How is it that on some days you feel highly motivated, energized, and willing to put in the work, while on other days you feel more like procrastinating?
The answer is quite straightforward: It’s determined by your state of mind. You see, almost all of your short-term decisions, actions, and thoughts are determined by your current state of mind.
For example, no matter how kind and generous you might be, you might suddenly snap at a colleague or loved one when you’re in an angry or stressed state of mind. In that case, being in a low-quality state of mind leads to a low-quality action.
The same principle applies to productivity. A low-quality state of mind leads to low-quality decisions such as procrastinating, sleeping in, and getting distracted by social media.
Therefore, learning how to take control of your state of mind — and get into a ‘peak state’ at will — is essential. If you don’t, you’ll always be at the mercy of the state of your mind.
A Lousy State Creates A Lousy Outcome
Yesterday, for example, my goal was to write two articles. However, I woke up a little later than usual, didn’t follow my morning routine, and worked in a semi-distracted state.
All in all, I wasn’t in a peak performance mindset. Instead, I was in a ‘lousy’ state of mind, and it clearly showed in my work. I was distracted more often, tried to talk myself out of doing the work, and eventually just gave up.
These days don’t happen often, but when they do, it’s almost always when I fail to get myself into a peak state because I didn’t follow certain habits and routines. On the days where I follow ‘peak state habits’, however, I’m almost always highly productive. That’s no coincidence.
Habits & Routines Work
Peak state habits, morning routines, and pre-work rituals are very effective. It doesn’t directly create or produce anything, but it helps to get you into a state of mind from which you’ll be a lot more focused, productive, and consistent. Some of the habits and routines that help me get into a peak state are:
- Reading affirmations
- Taking a cold shower
- Exercising (even a short 5-minute workout can be enough to get into a peak state)
- Reviewing my long-term goals
- Reflecting on the negative long-term consequences of consistently procrastinating
- Doing Wim Hof breathing exercises
- Doing a visualization exercise
- Listen to music that energizes me
- Watch a motivational video (corny, but it works)
- Read an inspiring book (or quotes) for a few minutes
Of course, these routines and activities should never serve as a distraction or escape from doing real work. However, having a few routines and practices that reliably get you into a peak state — without consuming hours of your day — is very useful.
By following these peak state routines, you get into the right state of mind from where work seems to flow much more effortlessly. From this state of mind, you won’t try to talk yourselves out of doing the work as much. You’ll be more focused and stick with your tasks for longer.
As Tony Robbins said, “If you want to make it big, you’ve got to push yourself beyond your limits. You’ve got to pump yourself up and get yourself into a hyper mental state. And you have to do this yourself. Nobody can do this for you.”
Successfully changing your state at will, over and over again, is what will set you apart from the rest. It’s what will help you perform at the highest levels, stop procrastinating, and do the things that are right for you and your future.
Approach Your Work Like A Pro Athlete
Following a ‘peak state routine’ at the start of your day is similar to how pro-athletes have a warming-up and pre-match routine. Imagine if a boxer would step into the ring without a proper routine to get him- or herself focused and hyped. That wouldn’t be a great move.
Yet, this is what most of us do every single day. We approach our work and personal goals without following a ‘pre-match’ routine. Nevertheless, we expect to make high-quality decisions, be productive, and feel motivated. No wonder procrastination and a lack of focus are common problems for most people.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar
Instead, approach the days in which you need to be productive in the same way a boxer or football player would approach a matchday. Follow certain routines and practices that get your body and mind in a peak state.
From this state of mind, it will be much easier to make high-quality decisions. You won’t have to fight against distractions or procrastinative thoughts so much and work will flow much more effortlessly.
I recommend incorporating these peak state habits into your morning routine. This way, you start the day inspired, energized, and focused. When you start the day in a peak state of mind, being highly effective will be much easier.
Now Do It
Change only comes from taking action. Therefore, as an action point for this article, pick a few of these habits and create your own ‘peak state routine.’ Follow this routine whenever you’re in a lousy state of mind. Even better, start your days by following this routine to start the day motivated and inspired.
To Your Personal Growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab