Trick Your Brain Into Being Productive: 9 Smart Tactics.

maximize your productivity levels

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Feeling Unproductive Kinda Thing

So you’ve wok up and you have zero motivation. None, nada, aucune, zilch… motivational force to even get out of bed not to mention let alone getting to work.  

On days like these, you have a choice. You can indulge in (a little) self-pity hoping that it will change anything or we can trick your brain into being productive by doing the things that may not be on your top priority list but still have to be done and here are some pretty effective ways to do that! 

So without further ado, let’s dive in!

1. Identify The Source Of The Problem

Oftentimes, being unproductive is just a momentary feeling that appears, grows, and disappears by itself and you can get back to what you were doing as if nothing had happened. At other times, having no motivation is just a little piece of a much larger problem that you’re probably not aware of. At moments like this when you can’t just shake the feeling of unproductivity, you need to delve deeper into it and try to find the reason why you’re feeling that way. 

Because here’s the thing, every emotion is a call for action to either change your perception or change your behavior. And feeling unmotivated is no exception to the rule. Your job is to investigate your lack of motivation and decode the message this particular emotion has to offer. Once you do it, you will be able to use that knowledge to your advantage. To help you with that, here are 5 simple questions that can help you to investigate your feelings:

  1. Identify what is the emotion you feel deep down inside.
  2. What is the possible reason why you feel unproductive? Fear of failure? Lack of clarity? Too high expectations? Low self-esteem? Fear of hard work? Unrealistic expectations?
  3. What is the message this particular feeling has to offer?
  4. How you can use feeling unproductive to your advantage?
  5. Do you need to change your perception or change your behavior to boost your productivity levels?

2. Negotiate With Yourself

Our whole life is one big negotiation process, we just don’t always notice it. But the truth is, negotiation accompanies us throughout our lives. We negotiate on salary, on rent, on the Facebook marketplace. We negotiate a better price on furniture, a new or used car, or even on real estate. But there’s more. We negotiate when planning meetings or events. We negotiate for more vacation time. Another example? Here it is: When we get a speeding ticket we negotiate to lower the fine with the court. (well, definitely some of us…)

Undoubtedly, negotiation is an important part of everyday life. So why not use your negotiation techniques to trick yourself into being productive when you’re not feeling it? However, it does not mean that you should force yourself into being productive when your mind, body, and spirit rebel against it.

Because that would only increase your frustration. A much better option is to start with simple tasks and choose a reward for completing every single task. Tacking the easy things on your to-do list first while thinking about a reward will almost certainly trick your brain into being productive. 

3. Write An Epic To-Do List

Are you one of those people who every evening write a 3-pages long to-do list hoping you can get everything done, but it never happens? Or maybe you constantly underestimate the amount of time needed to complete a specific task and you always end up disappointed in yourself? 

The solution to this problem is to write a realistic and manageable to-do list that will guide you through your day in a productive manner. You want to feel in control of your time, not overwhelmed by your workload- And a practical to-do list will provide you with peace of mind. So when writing your to-do list, make sure it’s not too long. A great way to do that is to use the 1-3-5 rule that not only helps you to avoid planning fallacy but also maximize your productivity levels. This rule states that you should keep your daily to-do list to just nine items:

  1. ONE big thing
  2. THREE medium things
  3. FIVE small things

If you’ve never tried this approach, I highly recommend you doing so because it’s a life-changer!

Well, both of these 

jam-packed schedule? Is it giving you anxiety or maybe you’ve already accepted the impossibility of getting work done well and on time?

This workbook (53 pages) is designed to help you maximize your productivity and increase your effectiveness without sacrificing your life balance.

Whether you work from home during the Coronavirus Pandemic or thinking about starting a side hustle, this workbook can help you build a more thoughtful work-from-home strategy, bring structure to your workday and create a healthy work-life balance.

4. Manage Your Life Admin

When we have zero motivation to do our job we tend to procrastinate, which only makes things worse. Because if you choose to do completely useless/pointless/unimportant things instead of focusing on your most important tasks you waste your time. A much better option is to focus on doing the „life admin” type of tasks. 

If you’re not familiar with his concept, managing a „life admin” basically means scheduling a block of time (an hour or even a day) dedicated to accomplish admin type of tasks that you need to get done but you’ve been actively avoiding.

But first, you need to identify what kind of important tasks you0ve been actively avoiding. To help you with that here are 5 simple questions you should ask yourself:

  1. What is something you have been procrastinating about for a while to do?
  2. What tasks are making you delay completing them?
  3. What things from your to-do list you’ve been putting off?
  4. What tasks around your house you’ve been avoiding?
  5. What errands do you need to get done but you’ve never felt like doing?

Manage Your Life Admin

  • Do little errands
  • Respond to emails and messages 
  • Schedule appointments (that you’ve been avoiding)
  • Schedule a health check
  • Manage your memberships and subscriptions (and cancel those you don’t need and use anymore)
  • Organize your finances & create your monthly budget
  • Take a look at your personal banking
  • Organize your tax
  • Update your Insurance policies

5. Simplify & Prioritize Your Tasks

Mastering the art of making things much more complex than they ever need to be is something we all do, even if we do it unconsciously. We overthink, over-analyze and overcomplicate pretty much everything as if simplicity was a bad thing. When it’s completely the opposite. Only by simplifying and prioritizing your tasks, activities and ideas, you will boost your motivation, develop laser-like focus and increase your chances of success.

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Even though this famous quote from Albert Einstein was closely referred to the science, it works well in pretty much every sphere of life. Because by simplifying your tasks you avoid unnecessary activities, decision fatigue, and complexity trap – the famous three behaviors that cause anxiety, create confusion, and prevent you from taking action. Not to mention that if you simplify complex tasks by breaking them down into small manageable steps they will not scare or overwhelm you. And thus, you will find it easier to get to work. 

So if you want to trick your brain into being productive you should escape the complexity trap, avoid a jam-packed schedule and get the work that matters. 

6. Fight Off Your Midday Slump

Feeling unproductive, unmotivated, sleepy, or fatigued and sluggish in the afternoon? Well, welcome to the “midday slump” club. Have some pie, cake, ice cream, and coffee. And have fun! 

No, in all seriousness, the mid-afternoon slump is perfectly normal, natural, and pretty common. But it doesn’t mean that you should give in to it and fall into procrastination-purgatory mode. Because that would only increase your feelings of fatigue, sluggishness, feeling run down. Not to mention that the tasks on your to-do list will not just disappear only because your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced and you feel disinterested in everything. But with the right plan in place, it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are many different ways you can beat the afternoon fatigue and shift into action mode again and one of them is movement. So if you feel a sudden attack of sleepiness in the afternoon and you cannot control your sugar cravings, it means that you need midday to refresh your mind and reboot your energy – in other words, you need an active break.

There’s a tendency to think that taking frequent work breaks ruins workflow and triggers procrastination. When in fact, the opposite is true. Several studies have shown that taking regular breaks at work is a powerful strategy for increasing self-motivation, boosting productivity levels, and accelerating your results

Grab this FREE printable workbook that will help you to ditch the procrastination habit and make your productivity skyrocket!

7. Do Less Important Tasks, Instead Of Wasting Time

When you feel insanely unmotivated, extremely unproductive, and sluggish don’t force yourself to be productive because that will only increase your frustration and stress. Instead, be cunning and trick your brain into being productive. Keep yourself busy with less important tasks that don’t require your full attention but still, you need to get them done later in the day. 

This simple method will not only help you to avoid slipping into procrastination mode but most likely will boost your motivation for higher performance. Not to mention that if you choose to do complete even a small task such as making your bed, planning your meals, respond to emails, or managing your memberships instead of just laying in bed all day binge-watching Netflix you will feel a whole lot better afterward. 

8. Declutter Pretty Much Everything

Clutter can take many forms and dimensions. It can manifest itself in physical form when your floordrobe gives you anxiety, a digital form when after installing another app your smartphone got slower, an emotional form when you lose control over racing thought,  broken but fixable clutter, or a sentimental clutter when you can’t get out of your head past (unwanted) memories. 

Different types of clutter, however, have one thing in common: the power of distraction. They literally can take you over without prior warning. And when it happens, your mental focus is compromised, your productivity flow is completely destroyed and your motivation to work hard toward achieving your goals is gone.  

To avoid this – you need to:

  • organize your workspace
  • declutter your mind & free up your mental space
  • execute a digital declutter
  • clean up a bit your external personal space

Home Declutter Free Worksheets

9. Boost Your Financial Knowledge

When you find yourself being unproductive, instead of mindlessly scrolling social media or binge-watching Netflix you can focus on improving your financial literacy. Boosting your financial IQ is something that your future self will thank you for.

The money goals you set for yourself, the financial decisions you make on a daily basis, your current investment plan, or even how you budget your money – it all depends on your ability to understand and effectively use essential financial skills. In other words, the more you know about finances the better you are at managing your money.

To help you with that here are the best PERSONAL FINANCE resources, tools, and apps that you can use to regain control of your money and start building your wealth even or especially during tough times.

Best Financial Resources In 2021

  1. Personal Finance Books 
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  • Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  • The Richest Man in Babylon Paperback by George S. Clason
  • The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Mel Lindauer
  • The intelligent investor by Brando Graham
  • Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century by Napoleon Hill
  • Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
  • Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money by Vicki Robin
  • You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero
  • The Total Money Makeover Workbook by Dave Ramsey
  • The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
  • The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley
  • I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Second Edition: No Guilt. No Excuses. No BS. Just a 6-Week Program That Works by Ramit Sethi
  • The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
  • Start Your Own Corporation: Why the Rich Own Their Own Companies and Everyone Else Works for Them by Garrett Sutton

 

  1. Youtube Channels
  • Bloomberg TV Markets and Finance here
  • MoneyTalks News here
  • GoldSilver (w/ Mike Maloney) here
  • Bigger Pockets here
  • The Financial Diet here
  • SeedTime Money here
  1. Podcasts
  • Financial Times – Banking Weekly here
  • Morgan Stanley Ideas Podcast here
  • Bloomberg Masters in Business Podcast here
  • Bloomberg P&L here
  • Exchanges at Goldman Sachs here
  • Financial Times News Briefing here
  • Financial Modeling Podcast here
  • Motley Fool Money here
  1. Blogs on Business & Personal Finance
  • Financial Samurai here
  • I Will Teach You to Be Rich here
  • Business Insider here 
  • Real-Time Economics here 
  • Freakonomics here
  • The Consumerist here
  • Calculated Risk here 
  • The Conscience of a Liberal here
  1. Board games
  • Cashflow
  • Monopoly

Best Financial Apps In 2021

  1. Qapital here – Banking designed with your goals in mind
  2. Wally here – professional expense report app
  3. Mint here – saving and budgeting app
  4. Digit here – saving app    
  5. Every Dollar here – budget tool and expense tracker      
  6. Acorns here – saving and budgeting app
  7. You Need a Budget here – create a budget within your actual income
  8. Prism Bills&Money here – organizing and paying bills app
  9. Bill Watch here – managing, organizing, and reminding bills payment app
  10. Albert here – saving, budgeting, and paying a debt app
  11. Tycoon here – Freelancers app
  12. Personal Capital here – investment optimization app 
  13. PocketGuard here – extra money spending app here – categorizes and organizes your expenses, monthly bills, and subscriptions
  14. Travel Wallet iOS / Android – travel budget and expense app

Best posts On Personal Finance

Stay positive

Be Mindful

Set your priorities straight

and trick your brain into being productive!

xo Kate

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Hey, I’m Kate. I create content about reaching YOUR goalstime management,  personal growth, & living your best life, particularly for procrastinators, self-doubters, and dreamers (my favorite people!)

If I am not here it’s because I’m enjoying my creamy cappuccino in one of my favorites coffee shops… 😎

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