When people talk about productivity, they mostly approach it from a scientific perspective, and not a psychological angle.
Yet the psychology that underpins your ability to produce is equally as important.
Recently I was booked to fly from Gold Coast to Cairns, via Sydney. The loop was necessary because of a lack of direct flights. I arrived at the airport at 5am for a 6am first leg only to be told that the flight had been delayed because of strong winds. Departure time was changed to 8:30, which, unfortunately, meant I would miss my connection. As it turned out I got home at 9pm that night and spent quite a few hours in the lounges at the Gold Coast and Sydney airports.
So… what’s this got to do with productivity.
Productivity is about focus and attention. As we give attention to the right things, we make progress. Yet when things don’t go the way we planned, how much attention and emotion does that steal from us?
Most people (based on my observations) get caught up in the negative emotions for things like the flight delays; worrying and giving attention to things that they ultimately cannot influence in any way.
Productivity on the other hand comes from giving attention to the things we can influence and control.
So, these are the reminders I give myself:
#1 CATEGORISE THINGS
Put events into one of three categories so you recognise where they belong; (a) can control, (b) can influence, (c) can’t control or influence
#2 LOOK FOR THE UPSIDE
There’s ying and yang in everything, look for the good that is in something you cannot control or influence and save your emotions for other things. With the flight delays I had more time to sit and think and work on a training journal for one of our new online courses.
#3 REPETITION CREATES HABITS
The more I look for the good in things I cannot control or influence, the more habitual I become at doing that. This ultimately means my emotions are more empowering for more of my waking hours.
#4 MODEL IT FOR YOUR KIDS
The more obviously you do this, the more positive an influence you will be on people you are a role model for ….. like your kids.