Is Being Productive A Choice?
Don’t feel like exercising? Working? Studying? Cleaning? Or any other activity you’d rather not do? Yeah, me either. We all have our share of unpleasant choices to make each day. But that’s just it. These are choices, not just tasks, or “have to’s”.
Psychologist and lecturer Dr. Neil Fiore has authored several books on productivity. In one of them, The Now Habit: A Strategic Program For Overcoming Procrastination & Enjoying Guilt-Free Play, he shares his thoughts on moving from resistance to commitment.
Resistance ——> Commitment
In our everyday activities, Fiore says our negative self-talk creates images of passivity and powerlessness.
I have to work late.
I have to buy groceries.
I have to attend the party.
But here’s the deal, you do have a choice. You don’t have to do any of those things. You can choose to live with the consequences of not doing them. Or you can choose to do them, and commit wholeheartedly when you do. The choice is yours.
But you do have a choice.
Fiore says once you commit, it makes more sense for you to assert more positive and powerful “I am” and “I will” self-talk.
I am going to work longer.
I am going to buy groceries.
I will be attending the party.
This helps you move from resistance to commitment and makes the task more pleasant. Even when our choices aren’t fun ones, the task becomes easier and more enjoyable when you’ve made the choice to do it.
Where this can be particularly helpful, is with motivation. When you find yourself starting to lose motivation, look for the “have-to’s” in your thinking. When they surface, you have a choice to make. Embrace the task, or don’t do it. The choice is yours.
Just be mindful that what you focus on, and the language (self-talk) you use influences how you feel, the choices you make, the actions you take and ultimately the results you get. Resistance or commitment. You always have a choice.
For example: Let’s say you’d like eat healthier. It wouldn’t be very motivating to think of what you “have-to” give up. What you now “have-to” eat. The much more powerful, joyful, and positive focus and language (self-talk) would be to think of all you have to gain. Focus on all of the benefits you’ll experience of eating better, and think of all of the fun involved in discovering new foods that not only taste great, but are good for you. Change your “have-to” thinking into the very real joyful, powerful and positive outcomes that happen with your choice to commit to eating healthy, instead of resisting it.
Our choices may not always be fun, but if you exercise your power of choice, you’ll be able to use the energy towards commitment that you’re currently expending on resistance. You also make the task less difficult and more enjoyable. :)
It’s your choice. What will you choose?
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