Momentum = Productivity.

RomesFall

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I'm a big fan of Mr. Tony Robbins.


I re-listened to some of his audiotapes recently, dawning the realization that my ideas on productivity stemmed directly from something I'd listened to well over a year ago.

Like most guys in our industry I am competitive by nature... I want to reach the next level.

We're usually Type-A personalities.

This is why what CC said about keeping your sanity is so important. In this post I just want to expand a little with some of my own thoughts that I'd like to share.

I digress though, being competitive doesn't change the fact we're all susceptible to general human problems. We can have dips in our motivation that kill our productivity, maybe you feel guilty for that and it just makes it worse?


I know those feelings because I always struggled with that kind of dichotomy... One week I'd be killing it, then for three weeks I'd be in free-fall. Maybe some of us get that worse, I don't know.

Our creative and competitive natures can be affected by so many different factors that are out of our control. I'd get ideas flying through my bizarre mind-factory and I'd stutter at this because I'd feel bad that I didn't have the resources to follow it through.

I shouldn't have even of been thinking about those things. I had other projects, but rather than just taking a note and carrying on it became a nightmarish pattern of disruption.

Self-sabotage...

When this stuff went down it was always as my momentum was dipping and sure enough my productivity followed. You see they're intertwined, and you may have figured this out already...

Momentum isn't cyclical, but linear.

You can build on it and as with all Newton's grand insights the common-sense knowledge we know is that it's harder to gain momentum when there is none in the first place.

Keeping momentum is of the UTMOST importance for anyone with serious ambitions and goals. If we don't reach those goals, or progress at the rate we expect then we beat ourselves down and in most cases this kills off the momentum/productivity even more.

So it became obvious to me when I listened to Tony's sage advice for a second time that designing activities to accelerate and build that momentum were critical.

- Doing the dishes & not leaving them.
- Beginning that exercise program you've been wanting to do.

Basically do the small tasks first & don't put off activities that are critical to achieving your goals... Even if you start off doing something small that you've been putting off it'll make you feel good and help you get more done the next day.

What's just as important is keeping out those negative influences that kill momentum.



What can affect momentum?

Music e.g. What we imbibe. Food, TV, Conversations.

Apply that to your own reality and trim away the fat that's causing you issues. I really enjoy certain music, but it'll over a few tracks get me in a melancholic mood. I don't have that in the day, what works for me is 'Chillstep'.


Pretty much everything we do in life is to avoid pain, or gain pleasure.

We're highly motivated by fear & avoiding pain. Neuro-associations tend to be crafted in highly emotional states and this is how we end up having our experiences translate to problems, often these become habits...

When I left college 5 years ago I was broke as hell and had debt coming out my eyes after losing the first job I got after just 6 months... I used to fear opening letters coming through the door and for years after, even when I had the money to pay my debts I would still obey this awful habit out of the associations my brain had made. Fear made me it's bitch.

A lack of momentum can cause lacking in the following qualities;

- Productivity
- Success
- Happiness
- Confidence/Faith In Your Abilities.

When we lose productivity or momentum we're probably procrastinating about something. Guys like us call that laziness...

Laziness/Procrastination is usually spawned from fear. Spawned from lacking in the above qualities which are spawned from a lack of momentum.

Laziness/Procrastination is primarily a habit and they're totally affected by our life paradigm, our life map if you will... Now look... Our paradigm that we operate in is extremely IMPORTANT because IF (and this isn't really a question) our primary motivators are to either avoid pain or gain pleasure... Then our habits are a simple circumstance of the way our life paradigm thinks about pain and pleasure. So laziness is a way of avoiding pain. It stems from a fundamental fear of whatever it is you're avoiding in life!

Momentum primarily slows when we attach pain to doing simple tasks that we know we need to do!

We all need to change the way we look at pain points. The best way to do this is face them head on, and reward yourself for doing that. I beat my frankly strange fear of opening the mail by rewarding myself with a bit of extra free time, which resulted in me feeling way happier over time because that fear used to nag me and kill my momentum every time I got a letter through the door.

Some times even now I screw up and don't do something I should... I put it off, which is negative, but I don't add to that by beating myself up about it. That's something that really kills off momentum quickly because you obsess over it. Putting stuff off does negatively effect your mood, but it's not the end of the world and don't look at it that way because that makes it more potent.

Beating yourself up over something is a waste of energy, energy you can put into shifting things up a gear... There is a silver-lining to every situation if you can frame it right.


Momentum is all about making the small consonant decisions that add up over time to larger changes that create more momentum, more productivity and more happiness.

Our most valuable commodity in life is our time, we can make a better use of it when we eliminate the negatives; we build our lives around making effective decisions and there's no such thing as failure until you stop trying, everything else is just a learning opportunity.

You may hit an all-time low one day, but momentum can be built and that's the silver-lining because productivity is addictive, the more you do, the more you succeed; the more you succeed, the more success you want.

Once you get a good basic routine that becomes a habit for you then you'll be on auto-pilot flying high with a base of momentum that's not reset at the beginning of each new day. Those consonant decisions help here, but you want to progress and secure that momentum.

When you feel like you've reached this point it's time to implement the MIT 'Most Important Task' tactic.

You do your MIT at the start of your day and it's the one task that allows your entire day to be a success if nothing else gets done that day.

It requires a bit of planning, all of this does...

But as Benjamin Franklin said; 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.'
 

RomesFall

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Now for some quotage.

"It is always the man who has tasted life who demands more of it. And it is always the man who never gets out of bed who is the most difficult to rouse."
- Arnold Bennett

"Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude."
- Dale Carnegie"

"Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."
- Sydney J. Harris

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."
- James Baldwin
 
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Holy cow. That was quite a read. Chillstep could revolutionize my time at the computer, if i can find purely instrumental style. Lyrics throw me off because my brain wants to listen to them.

I've seen Tony Robbins on movies and the net for years now but haven't bothered looking too deeply at him. I know some poeple hate him and some people love him. I know some of the top people in the world in their industries hire him so he must be doing somethign right.

Something you typed that reallly struck home for me is that Laziness/Procrastination is rooted in Fear. It's not something I've thought about but it makes total sense. I've got some thinking to do. Instead of trying to subvert laziness or procrastination, maybe it can be pulled up by the roots by dealing with the hidden fear beneath it...
 

RomesFall

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Holy cow. That was quite a read. Chillstep could revolutionize my time at the computer, if i can find purely instrumental style. Lyrics throw me off because my brain wants to listen to them.

I've seen Tony Robbins on movies and the net for years now but haven't bothered looking too deeply at him. I know some poeple hate him and some people love him. I know some of the top people in the world in their industries hire him so he must be doing somethign right.

Something you typed that reallly struck home for me is that Laziness/Procrastination is rooted in Fear. It's not something I've thought about but it makes total sense. I've got some thinking to do. Instead of trying to subvert laziness or procrastination, maybe it can be pulled up by the roots by dealing with the hidden fear beneath it...
I agree about the lyrics... I totally absorb anything in the environment around me and I totally have to zone myself into a certain frame of mind to get the best out of myself.

If you feel like the fear thing, as a subliminal issue is an underlying problem then I would suggest looking at investing in 'Think and Grow Rich' by Napoleon Hill as this is where I originally encountered the concept.
 

chaddicus.

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Laziness/Procrastination is rooted in Fear.
Laziness/Procrastination is rooted in Fear.
Laziness/Procrastination is rooted in Fear.



Awesome post. Great comments and insight. If I may be so bold as to try and add upon...

I've been reading this book called The Habit Loop. It's really, really interesting and about the way our brains function when we create habits. Habits are basically the most efficient way to go about our days so our brain isn't firing like crazy all the time. That would exhaust us mentally and physically.

There are three basic components to a habit. A cue, the routine, and the reward. As seen here:

And a short explanation:
MIT researchers discovered the habit loop while experimenting with rats running mazes. They discovered that during initial maze runs the rats' brains generated a great deal of activity in the cerebral cortex. However, navigating the mazes after numerous repetitions required less activity in the cerebral cortex, even in the parts of the brain governing memory. The brain converts the sequence of actions, "chunking" them to the primitive basal ganglia, reserving the cerebral cortex for higher or more intensive functions. This is the mechanism which operates when you're arriving home, and you have no conscious memory of actively, attentively driving all the turns.

Cues can be a location, a time of day, other people, an emotional state, or an immediately preceding action.
Routines are what happen immediately after a cue.
Reward is self-explanatory. It's why we do what our habits dictate.

The key to changing a habit is to short circuit the loop by changing the routine. That way the cue and reward are the same, but the 'mindless' activity is continually reinforced. It takes some willpower to start, but it keeps getting easier the more you do it. You have to experiment with some of the rewards for some of your habits, but it all creates a new and more productive loop.

Speaking of willpower, it's a muscle. At least in theory. It is an exhaustible resource. The more you use it and exercise it, the stronger it gets. If you're at the gym and pump out a set of 12 at 200lbs on bench press, you have to wait a little before you can go back at it for your second set. Same thing with willpower. It has a half-life. When you are exercising it, make sure you take a break and do something you enjoy to let it build back up. Refill the tank, if you will. Then you can remain productive throughout the day and be a boss. Your momentum get rolling and there is no stopping you.

@RomesFall, I love the bit about detaching pain from the tasks we don't want to do. That is seriously such a little golden nugget. You've hit the nail on the head. Thanks for a baller post.
 
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Speaking of Tony Robbins, I read Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within about five years ago.

Unlimited Power was amazing. It was scholarly and deep and introduced me to a lot of the neurolinguistic programming material plus more. Awaken the Giant Within seemed more like a business move, writtin in laymen's language and basically a rewrite of the first book. Unlimited Power was seriously incredible. I can't say I've put a ton of it into action, but I did play with the ideas for a while.

I tried something I think he called anchoring, where whenever you experience a top level emotion you'd like to revive, you anchor it to some movement that would NEVER be accidentally reproduced anywhere else. I won't get into all of the details but I chose a movement which involved my right hand and an awkward position and feeling using my fingernails and blah blah. So I had to wait, because I'm not an extremely emotional person. But finally I got the chance to crack up and laugh more than ever and I managed to anchor it to that hand position. You can't overuse it, but I tested it over the next months where I'd hit the hand position and see if it'd reproduce a lot of the feelings of laughing and it did. 5 years later I'll try it now... very slight sensation. Could be placebo.

Anyways, not sure what the point of my post is other than to say I really enjoyed Unlimited Power and suggest it if you can deal with a dry read that's truly information packed.
 

emp

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<snip>

Speaking of willpower, it's a muscle. At least in theory. It is an exhaustible resource. The more you use it and exercise it, the stronger it gets. If you're at the gym and pump out a set of 12 at 200lbs on bench press, you have to wait a little before you can go back at it for your second set. Same thing with willpower. It has a half-life. When you are exercising it, make sure you take a break and do something you enjoy to let it build back up. Refill the tank, if you will. Then you can remain productive throughout the day and be a boss. Your momentum get rolling and there is no stopping you.<...>
Err...
After I got up from the floor at another one comparing a state of mind to a muscle....

It is a bit more complex than that.
One very interesting piece of research came from Veronika Job, Carol Dweck and Greg Walton of Stanford University.

What they found is that people who thought of willpower as a finite resource that can be used up, seemed to have less of it, needing breaks to recharge, claiming they "ran out", etc..
People whose concept of willpower was that of an infinite supply, well...

Here is a good summary:
http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2010/november-10/need-a-break-depends-on-your-concept-of-willpower.html

However, with any pschological factor, the jury is still out.

I personally found the concept of "decision fatigue" to hold true, so to optimize my day, I optimize that.
In a nutshell :the less DECISIONS you have to make, the better.

I try to eliminate useless decisions.
So yes, I lay out the clothes for the next day in the evening. Not having to start the day with trying to decide what to wear is great.
On a more advanced note, I always know what to do next, as my task list is up to date.

::emp::
 

Andrewkar

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Yes, fear is the root of many problems. And sometimes it's simply luck of necessary habits.
Some time ago I had my time with MLM industry (short but intense).

I decided to give it a ago because I was always curious about network marketing (maybe because there is a lot of bad rep around that industry and I wanted to check it personally).
Anyway, MLM it's not my kind of business. Well, if I'm the creator it could be but, not being one of drones. So in general I've had hard time talking with those people, and even harder talking with their leaders.
Not because they are retarded or something, actually very opposite is true.
The problem was in me, I'm not happy with being indoctrinated (even for fat pay checks...).

Anyway, there is something that I have learned from them. I was lucky to be in a rather professionally managed group. Those guys are crazy when it comes to planning and time management, fucking freaks. They put a lot of pressure on doing simple daily tasks consistently to from new (and better for business) habits.

For example, everyone has notebook or calendar, just regular made of paper calendar. Every evening they are writing plan for the next day (by hand).
Then they are advised to think for 15 minutes before the sleep about their big goals, small goals etc.Then in the morning they read the plan from calendar, make some corrections if necessary and starting work day. I know it's nothing new or spectacular but, the key word here is consistency. Every single day leaders push their drones to write in those calendars (they even control calling them at 9pm or later).

And it works well, actually very well.
So this is what I do also. I'm not happy to be indoctrinated by someone but, I'm happy to indoctrinate myself.
Also, I use Notes (available in every Windows) with basic plan for the next day. Every evening I do TO DO list for a next day and leave it on the pulpit so it's the first thing I see next morning. And there is no escape from it. Because to be honest, I'm the biggest procrastinator I know, this simple system helps me to get into right working mood and get things done.



With regards to music. I like soundtracks from movies like for example 300, Sabotage, Social Network, Lone Survivor etc.
It gives me right attitude.
 

chaddicus.

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It is a bit more complex than that.
One very interesting piece of research came from Veronika Job, Carol Dweck and Greg Walton of Stanford University.

What they found is that people who thought of willpower as a finite resource that can be used up, seemed to have less of it, needing breaks to recharge, claiming they "ran out", etc..
People whose concept of willpower was that of an infinite supply, well...

I guess I'm not as well read as I wish I was. All the studies I've seen have been more oriented around how long people could focus on particular tasks after exercising (probably a poor choice of word after your post) their will power. For example, participants were left alone in a room with freshly baked cookies and told not to partake while a control group just sitting in an empty room. Afterwards, they take a test measuring ability to focus for a period of time. The group instructed not to eat the cookies didn't last nearly as long as the control group. The study was a bit more complex than that, but I admit, I can see quite a few issues with it...

I agree completely with the decision fatigue issue. I don't lay out clothes, but I keep a running task list and it always helps me through the day. Plus, I just like checking stuff off.
 

emp

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Well, this is a popular topic in psych research now, so expect to get some new info every once in a while.

::emp::
 

animalstyle

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@RomesFall I am currently reading Awaken the Giant Within and finding some helpful insight in the book. My fiance bought it for me and I was skeptical at first, but there are insights to be had from the book and I am enjoying it.

Also really agree and have been practicing momentum this week. Your words here helped me. Thanks for sharing this insight of yours.