Nowadays, your newsfeeds can easily get filled with various posts, “how-tos” on improving your productivity; you may find ideas on how to concentrate, organise your workflow – and so on.
The plentitude of such guides is fantastic – it means they are in demand, which indicates one thing for sure – people want to be better and want to improve themselves.
Recently, I have realised that there is one main key to my own productivity – and that is being inspired.
And the source of inspiration can really be anything – family, friends, an idea, an interesting project… Anything.
Usually, the moment of inspiration is sudden, it comes to you unexpected, unforeseen. But it doesn’t mean you should be sitting around and just waiting for it to miraculously appear.
Be proactive, hunt this feeling, constantly keep doing things that will increase chances of inspiration coming to you.
There are a few things that should help you achieve this, and I guess they will work pretty well for most of us:
1: Start doing new things
I am sure there are a lot of things you’ve wanted to try but actually never have for various reasons: lack of time/money/courage or any other abilities or capabilities – or you were just waiting for the “right moment”.
That’s why I brought a simple rule to my life – start doing new things from time to time.
This can be anything: a new sport, game, language, technology, even a school subject that I was always skipping.
It’s challenging at the beginning, but similar to new knowledge, experiences, emotions, acquaintances – always brings a breath of fresh air in everyday life, as well as a desire to do more and be better.
Bottom line – you start to enjoy challenging yourself.
For instance, next month I’m taking a course on a technology that is new for me.
2: Go outside your usual comfort zone — literally.
Just go out for a trip, it could be a day in a nearby town or hiking in California, yoga in Nepal, fishing in Norway, a conference in New Orleans.
It’s closely related to the previous point – travelling definitely clears your mind, shifts your focus, gives ability to see things from a different perspective.
Hint: Working remotely for a company like X-Team enables you to frequently do all the above or even more thanks to the support you receive by participating in the Unleash program.
Just recall the memory of the feeling you get during or after a training, the feeling of accomplishment. It’s a pretty important step toward being happy and remaining inspired (besides all the benefits for your health).
Don’t forget to MOVE, especially if you prefer to work in a sitting position.
4: Allow yourself to be inspired by people around you
Don’t excuse yourself with a lack of time to hang out. Go and meet with friends, co-workers, family members, chat with total strangers! Have great time discussing ideas, once you get hooked on something – dig deeper on various forums, blogs, try to find people related to a particular topic.
Side Note: Mat thanks for inspiring me during our meetups in LA!
5: Read “Shantaram”
… well, of course not *that book specifically 😉 (Although I really liked it and can honestly recommend it!)
Just keep reading books, explore new areas, from time to time grab a book that is on a totally new topic/genre for you.
I am sure that you will eventually find a book, or even just one page, one paragraph, a phrase that will inspire you!
As for myself – I like reading, but for me it was not always easy to find time for that while working or traveling. But then I realised – I was once again making excuses. Once I understood that, I learned that you can indeed have time for everything. You just need to plan better.
I found my time for reading – it’s 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. Just find yours!
6: Write down ideas the moment they hit you
Anything that seems like a good idea, write it down immediately. Because if you don’t write it down, there is a pretty big chance that in a few days you won’t be able to recall it in the same way you just did – and you will ultimately abandon it.
Moreover, making notes simply helps you access necessary information faster, track thoughts in a more efficient way, schedule things way ahead and remain organised; in general, think of it as committing into your own repository of knowledge.
I prefer to use paper for my own notes (Moleskine notebooks are pretty inspiring themselves), but there a lot of applications out there if you prefer to keep yours in a digital format – here is some comparison table for a quick start. If you haven’t developed a habit of making notes – I’d like to highly recommend trying and choosing your way to do so.