Productivity isn’t just about getting things done. It’s more nuanced than that. And so are the things that can get in the way of optimal productivity. I don’t usually get into one particular thing that can have an impact on your productivity, but in this piece I am going to go there.
Without a doubt, one of the greatest obstacles to achieving consistent and sustainable productivity is ourselves. We get in our own way.
The surprising thing is, many people don’t even realize this.
They can’t tell what the symptoms are. Nor do they understand how harmful it is to their general life. Much of what we experience in this boils down to one thing: It’s all about ourselves in our own mind.
One way we get in our own way is that we lack confidence in ourselves because we are ultra-critical. We end up being our own worst critics about our looks, our bodies, our intelligence, and our professional capabilities. If only we were our own friend, we could – and would – become the best version of ourselves.
Here are some things to try so you can become your own best friend – and boost your productivity in the process.
The Lone Wolf Mentality
Everybody has the natural inclination to be a lone wolf. Just because we live in a sophisticated society, doesn’t mean we have lost that notion of self-preservation. It’s just morphed into self-enrichment.
You might see this at work. Have you ever worked on a project and did something that really improved the team’s prospects of success… and then someone else tried to take credit for it? The person who did this knew that you were responsible for the good thing that occured. Don’t take this personally.
Sometimes adopting the lone wolf mentality when you are at work is the way to go. Roll with the pack when you need to, but stand up for yourself. Set boundaries where you can and make sure you respect and enforce them. If you do neither of those things, no one else will respect them. Be loyal and kind to yourself first. The more you love who you are, the more you want to fight for your corner. And you may just find that the work you do is all the better for it.
Honor Your Desires
There are times in our lives when you feel a hint of embarrassment for wanting something. It may be a nice coat, a nice meal out – one that is obviously a little too expensive, or even wanting to go on a holiday to be pampered. Other times it’s how we judge our looks compared to another person. There’s no shame in admitting that. We are competitive and sometimes selfish. It’s part of our nature. However, we have been taught to repress these desires until they are almost non-existent. This may be humbling most of the time, but sometimes it’s not.
Honoring your desires is noble. It’s a good cause and you should never feel ashamed for it. The trick is to do so in moderation. You should go on a holiday that will pamper you. You should want to look good. So work out, buy the makeup you like, buy the clothes that you like. But remember, do so in moderation.
Show a Little Gratitude
Starting a “gratitude journal” is an excellent way to start truly caring for yourself. You can get started with prompts to trigger this habit. For example, here’s where you can find 170 gratitude journal prompts that can get you started easily. If you can’t think of ways to show appreciation about yourself, you will be given a prompt. You will be asked to fill in the blank, such as: “My favorite TV show is….” and “I’m grateful for (habit) I have because….”. This can be done via your online journal or it can be done via a simple SMS message. It’s a nice way to remind yourself, that you need to do something good for yourself every single day.
All it takes is one thing to uplift your spirits, boost your confidence, and self-belief. Things such as noting your personality and being proud of it. At least one thing that you love about your appearance. Name one thing that you have done in the past week that you thought you couldn’t do but did. What is your favorite kind of food… and why? You should get to know yourself a bit more… and be grateful that you are a unique person. In a sea of 8 billion people, there’s only one of you!
You are Fine as You Are
So many of us have trouble accepting who we are as people. It boils down to thinking that our personality is, well… off. In some regards, it may be. (I know my personality isn’t completely on the level.) But it’s not all bad.
It’s highly advisable that you stop thinking that there is something wrong with you for being a certain way. Don’t like sharing your food? So what. Do you like to avoid large groups of people? Maybe you just like a less rowdy environment. Maybe you also like to talk about meaningful things like politics, culture, and society… and your friends find it boring. If that’s the case, look to add some friends into your life that care about some of those things as well.
Don’t try to change these kind of things about yourself to fit into the crowd. You should be proud of your own personality and individualistic nature. So embrace that… and who you are.
Time to Yourself
Do you feel that you need to be with others to have a good time? I bet you don’t. I know I don’t. But I used to feel that way.
You should be able to go to a restaurant by yourself. Go to the movies on your own. Take some time to yourself.
And don’t just hide away for some alone time. Go shopping for things you want by yourself. Go on holiday by yourself. Start doing some things where it’s just me, myself, and I.
Being your own best friend is something that we need to focus on more. If more of us cared for ourselves as we do for others, our productivity would be greater.
And, frankly, I think elements of our society would be too.