An unproductive mindset stems from the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves. Specifically, there are a few common limiting beliefs that relate to productivity.
“This is TOO Hard.”
“This job is just too hard. No one can do this job well. No matter what I do, I cannot meet everyone’s expectations.” These are the things we tell ourselves that poison our minds. They are forms of self-talk, work-talk, and complaining. They lead us to believe we are failures and make us negative and feel hopeless.
“I stink at this job.”
Maybe you’re legitimately not very good at your job, but most likely you’re just fine. You are merely struggling because you need some help and encouragement. Nothing good comes from saying negative things about ourselves. We should focus on building ourselves up and not tearing ourselves down.
“I will never get caught up.”
And with a negative attitude like that, you’re probably right. This limiting belief is what keeps many people from being productive. The previous limiting beliefs are harsh and difficult to swallow, but when we believe we’ve reached the point where no amount of effort can get us back to a good place, then we are truly at the bottom of the pit of unproductive thought.
There is a way out. The first step out of the bottom of unproductive thought is literally a positive thought away. The climb down is long, difficult, and even abusive. The climb up is hard, but it is so close you can start today.
The Productive Mindset
While we all experience negative thoughts and emotions about our work, the truth is we can make a conscious choice to embrace a Productive Mindset.
While I used to think very negatively about my job and myself, I have learned that highly productive people operate out of a sense of hope, positivity, and thankfulness.
Such a mindset creates a desire to be productive. When we begin to change our minds and desire to be productive, our journey suddenly becomes full of opportunities for learning, improving, succeeding, and excelling.
Before we go any further, I want you to declare to yourself how you are ready to be productive. You need to choose right now to step into a productive mindset. It is at this moment that we are able to change everything.
But you need to choose. It must be a deliberate and voluntary choice to put in the hard work that will lead you to a better place. Once you have made this decision, we can develop hope, positivity, thankfulness and a deeper desire to be productive.
Hope and Positivity
After you choose to be productive and step into a productive mindset, you need to slowly change the thoughts that fill your head, breaking down the limiting beliefs and building up your true identity. This simple shift starts to change everything about what you do at work. In order to implement anything else about productivity, you need to start with your productive identity.
You must believe in yourself and in your ability to be productive.
There are a lot of ways to do this. One strategy I used initially was to declare myself productive. Some highly productive executives use what we call the “productivity creed.” When I first discovered this, it seemed like a rather silly idea. But then I tried it. After a few weeks, I didn’t need it anymore because it rewired the way I thought about myself.
For you, this is where we start. A productivity creed says:
“I, (INSERT YOUR NAME), am the most productive person I know. I command my day and move quickly from task to task, accomplishing business and responsibilities which matter most.”
This does three things for us.
First, it brings us to a place of positivity and gives us a can-do attitude. Second, like professional athletes envisioning their success the night before a big game, the creed helps us imagine how productive we will be at work. Third, it focuses on what we can do, what we want to do to, and provides the groundwork to make it possible.
This is the first step to being productive. It provides a strong foundation from which to take the next steps and apply other useful habits.