Whenever I hear the word productivity, I often have mixed feelings about it. While I love the underlying sense of proactivity it brings to the table, a part of me feels the terminology is better suited for something unemotional like a machine.
Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I had always been a fan of the approach “getting more things done, thriving to succeed, hustle, etc”. However, as someone always looking to improve, I reached a point where this way of being wasn’t serving me anymore. Despite my high levels of productivity, I wasn’t able to unlock new perspectives, It’s as if I was lacking the “depth” needed to successfully overcome bigger challenges.
Having spent the last few years researching and working with leading experts in the field of human development, I realised one condition is necessary for optimum productivity, creativity, and fulfillment: wellbeing.
Think about it, how can you make a meaningful impact on yourself or others if you are not feeling well?
But don’t take my word for it, some studies are pointing in this direction.
When looking deeper at the science of wellbeing, it turns out we can cultivate it by focusing on 4 main aspects: self-awareness, outlook, resilience, generosity.
I say cultivate because wellbeing is a skill and we can all practice it no matter our gender, age, or background. That’s wonderful news!
To help you put it into practice, I’ll share how to use the 4 pillars of wellbeing to boost our levels of proactivity when facing difficult moments. Why? Because that’s when we struggle most to move forward effectively.
“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom”. Socrates
Why was Socrates so keen on this belief? Because when we are self-aware, we can distance ourselves from our limiting emotions, and when we do so, we waste a lot less energy and gain greater clarity in our thinking. Pretty useful if you are looking to increase your levels of productivity!
After all, learning to connect with ourselves to understand what’s important for us is key to improve the way we experience and manage our day to day. So, the next time you feel stuck on what to do next, take a moment to ask yourself: “What is really important for me right now? What’s the most useful action I can take that plays on my strengths? Allowing a short time for reflection will help let go of negativity and regain the focus needed to move forward with confidence.
“I never lose, I either win or learn” — Mandela.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to love this quote. Outlook refers to the way we choose to look at life: it’s the story we tell ourselves, and it can often be the inner voice sabotaging our best intentions, stopping us from looking at our challenges as an inspiring opportunity for growth.
We all experience moments of uncertainty whether it’s a call with a new client or a meeting with an investor. Instead of letting our fears paralyse us, practicing a positive outlook can go a long way. “How can this event serve me no matter the outcome”? What precious learning will I be able to gain from this event? What meaningful actions can I take to ensure I protect the downside?
A small change in perspective can open a sea of opportunities.
“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something good.”― Elizabeth Edwards
Perhaps like never before, having resilience is key for our personal and professional success. Putting up with uncertainty is no easy task, but persevering amidst it, is where true strength lies.
It many ways, reliance is directly correlated to having a positive outlook, and one of the best ways to fuel it is by having a deeper connection with what we do. Why? Because when we are clear on our aim and even clearer on our WHY, we can use it as a motivational booster to persevere with greater strength.
By “linking” a challenging moment with our bigger purpose, we learn to appreciate its usefulness in our progress reminding us growth only happens at the end of our comfort zone. With the right outlook, we can look at the challenge and say “thank you for making me stronger”.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill
While we may often interpret productivity as a selfish act, focusing on generosity can bring a whole new dimension to it. Our brain is hardwired to contribute and when it does, it releases the so-called happiness trifecta releasing feeling good chemicals that boost our proactivity.
In a world increasingly becoming more service-oriented, being generous is not only good for our health but for success too: if we focus on understanding how to give more to the customer, we have a much higher chance of getting closer to our goal. So, the next time you get negative feedback on your offer, instead of getting frustrated ask yourself “What I can do to give more”?
When we learn to put our ego aside and open our mind to meaningfully serving others, our productivity and creativity are destined to reach new heights!
Work smarter, live consciously!
A passionate entrepreneur with a relentless aspiration to empower people to live by their full potential, Filippo di Lenardo is the co-founder of 3SSENTIA, the next generation day planner inspired by the science of well being and productivity that helps professionals achieve their goals with more focus, balance and purpose.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.