and make it easier & more fun too! (Part 2)
Productivity improvement tip #3
We push ourselves pretty hard these days.
Sometimes we tell ourselves things like: “I do my best work under pressure.”
But research says “B…S…!”
There’s no productivity improvement here.
Research shows that our brains become less effective under that kind of pressure.
When I share this with some folks, the really high functioning and savvy folks, they often look baffled.
“If I don’t push myself, then how will I get things done?” they say to me.
Of course, the people who say this are usually the ones who are getting crazy amounts of work done!
They believe that they have to push themselves to be effective.
Even though, the research says: “Nope! Wishful thinking! Turn back!”
I document this research in my bestselling book: It’s Supposed To Be Fun.
Of course, if you’re a smart cookie, you may still be doing quite well on less brain function.
But you’re simply not fulfilling your potential. And this is not an article about productivity compromise!
In It’s Supposed To Be Fun, you’ll read about Emma’s case study. Let me share a part of it with you here.
Emma ran a busy and successful business.
She was the kind of person who couldn’t stop, unless she got sick. And didn’t stop, unless she got really, really sick.
She was also quite honest that she didn’t want to stop. So of course, her To Do List was a mile long.
Her main reason for getting my support was not because she wanted a productivity improvement – though she was still super keen about that.
Emma had been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. She was burning out.
In Chapter 5, Emma and I talked about her inner pusher.
In the same way as the inner critic, the inner pusher has its gifts and liabilities.
It gifts us with the “get up and get going” energy. So we can do what we need to do.
But if the inner pusher takes over in the driver’s seat, you end up feeling stressed out, exhausted and driven to the ground.
It gives you get this sense that you’re doing too much, and yet not enough.
Of course, at this point, your inner critic, jumps up in the back seat, and yells: “What’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong??!”
Your body then responds with more tension. Your stress levels hike up again. Your heart races.
Some of you get a knot in your stomach from this. Some of you get anxiety.
This is a no-no when it comes to productivity improvement.
Emma and I worked through a lot on how to improve productivity – without self-combusting into burnout.
Here’s one of the key realisations that Emma had in the chapter about her.
We started to explore why Emma consistently chose to let her inner pusher into the driver’s seat. I’m a fan of working on the underlying cause, you see.
Her biggest realisation was this:
“That buzz, that perpetual state of ‘doing,’ gave me a sense of purpose,” she said.
“Wow, that’s big!” I said. Still, I had a feeling there was even more to it, so I gently probed a little.
“And what did that sense of purpose give you?” I asked Emma.
Closing her eyes, she thought about it for a while.
“That purpose gives me a sense of acceptance and self-worth. When I get things done, I feel so good about it. But it’s also such hard work to keep up!” she said.
This was one of the “a-ha!” moments that allowed Emma to take charge and create a kinder and more productive relationship with her inner pusher.
With my coaching and support, Emma quickly re-calibrated her way of getting things done.
As a result of what we did together, Emma shared this with me:
“I’m getting more done now and it feels easier. The old anxiety is gone. And I feel calmer in general. I’m even sleeping better at night now.”
Emma’s not the only one who’s had this experience. I’ve worked with hundreds of people who have had similar transformations.
It doesn’t count as change if it’s just something you know intellectually in your mind.
Change has to be something you live and experience as well.
The latter… That’s what I’m here for.
If you’re curious about how I work, you can find out about my coaching program here. You can also read about:
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