Once in a while… I try it again!

Posted on July 1, 2015


Two years ago I started a blogging quest for increasing my personal productivity. Well… I failed miserably after just a couple of days. I’ve tried other techniques later onĀ also… but… well… Still kept many of my old habits and my lazy, under-pressure-efficiency personality has prevailed.

You might see by this blog frequency how bad it is: One of my main objectives since forever is to consistently write to this blog, to help me organize my thoughts, study new topics and produce some good content in order to become a better person – sharing it along the way. Last post… two years ago!!

What I have been up to? A lot of work, a lot of travelling for work, moving to a new place with my girlfriend (and our kitten), an unfinished economics course thesis, a knee surgery and a continuous piling up of ideas and dreams. I’m happy, keeping my learning curve high and trying to have a work-life balance (when I am home…! šŸ™‚ )

As usual, did not give up on trying to become a more productive person! What I have been thinking a lot lately is two things:

  1. to get some kind of help… a coach, some other online course, those group king of trainings… but haven’t found anything catchy yet
  2. DevelopĀ my own productivity method, not based on any consolidated method, but instead, just using elements of all those things I have been studying for such long time (and trying it out…!) like productivity methods, books, online courses, neuroscience papers, behaviour change studies, tech tools, etc. and creating a tailored method for my own gaps. Maybe other people have similar problems, and I can be of help also.

Going for 2.

I decided to start practical, instead of too much thinking, as I usually like to do: too much imagination and planning…too little action. The story is as follow:

I guess 9 out of 10 specialistsĀ will tell you to start from a self assessment of life goals, some kind of meditation or deepening into your wishes and dreams, and so on. I skippedĀ this step… but do not underestimate it. Just that I have done so many different methods that I’m sick tired of knowing where I want to go, but I also learned that this is not the fundamental source of motivation for myself… I’m way too optimistic of a person, so, “I will for sure start tomorrow and be Bill Gates by the day after tomorrow” will never feel that far away. That said… I din’t want to redo the same exercise and lose the initial momentum on answers I know well.

I took a deep breath after a walk on the beach and decided to go ‘extreme’ at first. Direct to the point, I want to tackle straight what I know is my biggest problem: self discipline (i’m very disorganized, love to think over and be creative, will always leave everything for the last minute, have confidence on my learning pace and work very well under pressure – meaning… forget routine, habits, long term planning and so on). I know my discipline keeps me from doing a lot more, specially on my personal projects, whichĀ are very hard to prioritize against my working tasks, where I usually have other peopleĀ depending on me.

I tried someĀ habit change methods before… but they usually require discipline for a routine. I can keep it for about 2 or 3 days. Can blame work, social life or whatever… but truth is, right now, with my job, my lifestyle and my personality… I just need flexibility on my day to day. What to do then?

Once, I was invited for a free opening session in one of those kind of philosophy (sounds a bit religious to me) groups of people that gather to discuss theories and life in general stuff – themed how to be more productive and creative. I did not like much of what I heard, and the subject was everything but the two topics for the most of the speech, but the guy said one sentence that I kept, and it is in fact the concept I will take on:

“If you would like to be more creative, there is not much secret to it. You need to live like a creative person. You need to try to be creative in all aspect of your life, from the moment you wake up, to the moment you go to bed. You have to focus and try to invent in every opportunity in your daily life. Little by little, that will become part of your personality.”

Well… to be more disciplined, I need to live as a self disciplined person, fight against that feeling of leaving it for later. I created a few simple rules on my life that I need to keep in mind to start:

  • No dishes to clean on my sink
  • No clothes inside my travelling bag (home or in the hotel – this happens weekly for me)
  • Don’t leave simple stuff undone at home or after work

Like a mantra… always on the back of my mind. Do it, do it… it sucks really bad… if you are an organized person, like my girlfriend… you might be laughing at me right now… but I am sure some people are solidary to me also. Little by little, what has to be done, will become part of my unconscious decisions.

But for the ‘extreme’ there is one thing left on the rules I defined. In order to work strongly on my will and as well, to tackle the main source of lack of productivity in my life… I’m cutting TV out. (Some are laughing… but I’m one of those who loves TV… first thing I do entering a place, is to turn on the tv… life habit)

I’m actually on my second day with absolute no TV… and I’m already amazed by how many hours my night seems to have! Specially travelling as I am now, TV was the company for the evenings, now, I have left just stuff to do or study. Not nice, but worthwhile.

Summary: No routines imposed so far, no goals definition, no little habit chosen to change at first, no organization methods imposed… instead, tackling straight the main source of wasted time: TV and acting on my weakest skill: self discipline by trying to incorporate it in my life by little actions or daily decisions – i believe the rest, they will be consequences of the improvement.

Hope never ends! šŸ™‚

Posted in: General Interest