—where we’re at.
Have you ever been somewhere and suddenly you feel absolutely, totally different? How about when you visit your childhood home? Or when you walk into a hospital where you’ve had surgery, or some other medical event? What about when you go to visit an old school?
We have all kinds of associations with place that create feelings, the instant we return there.
In neuro-linguistic programming, these are called anchors.
Certain states are anchored to certain places (among other things), so that when we go there, it creates subconscious and conscious thoughts and feelings that will determine how we behave.
My favorite place for super-productivity…
So in the last few days, when I’ve needed to be super-productive, I’ve decided to get out of the house.
There are a couple coffee shops in town that I particularly like.
One is a few miles away, and frequented by a lot of folks I knew well in college and still am pretty friendly with when I see them. The coffee’s cheap, the atmosphere friendly, and I like to be there all day long. But through time, it lost its association with ultra productivity, because I knew and would talk to too many people.
That’s when I tried a little place that might be called a “neighborhood” coffee shop. It’s within a mile or so from my house. It’s quiet, but there’s a steady stream of groups coming and going, and having little conversations. It’s friendly. The coffee’s a little more expensive, but not by much.
Most importantly though, this neighborhood coffee joint is anchored to super-productivity in my mind.
I sit down, grab my coffee, put on my headphones, and go.
It’s automatic. There’s no fiddling around. There’s no procrastination. There’s no major distractions.
From the moment I start working, I’m working far faster than I do in any other place (at least for now). Because that’s how it’s been anchored in my subconscious.
I should have no problem hitting my deadline…
As I write this, I’ve got a couple hours left in my working day. Other issues of Breakthrough Marketing Secrets take as long as an hour to write, but I’ve written the 767 words you’ve already read in just under 17 minutes. I should have this done and scheduled for publishing within 30 minutes or less, while delivering no less value.
That will leave substantial time to put the finishing touches on my project for my client, and send it off.
And, I set myself up for an extra reward this week. The latest version of my favorite music-making software, Propellerhead Reason, came out this week. I wasn’t letting myself get the upgrade until I hit my deadline. I needed that extra motivation — and this will give it. There are some new features (including the ability to compose music by literally humming or singing into your computer’s microphone) that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
Double motivation on that point, because my whole family has been getting into the Hamilton soundtrack, and every time I get excited by new music my first instinct is to go make some of my own!
But by and large, simply coming to this coffee shop, setting up at a table just barely big enough for my laptop and my coffee cup, and getting going… Well, that’s just the hack my productivity needed to get this done.
I’m not alone in this…
I’ve heard from numerous highly-successful entrepreneurs that they use this hack to get more done.
Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach doesn’t even have an office at his company’s office. When he’s there, he works from the conference room. But when he really needs to get something done, he goes to a local coffee shop and gets to work. He urges his coaching clients to do the same.
Other successful entrepreneurs, just the same. We build these palaces of our success that are just to our liking, only to discover that working in them can sometimes be a challenge.
To maximize our productivity and our success, sometimes we just need to get up, get out, and get something.
The biggest lesson?
There’s a superficial lesson in this, and there’s a deeper one, too.
You already know the superficial lesson. Change your place, change your state. Find a place that is associated with productivity (or that you can associate with productivity). And go there when you absolutely, positively need to be productive.
The deeper lesson? State management is a powerful tool in creating the success you want. The first step to getting everything we want in life is by getting in the right state to achieve or attract it. Learn to pay attention to your states. And when you find yourself in a state that’s not conducive to achieving your goals and getting what you want, find a way to change it.
That, my friend, can be a tremendous breakthrough.
Make it a great weekend.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,