One of the greatest things that holds us back from making a resounding change in our lives is the fear of failure. Failure can be hard to face, even when you have an intellectual knowledge that failure is just experience.
The amazing thing is that we are also afraid of succeeding. Success means things will change. Change takes us out of our comfort zone. Things are going to be different, and different is scary. Change threatens our sense of Safety and Security.
But isn’t the whole point of change for things to be different?
If you’re trying to change, then you’re not satisfied with the status quo. You want things to be different, but you’re not going to change until the status quo is more uncomfortable than changing your life.
So make yourself uncomfortable.
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Most people think that switching from a paper planner to an app is an all-or-nothing proposition. It’s more of a slider switch. You’re probably going to slide it somewhere in the middle.
One of the hesitations people have about using a hybrid system (both digital and paper) like this is that they think that there will be double-entry required (you have to put stuff in both the digital tools and the paper tools) and that the double-entry will be horribly inefficient and waste their time.
There is double-entry involved, I’ll grant that. It’s not a waste of time, though. You’re finding a balance between multiple tools—some digital, some paper—and letting each tool do what it does best and offset the weaknesses of the other tools.
Let’s take a look at how a hybrid system strengthens your trusted system’s ability to effectively schedule tasks.
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Are you the person you want to be ten years from now? Of course not!
Every day, we learn and grow. Just a little bit. It’s usually imperceptible at the time, which is why it feels like we’re not making any progress.
But if you turn around and look at the person you were ten years ago, you can see how far you’ve come. A lot has happened in the past decade. And you’re going to make a lot happen in the next decade.
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The way a lot of people approach their day, you’d think they were going out of their way to be miserable. They’re not. They’re doing the best they can. We all are.
None of us are quite at the level we want to be at. Whatever level we’re at, we’re trying to improve.
Sometimes, we don’t think we can do any better than we currently are. We try to learn a new productivity skill and a part of our brain rejects it. Taking the direct approach, our own subconscious can undermine our efforts. Sometimes, it helps to look at the problem from a different angle.
In that spirit, here are some common productivity tips turned inside-out. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! If you do any of these, you’re making things harder for yourself. If you do them all, you’re definitely going to set yourself up for a miserable day.
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Some people roll their eyes at the idea of applying productivity to their personal lives. That’s a work thing! The last thing I want is to go home and think more about goals and milestones and KPIs!
I get it. Think about the productivity books you’ve read. Or have on a list somewhere that you intend to read. They have a pretty business-y feel to them, don’t they? (I’m looking at you, 7 Habits and Getting Things Done—there’s a reason David Allen took his tie off for the 2015 edition.) It doesn’t help that for most of us, the conversations we have about productivity, efficiency and setting goals tend to happen at work.
Yet life is one indivisible whole—if our performance is suffering at home, our performance will suffer at work. Likewise, the more successful we can be in any area of our life, that will improve our performance in the other areas.
We need a working definition that doesn’t make us leave productivity at the office. Something that helps us realize that we can set goals and be productive at home without sucking the life out of, well, our life.
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