Module Overview: The Mindful Productivity Habit

By Leo Babauta

Who among us doesn’t procrastinate? And with that in mind, who among us doesn’t want to be at least a bit more productive?

The answer is “very few of us”.

We all procrastinate. And if we procrastinate, we could use a productivity boost from time to time.

That said, I’m not a fan of hyperproductivity and work at the cost of living. Which is why I’ve added the “mindful” element to this month’s productivity module. We’re going to combine slowing down and finding mindfulness, with focus and productivity and overcoming procrastination.

By combining mindfulness and productivity, we’ll find the focus while not overdoing it. We’ll overcome fears that cause procrastination while not getting stressed from all the work.

The Principles of Mindful Productivity

This month, we’ll let these ideas guide us:

  1. Pause to decide what’s important. We rush into our inbox and to-do list with an indiscriminate flurry, rushing from one thing to the next, doing whatever is urgent. We’re going to be more conscious about how we spend our Mindful Productivity time, by stopping to decide what’s important.
  2. Set up a focus session. We’re not going to try to fill every minute of the day with productivity. We’re going to focus on small sessions, working on what we decide is important to work on.
  3. Start with the right intention. We’ll decide what intention we have for each task — to be compassionate, to help others, to create something great, to help our career, etc.
  4. Take the first step. When the focus session starts, and we have our intention set, we’ll take the first step, not letting ourselves put off that step. Smallest step possible is best.
  5. Be mindful of your breath, body and urges. As we work, practice being mindful not only of the task in front of us, but of ourselves, and of our urge to switch to distractions.
  6. Stay in the moment as you work. Each task will be a form of meditation.

We’ll go deeper into each of these principles this month.

Don’t Waste a Moment

The life we’re allowed to live is too short, and it’s filled with wonders, if we learn to see them. We are given the opportunity to learn, to make a difference, to create something, but that opportunity is limited.

What if you only had a month to live: how would you spend it?

You could spend it with the people you love, go out and have amazing experiences, explore the world, spend the time learning. You could create something, make the world better, create art, make people’s lives better.

But when we waste time on distractions and procrastination, we are wasting the opportunity.

Let’s decide what’s worthy of our short time. Make a choice. Decide what you’ll squeeze into those precious few days, because you don’t have many of them.

Each moment is limited, fleeting, precious. Let’s not waste another one.

Continue to the Mindful Productivity Habit Plan.