How To Be More Productive – Even When You’re Not Working

How To Be More Productive

Here’s a little trick to keep your brain working on your most pressing projects – even when you’re not.

All you have to do is expose yourself to your current challenge just before you head off to lunch, the gym, a meeting, an errand, the shower, whatever.

For example,

  • Writing a blog post for your business? 
    –> Sketch a draft, or even just a title, before you go.
  • Want a great theme for your product launch
    –> Brainstorm 5 ideas before you leave.
  • Need ideas for a big client proposal
    –> Scribble a general outline first.

The End Of Writer’s Block

I use this technique every single day, and it has improved my productivity immensely.

I think of it as putting an egg of an idea under my warm subconscious, and letting it incubate there. By the time I get back from whatever diversion has occupied me, more ideas have hatched!

I can get down to my project with a clearer sense of direction and more motivation. And I never, ever have writer’s block.

To boost your own productivity, simply remember to focus your subconscious on your current challenge or project before you head off to a break or another task. You can even do it at the end of the work day. You’ll find it much easier to make progress when you return.

Over To You

  • Do you already do this?
  • If not, will you try it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

[Image by Tom@HK]

18 thoughts on “How To Be More Productive – Even When You’re Not Working

  1. Michele Connolly says:

    @Alan: Of course we need breaks to recharge our mental batteries. But our brain often works away sub-consciously – often on something random. This is just a little technique to give it something specific to chew on in the background.

  2. Alan says:

    I’m not sure I agree. I remember in my cognitive psychology class they showed studies that the mind will wear down if it keeps running and you need mental breaks to sharpen it again, to me lunch, a shower, driving is relaxing.

  3. Lorie says:

    Although I don’t think I realized it until now, I do this for all sorts of things. I’m a SAHM and a list maker. My best time, usually, to think things through is when I’m driving. That’s not a good time for a list maker but at least I’ve had time to think about what needs to get done, what’s for dinner, what phone calls need to be made, a problem I needed to solve, etc. Another good time for me is while I’m exercising or in the shower. Good post!

  4. Juli Shulem says:

    Yes! I do this! And I teach it to my clients as well. My twist, is that I always leave something “begun” rather than “finished” so that it is easier to get into the project upon returning. So instead of leaving it at the end of a segment, I will begin the next area – even if it’s just writing down an outline, as you suggest, or getting some ideas written out – and then when I sit down to begin, it is already started and makes the transition easier. I coach those with ADD and this works great for those with transition issues particularly well.

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