Want to know the secret to being productive?

It came to me in the shower.

I’m not kidding. Somewhere between the shampoo and the conditioner I had an epiphany. There it was in front of me as plain as day … the secret to becoming organized, efficient, and to getting more done. If you want to change the way you work, I know the number one thing you have to do to make it happen.

So here it is … the secret to being organized, efficient, and productive is this: change your mind.

Changing the way you think isn’t easy. Let’s face it, any kind of change is never easy. Whenever I face big challenges, I like to break them up into manageable chunks. So here are three ways to ease you into your transformation.

1. Be mindful

You may have listened to a bunch of productivity gurus who each claim to have the answer to all your problems (and some actually may). You buy the books, go to the seminars and come home fully pumped. You convince yourself that this time it will be different. But after some time passes, you find yourself slipping back into those familiar patterns. You know – the ones that got you into this mess in the first place. So what do you do? You start by being mindful of your actions.

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Where am I collecting all the information that flows into my office?
  • Where am I putting things – away, or in a pile?
  • Do I have a good sense of my priorities for the week?

Once you’re mindful of how you work, it’s easier to make a change.

2. Banish negative self-talk

I’ve met so many people who label themselves: messy, disorganized, a slob. These labels open the door to negative self-talk where you convince yourself you just aren’t the type of person who can be organized and work more efficiently. What follows is increased stress levels and intense feelings of being overwhelmed.

You can change these unhelpful conversations, but you have to be firm with yourself. When these negative thoughts pop into your brain, acknowledge them but then quickly ignore them. Let them pass and don’t spend any time trying to figure out why you feel this way. Just move on. I know it sounds easier said than done, but be patient with yourself and before you know it, you’ll become a master at ignoring those gremlins.

3. Keep an open mind

Once you’re mindful of how you work and you’ve banished negative self-talk, your mind becomes clear and you naturally open yourself up to accepting new ideas and processes in the way you work. It may start in small ways: you may finally read one of those books you got from the time management seminar. You may spend some time cleaning up your office. Or, you may call a business efficiency designer to help you simplify your business.

A step in the right direction

Changing your mind doesn’t have to give you headache. Any of the steps above will take you in the right direction. Take it slow, be patient with yourself, and celebrate your success. Doing this will ensure you reach your destination.

I’d love to hear how you’re doing on your road to better organization and efficiency in your work. Share your comments below and continue the conversation.

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