Without burning out.

I barely graduated from college with my Bachelor’s degree. It took me 6 years and I received my diploma with very poor grades. So in 2010, when I decided to pursue a Master’s degree, some people told me I wouldn’t succeed.

I was not initially accepted into my graduate program and had to get good grades in some prerequisite courses before I would be accepted. This time, I was serious about putting effort into studying and about proving my doubters wrong. My efforts paid off as I was accepted into my graduate program. I continued this same system throughout my 2 years of graduate school and obtained my Master’s degree in 2013 with very high grades! I have since used these 4 factors to accomplish other goals as well.

These are 4 ways I doubled my motivation to succeed and become productive.

  • Listen to motivating music. There has been research done to show the positive effect of music on productivity (https://www.fastcompany.com/3032868/work-smart/how-music-affects-your-productivity). Depending on the intensity of motivation necessary for the activity I may listen to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” or just listen to some nice ambient music.
  • Schedule everything into a calendar. If you are a very structured person, like myself, then you need to schedule everything that is important to you. I schedule date night with my wife, when I will take a brief break from work, when I will go onto Facebook. It keeps me accountable to myself, minimizes distractions and it laser focuses on what is most important in that moment. No need to continue checking Facebook 100 times in the span of 45 minutes because now you know that at 5:15pm you scheduled checking Facebook for 15 minutes.
  • Meditate in the morning. Having some form of meditation practice is a game changer. Tim Ferris mentioned this many times in his new book “Tools of Titans,” in which many high performers have a meditation practice. Specifically, in the Buddhism I practice, I chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo for about 60 minutes each morning. There are many different forms of meditation, so choose one that works for you. I find that planning time for meditation 1st thing in the morning, even before you eat or shower, will guarantee a positive outcome in how you approach each day.
  • Challenge yourself. Challenge yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone. It doesn’t need to be something extreme. If you have social anxiety stretch yourself to speak with one person today, no matter how you feel. You can challenge yourself to spend 10 more minutes on a difficult task. Do the dishes, for your household, if you don’t normally do this. Doing this will help you become more self aware of areas in your life that need strengthening, help you develop new skills and have new experiences.

Do at least one of these 4 things and you will maximize your productivity and success today!

Originally published at medium.com