How Can We Be More Productive?

Sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.  When your to-do list is frustratingly long, what can you do to be more productive?

While there is something to be said for the need to relax in our over-scheduled society, sometimes you just need to get stuff done. That might include running errands, preparing a work project, or performing home maintenance. Whatever the task is that you feel is crucial, how can you avoid procrastination and distractions, and actually accomplish said task?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What is the value of inefficiency?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How can we encourage debate?’


Productivity has been steadily increasing in our modern society, thanks to tools like the computer and the internet, as well as the labor-saving machines that magnify the effort of an individual. Not to mention increasing the weekly hours spent at work, or even working during “off hours” like answering emails from home.

Are there further advances to be had? Do productivity programs or apps actually work? Are there routines or practices that can further improve how much we can accomplish? Or is the attempt to increase productivity bound to further increase daily stress and unhappiness?

If you feel that your list of tasks — for work, home, or even for enjoyment — is too long and needs to be reduced more efficiently, what can you do about it? How can we be more productive?

Related questions: How can we turn ideas into actions? How do you set priorities? What is important? How can we encourage collaboration? Do you keep lists?

Politics: Incremental Or Transformational?

We don’t ask too many overtly political questions, but here is (a non-partisan) one: do you think politics is inherently about steady, incremental progress, or broad, sweeping, transformational change?

Share why if you wish.

Politics: Incremental Or Transformational?

What Was Your Last Big Change?

In order to keep improving, things need to change. Some changes are big; some small.What was the last big change in your life?

There seems to be something hardwired in human beings that makes us adverse to change. We like to get into a comfortable routine, and stay there.

This might seem to be for the best in the present, but in order to grow, change is necessary. Even though that may make us uncomfortable, it is necessary.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What are you willing to sacrifice?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What do you believe?’


Change can come in all sorts of forms. You might start a new job, or get married, or buy something expensive. Those things might be classified as big changes.

Some things, though, may not seem very big. They might seem positively puny. And yet, in the end, that tiny change might end up having an out-sized impact. Can you think of examples from your life?

So, you can define “big” in any way you like. However you define it, what was your last big change?

Related questions: How have you changed? What makes change possible? Change or status quo? How can you change your attitude? Can people change?

Are There Beliefs About Yourself You’ve Had To Let Go?

It is a simple fact that people change and grow over time. Have you ever been aware of your personal change, and jettisoned beliefs about yourself?

These changes can be something simple and straightforward. For example, later in life you might grow to like a food that you couldn’t stand before. Your belief about yourself (i.e. “I don’t like tomatoes”) might need to be amended, or even dropped.

But sometimes, the belief in question might be quite abstract, or even key to your concept of self. As you age, cornerstone beliefs, like political party, religious affiliation, or career aspirations might need to be tweaked. Some might even require a complete overhaul.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


An extreme example of this would be a belief that you felt was central to who you are, one that you swore repeatedly would never change. And yet, over time, as your experiences increase, you attitude might shift subtly at first, and eventually become completely different. Has this ever happened to you?

Introspection can be a valuable tool in your mental health tool kit. Knowing what you believe in, and periodically reviewing those beliefs, can lead to your being honest with yourself. It might also lead to a mo0re fulfilled life.

Do you have any beliefs about yourself that have changed over time?

Related questions: How have you changed? What makes you you? How can we encourage meaningful conversation? What is necessary to change your mind?

 

 

How Do You Adopt New Ideas?

We are constantly being exposed to new ideas. How is it that you adopt some of them which end up being a part of who you are?

Adopting new ideas is really a multi-step process.

First, is the exposure to new ideas. That might come about through reading, conversation, travel, or others ways you might expand your personal views.

Second, you have to recognize the good ideas from the rest. Frankly, this step remains something of a mystery. How do you choose an idea as good? Or at least deserving of further consideration?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’


The third step is the one that is the focus of today’s question. Once you pick an idea as worthy (however you might do that), what is next? How do you actually incorporate it into your worldview? How does someone put into practice this new way of thinking?

All of the ideas that are floating around in your head, that make up your personality and help guide your decision making, started out as new at some point. Those ideas were plucked from your experiences, and incorporated into your self.

How did that happen? Can you make happen in the future? If so, how? How do you adopt new ideas?

Related questions: Where do ideas come from? Where do shared ideas exist? What is necessary to change your mind? How can you change your attitude?