The best way to be more productive is to completely burn yourself out.
This is a drastic claim, I know.
And I’ll take it up a notch.
The best way to create sustained, long term productivity is to burn yourself out each and every day, 1000%.
Until you do this, your work will be flat and lacklustre.
You’ll finish your workday feeling frustrated and incomplete.
To make yourself feel better, you’ll tell yourself:
This is too hard.
I have too much work on my plate.
Nothing I do is working.
You will not like this feeling. You will want to get rid of the discomfort. So you will come up with “remedies”:
It’s someone else’s fault.
My goals are too ambitious.
I’m not smart/young/cool enough.
I can’t do this.
These things you say to yourself and experience inside yourself aren’t facts. They are stories and feelings.
You can change them.
And if you change them in the correct way, you can triple your productivity AND feel calm and serene.
Let me explain.
I live in a cold place. In the winter time, we have fires to keep us warm. Smart, prepared people buy their firewood in the summer and stack it outside so it can dry in the sun and heat.
Dry wood makes a clean fire. A clean fire burns hot and COMPLETELY.
It generates pure heat, there is little smoke, and because it consumes itself completely, there is no ash.
Wet wood makes a smokey fire. It doesn’t burn properly. It doesn’t produce much heat. It produces tons of clumpy, wet-woody ash.
It doesn’t burn itself out completely.
Let me ask you this.
When it comes to your workday, are you burning a clean fire or a smokey fire?
When you burn a “clean fire” you focus yourself COMPLETELY on the thing you are doing.
You are making a pure effort.
If you are crafting your 90-day Covid Plan, you are doing that 100%…not making the plan AND wondering if your team will like it AND reminding yourself you need to check up on the status of that task you assigned to your VA last week.
If you are writing a blog post, you are doing that 100%…not writing the blog post AND wondering how many “likes” you’ll get, AND whether it will help you sell more stuff.
Doing 3 things at once? That’s wet wood effort, baby.
That’s a ton of smoke and clumpy ash, a lukewarm fire that didn’t produce much heat.
That’s half-finished work that brought no satisfaction.
That’s slow and unsatisfying progress.
Burn dry wood. Make a good clean fire.
Decide what you are going to do NOW. Then do it.
Allow the task to consume you completely. There is joy in that.
Notice if you are doing the thing AND thinking about it if it will “work” or “be good.”
When you are doing AND thinking, you are burning wet wood. You are trying to do two things — the work AND the wondering.
You’re half burning, not burning yourself out completely.
Keep your efforts PURE.
Do the one thing. Keep it simple. Give your forward-thinking, endlessly planning, ever-negotiating, wet-wood mind a break.
Stay focused. Do the ONE THING. Put your entire being into it.
Set yourself on fire.
Your productivity will triple.
Your happiness will increase.
Your mind will be clear and calm.
If you want to do epic things, you must burn yourself out completely.
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