When it comes to mindset shifts for productivity, much of the advice you come across focuses on tactical habits, valuable exercises, and powerful affirmations. This is all fine. But to focus on this first would be like baking a cake before you crack any eggs.
Improved productivity, as with most things, is a process. You cannot skip a few key milestones or cut corners and expect any changes you make to last the test of time—even if, at first, you make progress and feel like you’ve “figured it out.” Before long, you’ll slip back to where you once were. So, suppose you’re looking to improve your productivity and overall have more outstanding balance and fulfillment in your life. In that case, this article is for you, and it begins with an important message:
Today is the day to lay foundations that will last the test of time.
It’s this continued progression and lasting impact that matters above all else. Because anyone can make a little progress over a short period. Chances are you have done that many, many times over the years. It feels great for a while. Yet you’re soon left wondering, “What did I do wrong? Why am I back here where I first started?”
It’s one of the most common productivity problems (and personal growth overall).
The good news is that it’s easy to fix (kind of) …
Mindset Shifts For Productivity That Lasts!
Mindset is one of those topics that often comes up in a conversation about personal growth.
Understandably so, too, as it’s a key building block into what makes you, you.
Most of us are dealt a far-from-ideal hand in this regard. From a young age (a very young age!), you began to piece together life’s puzzle and make stories out of what you experienced, recognizing patterns and placing purpose to each one.
The problem is, all this happened whilst you were an infant. It is hardly a good time to place those all-important corner pieces of your puzzle that determine the much bigger picture.
Still, this is reality, and this is what you went through. It was mainly out of your control, with parents, siblings, people on TV, and whatever else happened to pass you by. You saw. Heard. Experienced. Built a series of beliefs.
Some of these beliefs are positive and likely help you to this day. They form significant aspects of your personality and positively affect your mindset and how you approach life.
Yet some of these beliefs are less than ideal, and although we each have unique ones, some are more common than others — it’s one, in particular, I’d like to focus on because it happens to impact you, me, and most of us in a genuinely toxic way.
Especially when it comes to your productivity.
It centers around the notion of hard work.
We were taught to work hard when most of us entered the education system. If in doubt, work harder, study longer; try to do more, and follow what those more competent students do… These are the mindset shifts we must make.
Bit by bit, day after day, our beliefs around work—and what it means to be good enough, worthy enough, simply adequate enough to deserve attention and respect—become more and more associated with a work harder mentality.
If you want something, you need to work hard for it.
Now, look, this isn’t an anti-work piece or to glorify a poor work ethic. The point is to differentiate between work ethic and hard work (or the art of *just* working longer).
A good work ethic doesn’t equate to the amount of hours you put in. Work ethic centers around effort and application, the ability to think critically and question the best outcome. Sometimes this aligns with hard work and long work. Yet, often, this isn’t the case.
At least, it doesn’t have to be the case.
Yet it is because of our deep-rooted beliefs around work, which is becoming an increasingly toxic problem as this world gets faster and tightens its grip around your very being.
Welcome To The Hustle
This world we live in is fast-paced and intense. It’s relentless.
We are connected to everyone at all times. It never escapes us, the temptation to check email or scroll through social media; check in and do that one item on the to-do list.
We feel tired. We feel behind all the time; like we’re never properly caught up. There’s always more to do, and there is always someone who seems to be further along than we are. We see them on Instagram, sharing their seemingly perfect lives. They are better than us. More worthy. And because we are only ever connected to what’s going on in our own minds, we start to assume that they are happier and have it figured out. So, what do we do? We do what we’ve been taught to when in doubt: work harder… work longer… grind the gears… do more!
This is The Hustle.
You don’t have to work fourteen-hour days to be stuck inside it. It’s always around you, tempting you to do a little more or to compare yourself to someone else. We default to those deep-rooted beliefs when we slip into fragile states like these. It’s a vicious cycle and a true endemic of modern-age living as we push ourselves to the point of burnout.
We don’t help ourselves, either, especially when on a path of personal growth.
If anything, those who are more enlightened and aware face more demanding challenges because you appreciate the changes you must make. It’s like peeling an onion as one nugget of wisdom leads you to the next.
It leads you to commit to this hack and that one, all in a bid to improve your health, mental well-being, and productivity.
Yet all you’re really doing is doing more.
That’s what The Hustle wants, and it is this that continues the vicious cycle.
Welcome To ‘The Flow’
To truly experience personal growth, you must make mindset shifts, deciding to step beyond the hustle and into flow.
Flow is that state where work and life take an easier tone. It’s more peaceful. Less busy; less all-consuming. You still need to work, and at no point is life easy. You still face challenges. Plus, you still have to navigate obstacles. Yet when you place yourself in a state of flow, you have fewer balls to juggle and less information to process.
It’s literally the opposite of what the hustle entails.
When in flow, you’re in a state of being. You get more done in less time because your mind doesn’t have to think as much. You take the steps you need to take. That’s it. It’s not about working hard, doing more, or pushing yourself because you feel you need to. You do the work you need to do and take the steps that lead you there.
Yet entering this state isn’t easy. It’s not natural. At least, not anymore.
Way back in your childhood, it was. Young children slip in and out of flow throughout the day. They play, smile, love, and laugh because that is the essence of life.
It’s sad that so many of our beliefs steal this from us.
But just because re-entering this state isn’t easy doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It is possible, although the actions you take each day likely prevent you from taking these steps; even though you’re committed to your growth, health, well-being, and so much more.
Because every time you learn something, come across a new hack or tactic, follow someone, or decide to venture down this rabbit hole that… you make it harder to tap into flow because step further into the hustle, rather than away from it.
Mindset Shifts For Productivity: Getting Started
The reason mindset is so vital to personal growth is because your current mindset (and beliefs) are what hold you back. It’s like you’ve walked through a door and stepped into a hallway, a new door in front of you that houses a world of possibilities on the other side.
That door you stepped through represents your past. It is an outdated version of who you no longer wish to be. Whereas that door in front embodies your growth journey. As you enter the hallway, you’re eager to close the old door and open the new one. You step toward it, slide it open, maybe even step through… yet your jumper’s caught on the old door’s hinge. So you are unable to go any further. A few steps forward, but a few backward steps follow as you struggle and squirm.
That caught thread represents your beliefs, mindset, and the many demons you possess.
You can want to grow. You can even be ready to grow. Perhaps you can compose yourself in the hallway and get all your ducks in a row. But until you cut that thread, you won’t get far.
This is why so much progress is a mere prequel to stagnation.
It’s a travesty and a true modern dilemma. That’s because when we try something that doesn’t work out and cannot figure out why, we slip back to that default setting of working harder.
Working longer… Just doing more!
Around and around, we commit to more when we need to do less.
That’s the key here: LESS.
And it’s how we’ll bring this article to a close, not with yet another so-called answer or solution to fill your brain with hope and distraction, but rather a question to help you reach the root cause:
What do you need to let go of?
Before we move on, let me recognize that this is a loaded question. The reality is you have much to let go of: fear, trauma, beliefs, outdated truths, people, ideas, hopes, dreams, the list goes on… your list is unique to you, and you likely only know part of what you need to.
But that’s the point. You need to explore and figure out what you need to let go of before making these mindset shifts and inviting new things into your life. Yet this is exactly what so much of your growth journey doesn’t involve. Because it’s easier to try that new hack, test the latest trend, and read the hottest book in the charts everyone beams about…
It can all help, to an extent, but if your jumper’s caught in the old door, you won’t go far.
Final Thoughts on Mindset Shifts to Increase Your Flow
Real growth requires a real exploration of you and your past. So you can better appreciate who you are. More importantly, you discover why you are—where all those beliefs came from and the specific steps you must take to overcome them.
We’re all on a different journey, but in that regard, we all share an eerily similar one.
So let today be the day you lay the foundations for the rest of your life by asking and truly reflecting on the question: What do you need to let go of? This is how to step out of the hustle, into flow, and let go of what was so you can embrace the productivity inside.