Be more productive by giving yourself an out

There are always things that we should do but don’t want to. For me that thing is getting up early (aka not hitting snooze and waking up an hour and a half later). So, as a part of talking myself into getting out of bed each morning I give myself an out, it goes something like this.

I will get out of bed now, and if I’m still really tired after my morning reading and coffee I will give myself permission to go back to bed.

By giving myself that opportunity for coming back to my bed later I am able to muscle through the annoyance of getting up to begin with. The nice thing about this approach is that when I have gotten through my morning coffee and reading I’m usually clear headed and realize that going back to bed is a bad idea, and that is when I get truly productive.

This concept could work with excercise (if I’m dying 5 minutes into the workout I’ll stop) or writing a report (if I still feel writer’s block after 10 minutes I’ll come back to it), etc. You get the idea.

The bottom line is this, you don’t make good decisions about things you don’t want to do when you are making that decision on the fly. By giving yourself an out you can push that decision off a bit to give you better perspective, so you can make a better decision.

photo credit: What I miss about digital photography via photopin (license)

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