Beyond your to-do list
By: Ayla Khosroshahi
What is productivity? Efficiency? Output? Effectiveness? At MINDSHIFT NINJA, we think of productivity as the byproduct of a system, an ecosystem – MIND + BODY + SPACE, in which each part needs to be optimized for you to be truly productive. This approach encourages balance, sustainability, and maximizes insight generation.
We could talk about how to prioritize your priorities, root your goals in purpose, or assign team roles by interest, skill, need – which by the way, will all enhance your productivity. But they won’t optimize it. There is more to it. It’s about appreciating the entire system. Looking at productivity through an ecosystem acknowledges the exchange that happens in your life – this means all your interactions + relationships, too. We don’t operate in silos. To do better by thinking better you have to consider your thinking, how you fuel your bodies + how you set up your life.
How does your whole system operate? Is it optimized for productivity? This thinking is not just for the athlete or CEO. It’s for everyone. It’s for the student, the new parent, or anyone looking to be and do their best. Your ecosystem helps you manage stress, cultivate lifestyle balance, and maximise output — for growth + performance.
Your mind is your operating system. Many parts of this system are automatic, but that doesn’t mean they are the most productive. To perform at your best you have to rewire some of the ways you think – so you can do better by thinking better. How you think about your to-do list is the first step to optimizing productivity. Your mental muscles have to be able to hold the macro vision, but also be grounded in the action of today. This is where your mindfulness muscles have to start their work. Next, you have to focus on process not outcome. Then ask yourself – what is going well? Acknowledgement and a continuous inventory of lessons learned will fuel your way forward + empower you when you have to deal with change.
Ask yourself: What changes will you make to optimize this part of your ecosystem? How will you optimize your productivity by considering your mind as part of your whole system? What is one change you will implement
Your body is your engine and the foundation to your performance. Breathing, sleeping, eating, and moving, are the cornerstones to consistently producing greatness. Various tools (e.g. HeartMath, Headspace, Power Poses) can help train your body. What you eat and don’t eat can fuel you and propel your efficiency. All systems have to work harder if your engine is not working at its best. Lack of sleep and poor diet drain the energy from your operating system, not allowing you to think or do your best. Lack of movement hinders blood flow, therefore inhibiting insight generation. Your body is an integral part of enhancing your productivity.
Ask yourself: What changes will you make to optimize this part of your ecosystem? How will you optimize your productivity by considering your body as part of your whole system? What is one change you will implement
Your space is your productivity facilitator. From set up to clean up, each step with either help your process or hinder it. Space impacts your mood, your creativity, your energy, and therefore your thinking and performance. The energy that is given and taken from your space and the objects in it is significant – however, most of us are numb to it. Don’t make your brain work harder than it needs to. Use your space to promote productivity and enhance insight generation. Bringing mindfulness to your physical surroundings helps you understand what you need and don’t need. It also strengthens your awareness muscles and gives you the opportunity to take stronger ownership and accountability for your choices.
Ask yourself: What changes will you make to optimize this part of your ecosystem? How will you optimize your productivity by considering your space as part of your whole system? What is one change you will implement?
Doing better by thinking better, works best in an optimized ecosystem. This is when all parts work together, promote each other, and cultivate productivity – holistically.
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- Get us working for you + with you.