My Number One Productivity Hack

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And it's: stop thinking, start doing.


Even as a child if you didn't know my school grades and engaged me in any intellectual talk you were definitely going to consider me a sluggish dim-witted child. I have always been the thinking first and little doing guy. That's why I enjoy being alone. I don't think I have ever felt lonely before. I have a mind that has a mind of its own. I can have a long interesting conversation with myself. I can even have a week-long argument with my mind's mind. There's never a dull moment with being alone.

The only chance I got to change was when I got into the university. I then suddenly had to interact with very many people in a day, and I even stayed in a room with 7 other people. I was never in want of an audience for the ideas and thoughts that crossed my mind. Unfortunately, people misunderstood me a lot that I basically stopped saying what was in my mind but only what I was sure they would understand or want to hear. Luckily, I could figure out how people think quite well and was making so much progress getting along with people by conditioning my interactions with them in a result-oriented way. I became a source of amusement by choice which I found much better than being constantly misunderstood and having to argue with people when all I wanted was share my thoughts.

My closest friend throughout university used to say I run a lagging OS (operating system). There is always a significant delay between an impulse you pass me through and the reaction I give. You can't instantly wake me up. You can't do anything that genuinely surprises me. You can't get me into a state of shock. The only thing I respond instantly to is a tickle. Even my small talks are not instant (people always ask if I heard them).

Now you know how terrible my thinking habit is. There are days that I think so much that I forget to eat. To think for me is like breathing, a reflex action. And the consequence is that I am always lost in my thoughts. Disconnecting from my environment takes seconds and happens always. 

Shouldn't this be a productivity boost? 
Well no. The saying that too much of anything is bad is a reality backed one. It is very true. And applies, even, to thinking. My thinking gets in the way of acting/doing. Getting me to do anything is always either instantaneous or never happening. Instantaneous if I am already willing to do it and never happening if my thinking is not along that line. It is like a big rock on a sloppy ground. It either breaks into a fast movement or doesn't move at all, depending on which side you push from. If you push it in the direction of the downward slope, boom, it breaks into a run downward. If you push it against the slope, little success. And that is what my life has been like until recently.

Now I get more done by suspending my mind. There are now days I am thoughtless. I just do whatever I am pushed to do. If I go online and come upon a new idea, I don't think it over, I just try it. If someone random calls me and offers me a suggestion, I don't run it through my bottomless mind, I just give it a try. I now do less thinking and more doing, as compared to before. I may still think more than people who didn't have the over-thinking abnormality and a mind that have its own mind. So I still end up doing sensible things or well-thought things, but they are no longer subjected to rigorous thinking like before. I guess it's more like the ready, fire and aim principle. Now a lot of my thinking is more at evaluating the results of actions I have taken and modifying them rather than deliberating abstract principles.

With the stop thinking start doing hack, I now live a more productive life. You will be amazed by how little thoughts go into the daily posts I make. In fact, most of them are edited and proof-read after it has been posted and delivered to your inbox. And in case you've been wondering, that's why the topics are unpredictable. I often don't know what to write until 40 mins to 8:00am. Being spontaneous has put me better in touch with the artist in me - the creative side of me. I now get a lot done and even become amazed by the originality of the things I do because I don't hinder them with thoughts. 

Now you know my number one productivity hack. What is yours?


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