A couple of years ago, I was listening to this audiobook, like the good millennial that I am, and in it, they mention the power of mindsets. The book, which I cannot remember its name for the life of me, suggested that every time you face a choice, you should ask yourself: “What would a (blank) person do?”. And the (blank) part should be replaced by a trait you aspire to be; an example would be if you desire to be a fit person, you should ask yourself, “What would a fit person do in this situation?” and then do it.
The idea behind this exercise is that if you have any aspirations to be fit, organized, or even successful, you have to think and act the same way as a person who already is that thing. By asking this question before any of your actions, it can help you put yourself in that specific mindset.
With all this in mind, I think this exercise can be very easily applied to someone that aspires to be productive. And maybe the ultimate tool to be productive is to trick your mind.
Fooling Me Once…
I know that the idea of tricking yourself or faking being a productive person sounds, for lack of a better term, delusional. And yet, there are plenty of documents that prove that you can fool yourself into becoming something you previously were not. Research shows that “acting” a certain way allows your brain to “rehearse” a new way of thinking that can influence your future actions or choices.
By changing your behavior first, the way you think and feel will soon follow. If you start acting like the person you aspire to be, eventually, you’ll become that person. And this is the power of mindset.
Yes, I know all this sounds too simple, almost fake, and maybe a bit “preachy.” To be fair, with one internet scroll, you’ll find your fair share of people saying the “Fake It Till You Make It” attitude is terrible, while others preach its life-changing benefits. Well, I say give it a try and just start by asking yourself, “What would a productive person do?”.
How to correctly “fake it” being productive?
Acting “as if you are something you are not” doesn’t mean being fake or a fraud. Many people fail to understand this exercise because it is not about changing other people’s perception of you; it’s about you wanting to change for yourself and no one else. (Khamala, M.)
Acting like the person you want to become is ultimately about changing the way you think and feel about yourself. As long as your motivation is in the right place, faking it until you make it can help you make your goal a reality. (Schrader, J.)
In this case, if you want to get more work done, you need to start acting like you are the most productive person in the world. Don’t think about wanting to be productive. Instead, you should feel that you are already productive.
But what “being productive” means exactly? What makes some people more productive than others? What do they do, and how can I copy it?
To help you answer some of these questions, you will find below a list of 3 traits of highly productive people. Use these traits as inspiration and as a guideline to help you on your journey to achieve a productive person mindset.
Trait #1 — They have a consistent (morning) routine
Productivity is about purposefully and consistently moving toward a goal. You can learn all the tips and tricks you want, but fundamentally you need to perform consistently to move the forward. Productive people have morning routines to help them get into the right mindset. However, a common misconception is that having a morning routine implies being awake and ready to work at 5 am. A morning routine is simply a consistent set of activities of your choosing that helps you prepare for the day and start being productive. (Hall, J.)
Trait #2 — They don’t care what other people are doing or thinking
Most people spend the majority of their time simply watching what other people are doing. Productive people, however, don’t spend their time doing this, as it just distracts them from their work and, consequently, their lives. Their work is for themselves and the intended audience, and anyone else outside this exclusive circle shouldn’t be taken into consideration. (Hardy, B.)
And since productive people are too focused on their work, they don’t waste time worrying about the successes or failures of others. By eliminating negative emotions like envy or stress, they can free their mind and focus on what matters to them and their work.
Trait #3 — They always move forward and enjoy the journey (regardless of the outcome)
Most people believe that they can start something only when they have enough time, money, or other resources. They wait until they feel it’s completely safe to embark on a journey. And for most of them, they will continue waiting forever until eventually giving up. (Hardy, B.)
Opposite to this, a productive person doesn’t wait to jump into action, regardless of how inexperienced or unprepared they might be or feel. The only permission they need to move forward is from themselves. That is because productive people often have a growth mindset, in which they believe all skills and qualities may be learned or improved as we go.
Not only are they not afraid of the journey, but they can also find joy in it. Any mistakes or failures along the way that would make most people terrified are merely seen as opportunities to improve.
- 8 “Fake It ’Til You Make It” Strategies Backed by Science. (2016, February 2). Mental Floss. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/74310/8-fake-it-til-you-make-it-strategies-backed-science
- Brockett, S. (2017, November 1). Why “Fake It ’til You Make It” Is Bad Advice, and What to Do Instead. Atomic Spin. https://spin.atomicobject.com/2017/11/01/dont-fake-it-til-you-make-it/
- C. (2021, April 6). The 8 Habits of Highly Productive People. Personal Excellence. https://personalexcellence.co/blog/productive-people/
- Hall, J. (2019, February 27). 15 Things Highly Productive People Do Daily. Business 2 Community. https://www.business2community.com/strategy/15-things-highly-productive-people-do-daily-02175000
- Hardy, B. (2021, January 5). 7 Behaviors That Will Make You Insanely Productive. Inc.Com. https://www.inc.com/benjamin-p-hardy/7-behaviors-that-will-make-you-insanely-productive.html
- Khamala, M. (2020, March 26). When “Fake It Till You Make It” Works. . .and When It Doesn’t. Goalcast. https://www.goalcast.com/2020/03/19/fake-it-till-you-make-it-works-or-not/
- Schrader, J. (2016, June 27). When to Fake It Till You Make It (and When You Shouldn’t). Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201606/when-fake-it-till-you-make-it-and-when-you-shouldnt