What’s the first thing someone should do when learning how to be productive?
Eric Rebelo: Identity is the number 1 thing to focus on what improving yourself. Identity is the core of all things personal development and you must change the inner roots before any externals will truly change for the long term. A lot of people ask me how to be more productive and successful in the shortest time possible and I always give ‘identity’ as the answer because to be great and impactful you have to be the best version of yourself. This requires many hours of reflection, meditation, and internal communication, which can be difficult for many people but I’ve found that after detoxifying your thoughts and coming face-to-face with issues, that’s when you can actually get over them and be happy.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to have the identity of one. If you want to exercise more, you have to have the identity of a person that goes to the gym often. If you want to be a better in your relationships, you have to have the identity of a good communicator who has healthy relationships. All internal mindset problems have the root cause of being a problem with your identity, either because you tell yourself that it’s your identity, or someone else did. Just because you’ve been a ‘certain way’ for a long time doesn’t mean you have to continue to be that way. Yes some people will disagree and think that ‘you’ve changed’ on them when you’re trying to improve yourself but it’s usually because those other people are envious and jealous that you have the courage to do better.
What if there are things holding people back?
Eric Rebelo: I recently did a purge of a bunch of stuff I had and found that I’m much happier without the clutter around and I think a lot of people should do the same. I’m naturally a minimalist that just doesn’t see the need in having lots of things that don’t really matter. But this also applies to your thoughts. There are tons of thoughts that have been put in your brain that don’t help you. The fear, negative self-talk, doubt, etc are all thoughts that hold you back. The reason why you see that many older people that are close to passing in their old age have lots of regrets is because they wish they got their internal mindset sorted out a lot earlier and actually went after the things they truly wanted to do in life. If you have thoughts that don’t help you and if you have things that are around you that are unnecessary, get rid of them, no matter how difficult it may be, you’ll be happier when you do since it also gives your brain more mental space to just… be.
How do you feel about morning routines?
Eric Rebelo: You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. A concept that Einstein is credited for and is 100% true. If you keep waking up at different times, have a different morning routine every week, and eat completely different every day, your body and mind have no idea what is going on and become fatigued. As humans, our brains like routines and habits, if we didn’t we wouldn’t have survived this long. When you’re constantly changing what you consume and put in your body, your hormones get thrown off, your structure and schedule get out of whack, and it’s very difficult to really get anything productive done. That’s why the most successful people have routines. I would recommend waking up semi-early, drinking water right when you get up, not touching your phone, and get ready to take on the day for at least the first hour of every day just so you can start off right.
What happens if you ‘slip-up’ on your productivity plan?
Eric Rebelo: You can’t be successful or productive if you can’t even keep promises you make to yourself. And definitely can’t keep promises to others if that’s the case. If you say you’re going to start going to the gym on Monday of next week, stick to it and start your promises small then work your way up as you prove you can keep your promises. The best leaders are the people with integrity that follow through on their word to themselves and others.
But what about when people need to rest and not be productive for awhile?
Eric Rebelo: Everyone needs a break sometimes. Don’t think you’re an all powerful superhuman that never needs to sleep cause you’re too busy ‘hustling’. Being productive means getting rid of the stuff that’s not a priority or delegating the things you don’t need to do so you have time to actually relax and recharge. If you own a business and are still mowing your own lawn, you’re doing this wrong. Efficiency comes from only focusing on the urgent and important tasks you need to do and then automating or delegating the rest. Unfortunately you can’t delegate or automate your sleep, resting, and recharging. Make it a point to schedule in times when you’ll do your favorite hobbies and things you love to offset the stress and pressure of everyday life and work because if you don’t you could implode, well not literally… but pretty close to something like that. Stop trying to spin so many plates and just focus on a few things that require your attention so you can actually recharge correctly and do it again the next day.
Some people argue that having a routine and trying to be productive makes them feel restricted, what do you think of that?
Eric Rebelo: When you have a strict routine and boundaries you set for yourself, it becomes easier to stick to it and you feel more free. Want to lose weight? Don’t have donuts around. Want to get more work done? Get rid of TV. Want more quality time with your loved ones? Delete those annoying apps on your phone that always seem to require your attention. When you set boundaries, you are respecting yourself and others time which allows you to be more free and fill your time with things that will actually fulfill you.
How can productivity be easier for people that are struggling with it now?
Eric Rebelo: If you remove temptations then it comes easier to not want to give into them because-outta sight outta mind! Then eventually you’ll probably forget the temptations were even an option for the most part. Automating your decisions comes down to making sure your life is setup properly so that you don’t always have to wage a mental war with yourself when decision time comes around. This is why some successful people where the same clothes every day just so they don’t have to waste mental energy on things that ultimately don’t matter, like what clothes you’ll wear that day. Put your decisions on autopilot, but just make sure they’re healthy decisions.
Any last tips?
Eric Rebelo: Being productive is a lifestyle choice and a new identity. It’s not easy but it is simple. When you decide it’s time to start being more productive (and not just because of some random New Year’s resolutions) make sure you go all out and keep your focus on the win!
If you thought this post was helpful and you’d like to learn more about Eric Rebelo you can visit his website at https://ericrebelo.com or follow on social media @ericjrebelo