I’m not going to give you a quick productivity hack. Quick-fixes are likely to boost you for a couple of days, just to leave you with where you’ve started out, or worse. Totally exhausted. They often offer you a high-low cycle that keeps you searching for a better tip.

What I’m going to tell you, will take time and effort. But the benefits that come if you stick with it long enough, will be much more than worth it.

“Productivity is not doing more, but doing what you do better.” You might have heard this phrase already a million times. I know I did. But it didn’t register until I really understood the mechanism of productivity.

Focus At the core of productivity is focus. The kind of intense focus that doesn’t let you do anything else, but the task in front of you. Like when you just discovered a new spice combination and you’re deeply into cooking a delicious dish, pouring all your heart and excitement into it. Intense focus is when your child hugs you and you’re enjoying the moment, feeling their little arms around your neck and their hairs tickling your nose, smelling up all their left-over baby smell. It is when you’re trying to thread a needle and you need all your attention to get that bugger into the tiny hole.

Goals But focus in itself won’t necessarily get you where you want to be. Goals will guide you on your way. But goals are just as much about what to say ‘no’ to, as what you want to achieve. Having millions of goals, will scatter your focus. How many is enough? There’s no magic number. Experimenting will tell you what your number is at any given moment.

The common denominator The one simple thing, that is in all of the above is awareness. Being in the present moment. I’ve wrote about how to get into that meditative state of mind anywhere and anytime, so read it if you want to know the ‘how’.

Why does this help? When you’re practicing being in the here and now, you’ll drop more and more of your future fears and past ‘should’ve, could’ve, would’ve’ mind spins. Step by step, the noise will get less. As a result, you’ll be able to focus more, because your mental space won’t be taken up entirely by your worries and resistance. You’ll also be able to see more clearly what’s important to you, and set better goals for yourself. Let it be creative work, collaborating or adding a deeper layer into your existing tasks, you’ll be able to achieve more.

As I said in the beginning, this takes time and effort. But it will give you lasting, big results. There is a light at the end of the productivity-tunnel…

Try it for a couple of weeks and see for yourself!

Originally published at nosywitty.com