The Key To Productivity

Here’s the thing… we only get a fixed amount of WILLPOWER each day, and we SPEND those bits of willpower with EVERY decision we make.

Given that we only have a limited amount of willpower each day, what happens now once we’ve spent all those on making decisions?

The answer is we begin to “automatically” do what we normally do – that is to go back to the habits we’ve formed.

A Concrete Example

When you decide to check your email first thing in the morning, you’re spending willpower on DECIDING what emails to read or not – and then you’ve got to decide how to respond. And at this point, your agenda and performance for the day has now been influenced by the decisions you’ve made because of your Inbox.

While you’re going through the rest of your day, you’ll get interruptions and distractions – and you have to spend willpower points to deal with them.

By the time your work day is done, and you’re supposed to go to the gym after – all your willpower has been used up so you’ll probably do what you normally do. Skip your workout and just go home to rest and watch television.

On Making Intelligent Decisions

It’s weird – right? I mean – we track our TIME. We track our physical resources, like currency, space, and even other’s resources.

But we don’t ever seem to track our CAPACITY to make intelligent decisions. And the danger is that it is LIMITED.

And we’ve all probably been spending willpower like teenager in a mall with a brand new credit card who hasn’t considered that there WILL eventually be a PAYMENT required from that shopping spree.


Busy Is Not Always Productive

Checking your email makes you feel busy. Much like posting status updates and commenting on Facebook makes you feel connected. Or how reading industry news or blog posts makes you feel informed.

But it’s not productive. It only FEELS that way – because you’re DOING something, but that SOMETHING may NOT be doing ANYTHING for you.

The KEY to Productivity

Spend your limited willpower on making decisions that will have BIG RESULTS in your business – and in your life.

Set the agenda for every day
Don’t do or look at anything that could influence you in the beginning of your day. Set your agenda with a full bank of willpower.

Develop good habits to preserve your willpower.
Make checklists, write standard operating procedures, create process trees – and practice them so you can do them WITHOUT thinking – without making anything more than the most rudimentary decision.

Did you know that Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Mark Zuckerberg have a very limited wardrobe to choose from? That’s because they don’t want to waste brain power on making such decisions as what to wear for the day.

So now you know.

Photo credits: taaalia and yamagatacamille

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