When it comes to improving your productivity there are a number of strategies you can use to make it happen. One strategy that we like to suggest is to challenge yourself to add a habit or behavior that will support your overall productivity.
You can also approach this from the perspective of getting rid of a habit or behavior that currently hinders your overall productivity. It doesn't matter as much which of these two you choose to do as long as you actually complete the thirty day challenge.
At the end of this you can be an even better example of possibility to your friends and family. You will also get the feeling of being able to overcome the things that in the past have been holding you back from being more productive.
THE THIRTY DAY HABIT CHANGE CHALLENGE
Since it is probably safe to say that we understand why you would want to increase your level of productivity I think we should make sure we are talking about the same thing.
Wikipedia defines "Habit" as
"...A habit, from the standpoint of psychology, is a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience."
There are of course two sides of the coin with this. We all have positive habits that we do day in and day out that enrich our lives. Because they have become automatic behaviors they will keep happening until we make a conscious effort to change them.
What we are looking to do with the thirty day challenge is either add a positive habit to our existing set of habits or get rid of a habit that we have deemed negative. That is an automatic behavior that we keep performing day in and day out that actually takes away from our lives.
Since our focus in this report is on increasing productivity we will be looking with that outcome in mind.
So Why Will This Work?
The thirty day challenge is based on three specific principles that make it work.
The first principle is the idea of "Awareness Is Curative". This is the idea that as we make ourselves consciously aware of something then we can do something about it because it's not happening out of our awareness.
This is important because if we are trying to change a habit then we have to make ourselves consciously aware of when we are performing the unwanted behavior. Conversely, if we are trying to add a new habit then conscious repetition is one of the keys to making it an automatic behavior.
The second principle of "Focus Causes Growth" works on the idea that the things we focus on tend to grow. This is partially because that increased focus implies increased importance. Since we usually perform or tend to the things we deem important first then this is a way to leverage that mental strategy.
Finally, the thirty day challenge works because a "temporary commitment is easier to keep then a permanent one". That is you can more easily make the mental decision to do something for thirty days then you can to say you will do it for the rest of your life. It's a well-known psychological adage that a habit can be formed in 21 consecutive days. Once you have formed this habit then no more conscious input is needed on your part.
60 SECOND DECISION MAKING PROCESS STEPS
Step 1. Identify a habit to create or change.
Step 2. Commit to daily execution.
Step 3. Keep track of your execution or lack thereof.
Step 4. Adjust your execution using triggers if needed on a daily or weekly basis.
Step 5. Add controls as necessary.
COMMON THIRTY DAY CHALLENGE ISSUES
Of course whenever you are given a new set of tasks to do there will usually be some form of resistance to it even if it was your own idea.
Let's take a look at three of the more common issues that people have encountered with this and what they have done to get past them.
Issue #1 - Looking Past The Thirty Days
This is when instead of keeping their focus on just doing what needs to be done today their focus shifts to what happens a month or six months from now.
The biggest solution here is to just trust that if you do your part for the next thirty days that the rest will work itself out. The reason we know this to be true is that you currently have positive habits that are working for you right now that you are not even conscious of. We are just giving you a more direct way to add to that collection.
Issue #2 - Making It To Cumbersome To Track
There are two things that will allow you to be successful in the thirty day challenge. The first is to make sure you perform the new habit or substitute something in place of an existing habit you are trying to change. The second part is to make sure you track this.
Tracking your daily execution doesn't have to be complicated. It could be as simple as adding a tally to a piece of paper or adding an entry to your digital diary or notepad. Keep it simple.
Issue #3 - Focus On The Habit Instead Of The Process
This is like trying to watch water boil and forgetting the fact that if it's heated at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time it will boil most of the time.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
I know we have covered a lot of new information in this report. We looked at why you would want to improve your productivity, introduced the thirty day challenge, covered the principles that make the challenge work and finally what to do if you encounter three popular stumbling blocks. By allowing yourself to commit to the thirty day challenge you can fully expect your productivity to increase in the specific area you have chosen to tackle first. Depending on your choice this could mean more fulfilling relationships, more satisfying career and/or business outcomes and of course a greater sense of accomplishment.