What I call “productivity armor” is a conjunction of several objects and environment setting that make me inspired to work and fight procrastination.
There’s that kind of procrastination that creates a resistance to not start working or studying. Then there’s the other kind, when I open a tab for a second and suddenly I’ve been hooked on YouTube watching stupid videos for 2 hours.
Let’s see how what “productivity armor” I built in both environments.
My “productivity armor” for start working
Usually start working is the hardest step. I’m laying in bed, or the sofa, hanging out with friends and I know I should study my lines of the day or write that article I had promised myself I’d be writing…
My mind seems to know it, but my body doesn’t react how it should. I have a few tools to fight this.
Alarm audio and phone location
In case it’s top in the morning, it has been really hard for me in the past to get used to wake up at the time I told myself to do so. Fortunately I found a little trick that I started to apply myself when I created an online company that generated 100k in 10 months. I was able to wake up around 5am and 6am. I basically did two things.
- Right alarm. I found myself a super motivational speech called “Rise and shine” and it was perfect. Three minutes of pure adrenaline that I never got tired of listening to.
- Right phone location. I found myself leaning to turn it of, so that was no fun. What I did was leaving the phone far away from my bed, in order to force myself to stand up in the morning and NOT turn it of. Instead I had my headphones ready to put on my ears and not let me go back to bed.
Reading, listening and watching
If it’s in the middle of the day and I cannot get enough energy to go workout, study languages, or write, I pick a book on the topic I promised myself I’d be working on. Something that is inspiring or talks about what I’m passionate about.
I should be learning languages? Then I open a blog, podcast or video on Luca, Steve, Vladimir, Richard or whatever polyglot. They talk about all those languages they speak, about daily habits and that just keeps me going.
I should be going to the gym? Then I open a narcissistic video on YouTube of that guy with a achievable but nice body that I’d like to have.
I should be writing a book? I will read something I wrote before, my blog or something of the greatest authors I admire.
My “productivity armor” for keep working
Once in the zone sometimes I let my fingers slip and click something I don’t have to. Or when I’m taking a 5 second rest, my mind goes somewhere else and then I just have the greatest idea ever and I have to write it down and I want to start working on that right away.
Noise cancelling headphones
In this list I would include “rather quiet environment”, but the truth is that with this headphones with noise cancelling technology I don’t hear anything. They are the best for working and the best on the market right know. Their technology it plays such a huge difference of what I (don’t) hear.
Pricy? Yes. But I believe the investment is totally worth it for all the productive hours writing and learning languages. If I’m writing I play a 8 hour song of jazz, techno or similar. In case I’m learning languages I use audio all the time so…
Something to drink
Usually a coffee, tea or a can of water with gas. Probably because I’ve seen too much of Silicon Valley TV show, but those nerds they always have their energy drinks in a can form next to their computer. In my case I need something to sip while I think. It can be whatever but I set myself a limit of two coffees a day maximum, that’s why lately I’ve been incorporating water with gas. To get that “psssft” sound when I open it.
No internet. Ever
This might seem a bit extreme but from all the mentioned above, it might be the best advice. I haven’t had data on my phone for the last 2 years. Not checking constantly messages all the time (if there’s something important they can call), it lets me read on my train journeys, listen to podcast, music or talk to strangers. But keeping it about working.
Also I usually go to study or work in cafeterias where they don’t have Wi-Fi. Yes. On purpose. In case I go somewhere with internet access or I have to stay at home I use this App to block the connection of my laptop and phone. Or limit it to only the sites I really need. Is probably the best application I could buy.
Most of the stuff I like spending time with that I consider worth doing, doesn’t require internet. It might require a laptop because it makes things easier and more productive, but internet is the real killer.
I keep a little (virtual) notepad with me, because when those ideas I mentioned before pop up, I can write it down and work on them when the time is right. I might need to include a link somewhere, search for some source or whatever it’s. Anything can be done in 5 minutes of internet access at home or some other place.
But having no internet available on my working environment makes me stay focused non stop. It’s incredible to see how much work I can do in only one hour without internet.