Tuesday, 14 July 2015

How to develop productivity rituals

After an appaisal or coaching session you will have identified at least one behaviour that you need to work on. At this point you will feel very motivated to make the change but not too sure how to do this, Tony Schwartz talks about introducing daily rituals as a way of developing a good habit. So for example if one of the areas you want to work on is your contribution at meetings. Perhaps you are quiet by nature, more reflective than others and you tend to want to observe first and make up your mind before speaking. You have been told by your boss that you need to contribute more. The next meeting you attend you try and talk but the noisy extroverts drown you out and after a few tries you just give up. So you decide that your ritual (that you will ruthlessly stick to) will be to be the first person to speak at every meeting and you will prepare a statement/ question / observation before each meeting. If you follow this ritual you will find by breaking the ice early you will feed a great deal more relaxed and you will continue to contribute with ease.

This is how Tony Schwartz explain:-
Highly specific behaviours, done at precise times, so they eventually become automatic and no longer require conscious will or discipline.

Tony Schwarz's rituals:-

  • Abiding by a specific bedtime to ensure that I get 8 hours of sleep. Nothing is more critical to the way I feel every day. If I'm flying somewhere and know I'll arrive too late to get my 8 hours, I make it a priority to make up the hours I need on the plane.
  • Work out as soon as I wake up. I've long since learned it has a huge impact all day long on how I feel, even if I don't initially feel like doing it.
  • Launching my work day by focusing first on whatever I've decided the night before is the most important activity I can do that day. Then taking a break after 90 minutes to refuel. Today — which happens to be a Sunday — this blog was my priority. My break was playing tennis for an hour. During the week it might be just to breathe for five minutes, or get something to eat.
  • Immediately writing down on a list any idea or task that occurs to me over the course of the day. Once it's on paper, it means I don't walk around feeling preoccupied by it — or risk forgetting it.
  • Asking myself the following question any time I feel triggered by someone or something,: "What's the story I'm telling myself here and how could I tell a more hopeful and empowering story about this same set of facts?"

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