Have you ever lain awake trying to get to sleep, but you can’t turn your work brain off? Or you have a whole Saturday to get things done, but it’s as if your motivation walked out the door along with your attention span?
In order to accomplish something, you have to have the correct “brain” turned on. Whether it’s an at-home project or relaxing enough to avoid looking at your phone, you have to shift your mindset to accomplish these tasks. Phil Cooke, author of “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do,” shares with us some tips around driving productivity through shifting your mindset.
- At Work: Some days you know exactly what you need to work on, and other days you spin your wheels. Is that because your leadership is unclear, or because the team dynamic has confused priorities? “Teams are great for brainstorming, research, and execution, but at some point, a leader has to make a decision,” says Phil. You can demand actionable direction, and find out who really makes the final decisions. “In military terms, a team can decide how to take the hill, but a leader has to decide which hill to take.”
- At Home: It’s really easy to bring your work brain home with you. Getting dinner on the table is suddenly the same as pestering your team to deliver their weekly reports. Your kid setting the table is different from an employee sending you a time sheet. “Once you cross the door and walk into your house, it’s time to switch to what author Jim Collins calls ‘legislative leadership,’” says Phil. “Legislative leadership is still leader driven, but it’s softer, more open to opposing ideas, and works because of consensus, not command. From a productivity standpoint, home and family aren’t about to-do lists, they’re about relationships.”
- Personal Time: Some people like to be really productive with their personal time, volunteering in the community, writing books, knitting clothes, or taking classes. Others want personal time to be for relaxing. And some feel they have no personal time, constantly shuttling kids to activities or coaching the little league team. Either way, there’s another shift in mindset here required to accomplish any goal. You have to be purposeful in what you want to accomplish, and that also means getting the tools you need. “If you’re on the go, this is where mobile technology can make a significant difference, because adaptability doesn’t mean inability,” says Phil. Your phone can keep you connected or allow you to multitask. Or no phone at all can help you relax.
You can be productive, but to accomplish everything from work tasks to relaxing, you have to change your mindset. Doing so requires flexibility, something you demonstrate every day. This is incredibly important in today’s shifting world. “The folks at Change Anything tell us that 83% of employees have been passed over for a promotion because management felt they couldn’t make the necessary changes to move to the next level in their career,” said Phil. Change is good for you, so take these tips to start shifting your mindset.
Phil Cooke is an television producer, media consultant, and author of the new book: “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do.” Find out more at philcooke.com