How to Develop a Productive Mindset With 9 Powerful Tactics

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While effective instant productivity hacks could help you get more done, the effect may last as long as that of a motivational quote. But to end unproductive habits for good, you have to cultivate a productive mindset.

But what is that exactly? Just like an environmentalist mindset can make you highly conscious of how you dispose of plastics, a productive mindset will enable you to continually be mindful of how you use your time to execute your tasks efficiently. It’s created by embracing critical elements with the following strategies.

1. Remind Yourself of Your Vision

What is your vision? Is it to be a corporate leader in your field? Do you want to be financially free so you can explore your passions without worrying about money? What is it that pushes you to perform tasks even when you don’t want to?

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You need to have an ultimate motivator to establish a productive mindset. This is evident in workplace productivity studies which reveal that employees who feel that their work is purposeful are consistently more productive than those who do it for other reasons.

Whatever your vision is, keep reminding yourself often. If you need help, make use of a manifestation journal. It’s one of the most powerful driving forces of the productive mindset.

2. Reinforce a Positive Attitude

Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychologist from the University of Michigan, did a study with five groups where two were subjected to videos showing positive emotions, two to negative ones, and the remaining one served as the control group. When they were told to picture themselves in similar situations and solve some problems, the positive groups came up with more solutions.

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Another comparative study revealed that happy workers are twice as productive as their negative counterparts. These two plus other positive psychology studies confirm that positivity boosts productivity by:

  • Helping you manage stress: since you have a positive viewpoint even when in trouble, you can deal with stress effectively, seeing the problems as challenges merely for conquering.
  • Enabling you to enjoy your job and overall life: if you feel positive about your tasks, it’s easier to be more energized and focused.
  • Promoting your physical health: researchers believe positive people are healthier and that a healthy body promotes productivity.
  • Promoting support and collaboration: people love being around other positive people, which encourages them to help and stay collaborative.

Therefore, to adopt a productive mindset, you have to keep an open mind with creativity, believing you’ll find solutions to any challenges you have so you can achieve your goals. And you will.

3. Accept a Plan as a Productivity Force

Keep in mind that no matter how positive you are, without a plan, you’re setting yourself up for failure. A productive mindset acknowledges a plan as the only force that can make goals happen – and in a reasonable timeline.

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While those who are naturally spontaneous like me would find this a hard pill to swallow, planning is a time-saver, makes us mentally prepared, and equips us with confidence in our processes. In a nutshell, you can’t be as productive when you’re randomizing tasks as when you’re organized in execution.

And to those who hate the unsexy yearly routines, you don’t have to follow a routine for you to have a plan. Planning helps you prioritize tasks when executing, and routines come from plans. You can use these brilliant planning apps to help you organize your work and overall life.

4. Live a Life of Conscious Action

That powerful statement partly originates from an article in Forbes Magazine. In the article, Chris Myers reveals one of the obvious things unproductive people ignore: knowing what you’re doing and why you’re doing it at all times is paramount to productivity.

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What does this mean? Being aware of your feelings, strengths plus weaknesses, and your surroundings helps you follow steps that your mind devises. This helps you avoid succumbing to subconscious unproductive habits.

Making conscious action your lifestyle makes it easy to develop and stick with a productive mindset.

5.Embrace a “Doing” Mentality

It’s easy to put down goals and set new year resolutions. But following up the plans with action, and in good time – that’s a different story.

Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Thomas Jefferson
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But a productive mindset thrives in action. Not just any actions but those that fulfill what you said you’ll do (intentional actions). This way, your subconscious mind records your follow-ups on goals you set and compounds that over time to form a habit.

That habit is enveloped by the productive mindset which propels you to fulfill more plans, turning you into a highly productive person.

6. Exercise Your Adaptability Muscle

Sometime back, I held on to this unproductive mindset that hurt my progress tremendously. I knew that I work best during morning hours and was always confident starting projects then. So when it reached noon and for some reason hadn’t started a project yet, I’d postpone, claiming that I wouldn’t be able to come up with ideas at that time. Yet, that was a lie that I kept repeating to myself so I didn’t have to deal with the brainstorming when my energy was low.

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But I discovered that it was slowing me down, killing my productivity bit by bit as I piled the previous to-do-list on the next day. So one day, I decided to start working in the afternoon anyway. To be adaptable. And although it was tougher, I produced beautiful work nonetheless.

So if you’re going to create a productive mindset, you have to be flexible. Plans fail. You’ll be let down. You may have to reschedule. Instead of wasting time after your plan breaks, update your to-do list and be positive that you can use your time well.

7. Feed Your Confidence

One of the reasons we’re usually stuck in inactivity is the lack of confidence. We may brand ourselves lazy when we don’t do the things we said we’ll do, but that isn’t always the case. The problem might be that we aren’t sure we can do something in the first place.

Just recently, I wanted to send some pitches to scale my business. However, after laying out a plan, I was avoiding starting the pitching itself. That’s until I became too desperately frustrated that I mentioned it to one of my mentors. Here’s part of what he said in his email: “You need to feed your mind the same way you feed your body. Take a daily dose of ‘confidence.’ “

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Of all his advice points, I took this and added a “daily dose of confidence” 6.00 a.m reminder. Every day at that time, I read a success story, Bible, watch a motivational video, or take in a quote to assure me that I have what it takes for my process to work. It might sound silly, but it works. Many psychologists confirm that confident people are more productive.

You don’t have to do that daily, but feeding your confidence frequently with your kind of motivation will help you cultivate a productive mindset.

8. Use Energy on Priorities First

Published in the Harvard Business Review, the advice Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time has been showing up quite often lately. That’s because most old-time management practices made people busy, not productive.

You may manage your time all you want, but if you want to get your side business off the ground yet wait until you’re too exhausted from your main job to work on the idea, you’re unproductive. This isn’t to say you have to ditch your current source of income. Instead, you could energetically prepare that future you desire in as little as an hour before going to work.

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You have to stop striving to get everything done and prioritize the things that matter most in your life. And even then, realize that not all tasks are created equal. You know when you’re most energetic – when your mind is fresh and finds it easier to carry out tasks. That’s when you should work on your priorities and mentally tasking work. That’s the productivity mindset to aim for.

9. Train Your Mind to Focus on One Thing

People with a productive mindset know that taking one step at a time is the best way. That’s because they realize task-switching is more stressful and slows down progress.

Multitasking doesn’t apply to only two immediate short-term actions like eating and watching a movie. It involves piling up too much on your to-do list as well. Your brain will go through many diverse roles that it slows down and may even lower your IQ . according to neuroscientists from London University.

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Avoid multitasking and practice ignoring distractions. But for more guidance on this method of adopting a productive mindset, check out How to Train Your Mind to Focus.

Choose Change Now

This isn’t one of the articles you’ll read and move on from. There’s no way you can maintain productivity in your life if you don’t build a productive mindset. As was mentioned earlier, those instant hacks work for a moment, but when you cultivate the mindset, you can make them stick with you for life.

What productive mindset tactics do you practice? Share with us in the comment section below!

Ade Kiseu

Ade is a health & wellness freelance writer for individuals as well as organizations mainly in the mental health industry. She loves exploring self-improvement, practicing smarter ways of working and living.