I always look for ways to increase my productivity. From apps to just pen and paper to-do lists, I have been working on creating systems and methods for me to keep track of all the things I like, and want to do. Since I have so many projects on the go, I am in a constant process of renewal and hope that I can find that perfect balance. Self-help and growth seem to be the cause du jour.
As we all know, the internet is rife with them – those articles purporting to be able to change your life, and to make you a better person. When I was younger, I worked at Chapters – in the self-help section. Each book echoed much of the same things (a lot more religiously based), but it is truly interesting to see what type of world this self-help, productivity and “cult of me” has turned into since then. Now that the internet gives everyone the chance to share their stories, and gives opportunity to anyone who wants to learn, we see so many different forms of calls for self-betterment: articles, TED talks, “lifehacks” – never would I have thought it would morph into this. It’s a full time job trying to understand and read through it all. Who even says that it will work for you just because it has worked for another? I get fatigue from just trying to keep up with it all.
Ultimately, the best way that I can consider doing things is to have your goals determined, and then work back from there. What is your objective? How do you get there? These are all things I contend with. I also attempt to do this for determining the course of my day – not just for work and side-projects.
When I began yoga, I started setting an ‘intention’ to follow through my practice. Soon, little things like ‘be kinder’ and ‘be grateful’ became something I tried to implement past just that one hour of yoga. I would proclaim my intention for the start of the day – and kept repeating it through out. When I knew it was going to be a particularly trying day, or if I have many things to do on my lists, I would make an intention that would help me through it – “just try,” I’d tell myself… “just try today. It doesn’t matter if you believe you can or can’t – just try.” This has helped me combat natural feelings of inability or self-confidence issues in the face of projects and has equipped me for more than my day-to-day – beyond just the boardroom.
So, what does an intention do for me? I believe that setting an intention displays commitment. You can write it, say it out loud or just chant it like a mantra throughout your day, but what you’re ultimately doing is putting it out there into the universe. It holds me to it by virtue of it being based on my word.
Here’s how to go about setting an intention for your day (if you so choose!):
1. Be honest and clear about something you want to achieve, or want to be and write it down or say it out loud.
2. Share your intention with someone in a way that will supportively hold you accountable to taking action and following through.
3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention.
4. Acknowledge that you did what you said you would and then, take the next step. (Keeping a journal acknowledging your ‘wins’ can help with that!)