How To Trick Yourself to be Productive When You Don't Want To Be

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Photo © Ayo Ayco. Throughout the workday I look forward to my day's reward: an afternoon walk with the family

Much of my productivity is hinged upon the idea that our minds normally have two contrasting states: an active state (the smarter, more productive, and energetic state) and a passive state (the dumber one which tends to be on auto-pilot).

Knowing this, we want the active–the smarter–mind to decide on things… schedule, and organize things… so that we could enter a passive “auto-pilot” state without feeling guilty.

How, you ask?

Have you ever put your keys in a place that would be easy to find in a time and place you need it the most? For me, this is usually just before the door so I can easily grab it before heading out.

That’s a common example of an application of this principle.

You actively “put things” in place to be reminded of them “in a time and place you need them the most”.

Now how do I apply this to my projects? A lot of ways actually, but here’s one example…

I have labeled important notes that I want to be reminded of “daily”, “weekly”, or “monthly”. With these labels, I can set recurring reminders on my calendar to read them on the times I want to be reminded.

These important notes contain various things from practical actions like organizing projects to abstract ideas like maxims/affirmations/truths I want to habitually get reminded of.

This note-labeling and recurring reminders are just some of the practical applications that help me make sure my passive mind state can be free to run in auto-pilot.

It clears up some space in my head and trust that I will get reminded of the important things when I can handle them in the future.

With more headspace, I can make sure I will be able to handle tasks that are already processed, organized, and clarified when and where I can best handle them–regardless of whether my mind feels like it or not.

What are some things you do to “trick” yourself into being productive?


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