There are 9 given characteristics of the Productivity Ninja – as any reader of How to Be a Productivity Ninja will know. 2016 is on the horizon, and if you haven’t thought ahead to writing a set of New Year’s resolutions yet, we thought we’d give you some ideas!
Achieve Zen-Like Calm by making 2016 the year of the weekly review
Set an appointment with yourself, once a week, every week. Get your inputs (inbox, notes, ideas) back down to “zero”. Go through your calendar or Second Brain, and review what you accomplished over the past seven days, and what you need to accomplish over the next. Make a checklist, if you find lists helpful. Doing this once a week should help keep your stress levels at bay, and keep you calm, collected, and in control.
Be ruthless: learn to say “no”
Time is a precious resource, and you need to treat it that way. Start by using the word “no” more – to yourself, and to others. “No, that is not a priority.” “No, that is not my responsibility.” “No, I will check my Facebook feed after I deal with my inbox.”
Get weapon-savvy, and implement a useful app into your lifestyle
Learn a new language with Duolingo, or increase the amount of water you drink each day with Waterlogged. Try out a new checklist or note-taking app. Find a tool that works for you, and get the most out of it.
Be stealthy: know when to ‘go dark’
If you can, set a rule to not check your work emails outside of working hours, or to only be at your inbox between particular times. If this is unrealistic in your line of work, try booking some “no-work” time into your calendar every week or month, even if it’s only for a few hours.
Don’t be afraid of unorthodoxy
To the Productivity Ninja, unorthodoxy is all about focussing on the end result, and being unafraid to take an unconventional route to get there. Why not set yourself one small, personal goal at the start of each month? Alternatively, try something from our 2015 Unorthodoxy Challenge!
Stay agile with an under-committed diary
Productivity Ninjas need to be ready to respond to new threats and opportunities – which often means being careful not to bite off more than you can chew! Highlight the things that MUST be done each day/week/month. Anticipate the unanticipated, and try to leave some degree of flexibility in your calendar.
Become mindful – through meditation, or…?
If you feel as though meditation is something that you’re interested in, or might work for you, then great! If not, there are plenty of other ways that you can make sure you’re paying enough attention to your body and mind. You might want to consider keeping a journal, or taking short, solitary walks. You could even just commit to asking yourself “How am I feeling?” more! Set up a regular alert on your phone, if you’re worried about forgetting.
Preparation is more than just surrounding yourself with the right tools to complete the task at hand. Too often, people forget to prepare their most vital tools: their brain and body. Taking care of both ensures that you’re in the best possible shape to tackle the daily stresses of work and life. Why not resolve to do something good for your health? Perhaps take up a fun new sport or exercise activity, or commit to learning to cook proper, nutritious food.
You’re a human, not a superhero – be kinder to yourself!
It’s very easy for people to fall into the productivity trap of thinking you can get way more done than is realistic. Resolve to treat yourself with kindness and patience in 2016, and to remember that Productivity Ninjas are not superhuman, and will make mistakes from time to time – and that’s completely okay.