I’m a big fan of using whatever tools I can find related to managing time more effectively: apps, programs, software, techniques, anything!

I eagerly try out whatever I can get my hands on and there are some amazing tools out there to really boost productivity. So far, great… but bad news for the lazy ones: What isn’t available to purchase or try out though, is your mindset.

The focus seems to be on everything outside of us, but not a lot of attention is given to how productive your mindset actually is. You can implement as many systems and structures, but unless you mindset supports the change you seek, your efforts may remain fruitless.

Here are 4 ways that you can develop a mindset that is geared for productivity.

Think and don’t thought!

You see, every day you have thousands of thoughts bombarding your mind, apparently you have around 60,000 to 70,000 a day.

What is the danger here you might wonder? Your thoughts come directly from your beliefs about the world. Your thoughts lead to your feelings, your feelings to your actions and your actions to your results. You have to challenge your thoughts and not simply react to them. You may have many limiting beliefs that are not serving you, and you act on them.

Thoughting doesn’t require effort, but thinking does. Thinking is about giving your mind and thoughts targeted direction, gaining awareness around them and working with them to produce better results.

Thinking is like being in the driving seat of your mind and thoughting is like being in the passenger, you might have some input, but you end up wherever you are taken. Ask yourself honestly, how many of your thoughts do you simply react to, compared to the amount of effort you put into ‘thinking’?

What excuses do you come up with?

It is normal, almost instinctive and you are most likely blind to the number of excuses you give yourself each day. I can’t do this because I don’t have time, I am not organized, I am stressed, I am tired, etc

Are they really excuses? I am going to challenge you here, or are they “ways to justify inaction”? It is very common to come up with excuses because subconsciously you actually fear taking action, or you don’t feel confident, motivated or perhaps you want to stay in your comfort zone.

What you might really need to do is get out of your own way. Just as you would challenge your thoughts, you must challenge the excuses you come up with. Excuses don’t allow you to deal with the real issue and they keep you from being productive. Don’t build a habit of always coming with excuses for everything.

Do you play the blame game?

How often do you blame others for the way you feel? For the reason why you are not able to do something or why something is delayed or difficult.

Blaming has no place in the world of productivity. Blaming others for your results is not going to make anything better and certainly not empower you. Blaming ‘so and so’ because they didn’t really understand you, or deliver the work on time, or whatever reason you feel, is like being on the “effect” side of life.

To be productive you need to be on the “cause” side of life, take responsibility for your results, independent of the good or bad. Ask yourself how you have contributed to this situation or what you could do better next time and move on.

Are you too subjective with time?

There is real time and then there is your own sense of time. Remember the last time you felt that time just flew by so quickly, you felt amazed. How about the last time you felt that time really dragged by and it seems like forever.

If you find that you always over schedule your agenda, or you under-estimate how long a task will take, your subjective and objective views of time are quite different. Perhaps you think you have all the time in the world to do something, so you procrastinate, only to end up in a battle to get the work done in time.

Having a mindset geared for productivity, combined with the time management tools and techniques to support you, will transform your results for sure!

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