The Ultimate Productivity Hack

Bad day at the officeThis is something you do not want to hear. It’s the opposite of human nature. It is anti-happiness. The only thing good about it? It’s the truth about productivity

The ultimate productivity hack is sticking to a very boring routine. A life filled – at least for a short time – with almost no variety. No choices. No novelty.

Happiness has been dissected by the experts. Novel, fun experiences create happiness. So the highest level of productivity comes down to eschewing anything that is new and exciting.

The anti-happiness regimen is largely about removing any variety, any distraction and any fun for a period of time. That time is when you are able to fully engage in whatever your work or project demands.

I can hear the life balance people moaning.

Take heart. This is not a prescription for living your life. It is the prescription for getting something done rapidly, with the full force of your intelligence and imagination.

How many times in your life do you need to be ultra productive? It depends on your life, your desired ultimate outcome and your ability to pledge allegiance to a burning desire. Without a burning desire, this won’t work.

I just finished writing my third book. It took 32 edits. It is– as each book has been – my life’s work for a period of time. It – like the other books – aren’t my whole story. I work. I teach. I coach. I speak.

Oh yes, and I live. Bathe. Dress. Drive. Work. Teach. Coach. Speak. But mostly I WRITE. READ. EDIT. REVISE. And repeat. (You get the idea.)

The secret of the ultimate productivity hack is to put everything possible on auto-pilot. At the simplest level, I start with what I eat. I make something I call my “writer’s mix.” It is turkey, Brussels sprouts, spinach, carrots, and a huge volume of turmeric and chile paste.

I eat it three times a day. I start out with a huge stewing pot of this stuff. Then, for breakfast, lunch and dinner: I eat it. The goal is simple: no joy of eating. I start out hungry. I eat the mix. I am full.

I do the same with every other task in my life, while I am writing and editing. I do my social media interactions every three hours. I pick up my email while I’m eating. I walk my dogs for an hour, during twilight so it’s cool enough for them and the right time to clear my head. I don’t hibernate nor am I rigid. I went to a wedding of a dear friend last Friday evening. I met another dear friend for lunch on Sunday afternoon. So, part of the routine is two times over a weekend, I have three hours with people I know well and adore.

There’s a religious text with a passage about there being a time for everything. When you have a project that must be done and have a life that must be folded in around it: this is the time for being focused on your purpose.

Promise yourself, you will be happy. Later. For now: set up the rules, routines, rituals and habits that protect you from distraction, confusion, choices and decision-making.

The more boring your life is the better, when it comes to being super successful at getting something important done. Need some tips on setting up your routine? Email me at [email protected]. Subject line: Productivity.

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