Do you remember how our childhood days were full of happiness, excitement and a passion to live life to the fullest? And how there was no day when we really questioned our “productivity”? What do you think has changed now? Of course, there is no denying that our responsibilities have grown, but is it necessary that those responsibilities should impact the way we look at life?
Well, I tried decoding this variation in our happiness index and productivity from our childhood to now, and I’ve come to a conclusion I personally love.
Do you remember when we were children and used to do so many things in just a day? We went to school, did our homework, played sports, hung out with friends, probably took an art class and sharpened our pencils for the next day too and still go to bed happy?
Why do you think is it so surprising for us to think of doing even two of these tasks now that we’ve grown up?
Most of us feel trapped or caged in our lives right now. And even more since the onset of this pandemic. Our stress levels are peaking and our nature to constantly compare and compete is deteriorating our mental health since we don’t feel Productive or we are not doing “enough”.
“Productivity is not an equation to work hard with zero distraction,
It is a Mindful Effort that should leave you Happy.”
Productivity is a mindful attitude towards work that automatically yield results and leave you with a sense of contentment. The Motivation Blogs or YouTube videos that we watch to learn productivity, either ask us to limit our time on social media or cut back on ‘unproductive’ activities. But in reality, productivity is more about the Do’s than it is about Don’ts.
This pandemic has made us re-evaluate what we truly are doing in our lives and if those things make us happy. At this juncture of collective suffering with Jobs being sacked and Colleges Education being uncertain, it is going to be almost impossible to find yourself motivated or to stop binge-watching or turning off Instagram long enough to work and feel productive. However, it isn’t fair to look at this situation in isolation.
No matter what you’re doing right now, I want you to try something that has always helped my team and me in staying Productive and continues to do so amidst this pandemic as well.
Using THE SPEAR APPROACH when you plan ANYTHING!
I am sure it’ll not only revive your missing productivity but also help you grow out of the pessimistic outlook in a world where the pandemic and other social changes are taking up most of our headspace.
The SPEAR APPROACH goes as follows.
– Setting your Goals,
– Putting out your Purpose,
– Educating yourself,
– Actual Actions,
– Rewarding Yourself.
1. Setting your goals
The approach starts with setting a goal. Try your best to make it specific, even if you can’t, just keep it realistic, achievable and time-bound. We often tend to set unrealistic goals such as wanting to build a business empire when we do not even have a business idea ready. Such goals are harmful as they only leave you with more stress and make you question your productivity.
When we were little, we used to set goals for everything. From making a passionate plan on how we would take that extra 100 bucks from our father for the video games to being best in the class in the drawing competition. There is nothing that should change in us about setting goals even today.
For example, when you want to become a Millionaire Entrepreneur, your probability of actually becoming one is much higher when your plan says that you want to be a “Lifestyle Entrepreneur and you’ll be Vlogging 5 Travel Stories a month for a year” rather than just dreaming that you “Want to be a Rich Lifestyle Entrepreneur”.
2. Putting out your Purpose
The most common question people think in their heads when planning success is the “What”. It certainly helps you to know what exactly you want but the lack of WHY has led to more failures than the What. “Why” is nothing but essentially the Purpose behind your goal. If you have a purpose, not only are you more likely to achieve it quicker but also it will save you from burning out. It’ll keep your passion intact and make you go the extra mile to attain success.
The purpose is not necessarily knowing that you want something like a big house or a fast car or money or fame. It could be as simple as wanting to live without regrets or the need for freedom and happiness in life. However, a purpose is not a goal. A goal is rather a short-term objective which acts as a stepping stone to achieving your purpose.
When I set out on the path of becoming an entrepreneur, I rarely thought that my aim was to make a lot of money or to have a substantial turnover. The cause that I wished to fulfil was to generate employment and keep creating something new. It is also the reason that kept me on this path irrespective of the challenges and infused as they call it, the Never-say-die Attitude.
3. Educating Yourself
Preparation to achieve a certain goal does not only mean gathering your resources and writing it down in your journal. It means to equip yourself with the best of tools so you don’t have to look back once you begin. Not only does it make your plan full-proof, but gives you that confidence that helps you achieve what you want.
When we were children, and especially if you grew-up with Indian parents like mine, we would often not get toys or granted any other wish without having to work for it. Getting the new video game or the best racquet for a tennis tournament would mean planning and strategizing before actually putting in the hard work of convincing them.
We would educate ourselves of all possible ways to get that video game by doing market research on how our friends convinced their parents. We would map out all possible methods such as saving up, helping your mom in chores or sometimes even waiting for Diwali till we can get money from our generous relatives. When we knew the right way even then, why not do it now?
4. Actual Actions
The biggest reason for unfulfilled dreams and desires is not acting on these goals. Most of us end up giving our goals a try and often see setbacks which make us give up on these dreams. However, it is only persistent and consistent action that can help us make these dreams into reality.
Acting upon your set aims helps you in turning them into actualities. However, most of us give up as soon as we are faced with obstacles or just with the thoughts of them. Failure is a step to success, not our defining moment. In fact, every successful person we see wound has failed at least 11 times before hitting their first big success.
5. Reward Yourself
Along with having to work hard for scores in school, did we ever stay back from pursuing a hobby or cherishing our everyday Game Hour with friends? In fact, it often was the sole motivation to finish studying quickly so we could go out and play. As important as it is to work through the steps of our achievement, it is just as important to sit back and reward ourselves before moving on to the next task.
Every win needs to be celebrated and every failure needs to be learnt from. This can only happen if we choose to take a break before moving to the next short term goal that we’ve set out to achieve our dream.
Taking a break does not also mean sitting throughout the entire pandemic to think back on life choices without being productive. Productivity is a conscious action and effective effort. The feeling of unproductivity in this pandemic is bound to catch on. But, if you have your dream clearly set, the Purpose defined, and you’ve made yourself the fun-hour plan, it would not be so difficult to follow the 5 steps in this blog and bring back your productivity streak!
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