Behavior Discipline Growth Mindset Productivity

30 minutes

If you can focus for 30 minutes, you can be a productivity powerhouse. Here’s what you need to do.

Are you a procrastinator?

Do you have days that go by without accomplishing anything? Days that you just looked at the work you needed to do, but in the end, you didn’t do anything?

You’re not alone.

The Google term ‘what is procrastination’ results in over 43 million hits. Procrastination is something that has always been there and always will be there.

In a way, it makes us human. We have things that we love to do and things we don’t love to do. The things we love to do get our attention and energy. The tasks we like less are often postponed.

The same holds for tasks that are easier to do versus those that require maximum attention or brainpower.

Teams and companies can procrastinate as a system. Whether you’re focusing on the right things and then getting them done sets you apart from your competition.

The critical point is whether you can focus on the right things and execute them. When you keep postponing those challenging priorities you know will help you forward, you’re not winning.

Procrastination requires looking in the mirror and asking yourself a few hard questions.

Most importantly, ask yourself what you’re pretending not to know.

Not an easy question to ask and answer, but if you’re capable of answering this question, you’ve already made a huge step.

If a task seems vast, complex, and too hard to take on, assess whether you could break the task up into smaller portions.

Writing one chapter of a book is easier than writing the whole book. Writing one page is easier than writing one chapter.

Breaking things up into smaller pieces will help to create that little shot of dopamine you need to get going and keep going.

Once you know how to break a tough challenge into smaller pieces, it also makes sense to take it first thing in the morning.

It’s a trick and a straightforward trick.

When you create the discipline to take on your most challenging task for the day first thing in the morning, you’re setting yourself up for success.

Even if you can only commit to 30′, it will already help give you that shot of dopamine and allow you to get in a flow.

Chances are that after those 30′ you will want to keep going. That’s how our body responds to accomplishment.

When you schedule your toughest challenge for the end of the day, the chances are significantly higher you will ever get to it. Your energy levels are down, and your day may have gone differently than expected.

It’s proven that those who tackle their toughest challenge first are generally more productive than those who leave it for later in the day.

So the trick is to push yourself to focus for 30′ minutes on your toughest challenge first thing in the morning. 30′ minutes of total focus, no distraction, and your phone on Airplane mode if you like.

30′ is nothing. So why not try it? Even if it fails, you only lose 30′

But it won’t fail because you’ve done everything to set yourself up for success.

Your turn: 30 minutes?

Do more of what makes you happy!


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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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