We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’
Attention is your currency. Time might be spent, but attention still needs to be paid. Look after this currency, as it’s the most valuable currency in the world.
We oftenlike to be distracted because it’s the perfect excuse for procrastination and thinking less, and Facebook or Twitter win over the report we’re supposed to be finishing simply because it’s easier to be in those places, having conversations, than it is to get into the difficult thinking we’re supposed to be engaged in.
LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. SERIOUSLY.
Realize that you’ll never get everything done. That’s not the game any more. Be safe in the knowledge that you’re in control, selecting the right things to do, and that you’re doing as much as one human being possibly can, and you will find a way through it.
A five-minute phone call to get a personal recommendation is much easier than an hour Googling the best solution. Find people whose opinions you trust – and trust them!
Response-able now
We often choose not to respond with definite actions. We procrastinate and we seek to delay things if we’re feeling lazy, tired, unsure or worried about the results. The way of the Ninja will help to challenge your thinking and develop new habits so that you’re proactively looking for ways to respond, rather than for ways to avoid and defer.
• Response-able later
You don’t want to worry about what could go wrong on all the other projects that you’re not working on right now. We’ll set up systems so that you always know what your next move will be on any given project and so that you know that these systems will keep things under control for you.
• Response-able if the crap hits the fan
When you have to drop everything to deal with a crisis, it’s much easier if you have a sure-fire way of knowing or remembering what you’ve dropped. The systems and techniques in this book will make it easier to respond when such moments come along, ensuring full focus on the job at hand.
If you want to climb the ladder in your organization, realize that your ability to react and be responsible are what you’ll be judged on.
We no longer think about our work: thinking is our work.
To be response-able, therefore, means you have the ability to define in the moment the actions you need to take to overcome and enjoy any new challenge
Seeming to do is not doing.’
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.’
– William James

Chances are, if you’ve bought this book, you’re feeling stressed. A Productivity Ninja knows that stress in some form or another is inevitable if you’re ambitious and you want to get things done that really matter. Indeed, a good shot of adrenaline now and again can be a wonderful, exciting thing. However, what we also know is that stress is a barrier to the kind of relaxed concentration and Zen-like calm that we need for long-term, sustainable productivity. This chapter will open your awareness to stress and how to recognize what might be causing stress for you. We’ll go on in the next chapter to look at attention management and how reducing your stress will increase your attention. Goodbye stress, hello Zen-like calm.
Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important. Just lie down
what’s going on in your mind.
However, it’s how we react to change that defines us.
Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organisation, preparation and action.’
Work is highly personal and central to our sense of self.
Imperfection is the reminder that underneath it all, we’re still remarkably and reassuringly human.
For a long time when I worked from home, my morning routine was deliberately regimented:
Drink water
Ten minute run
Shower
Breakfast
Worst task of the day
Daily Checklist
Following a particular pattern at the start of your day, where the fifth of six elements happens to be doing a piece of work that your resistance would usually shout and scream about is a clever way of nipping in with the work before your resistance notices.
Resistance becomes powerless only in the face of serious momentum.
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