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Productivity Mondays - Break Fear to Boost Productivity

Posted by Julian on Mon 09 March 2020 in Leadership • 4 min read

Another week, another edition of Productivity Mondays! This week I'm looking at how fear can help you be more productive and, no I don't mean the fear of not delivering on time... although that is a good motivator right? Actually no, that's a terrible motivator. This is all about empowering you to break down fear barriers by getting uncomfortable then using that as a motivator to kick some goals!

"You're not growing if you're not uncomfortable at least once a week." - Bob and Julian, and likely some other smart people.

Find something that scares you and embrace it

The idea is pretty basic but so hard to execute on. You need to find something that scares the living day lights out of you. This can be anything. It can be something like public speaking or meeting someone new.

Once you have your fear factor, find a way to face it. Find something to do that forces you to face the fear through action. The key is to take that action. It doesn't matter if you "fail" as long as you take the step to beat the fear.

Let the adrenaline surge through you

It matters not whether your attempt to beat the fear is a "success" or a "failure". That you take action to face that fear is the success factor here. Even if you prepare to speak in front of an audience then in execution you stutter over your words, you still win. Just the act of taking the step to get up in front of people, speak your mind and face that fear makes you the winner.

The adrenaline of conquering a fear in this way is addicting. You feel powerful and unstoppable. You feel like anything is possible.

This is what you need to embrace!

Take more action

Knowing that you can do something that scares the pants off of you gives you power. Let this feeling drive you to achieve more, to get uncomfortable again and push even harder.

One of my favourite things to do when I'm feeling like this is to look at my to-do list, look for the scariest item on it and go for it. I set out to keep the ball rolling and knock over item after item.

In a way, it's a flywheel. You knock over that first item by beating the fear, you feel great and you use that momentum to tick off another item on your list. The best part is that it gives you focus. You know which item will give you the biggest bang for your buck!

An example

I'm writing this 2 days after completing the scariest thing I've ever done (next to having kids - am I right people?!).

Two days ago I went Canyoning with four mates in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

Heights are one of my greatest fears so the thought of climbing and bouldering through these (admittedly beautiful) mountains only to abseil off cliff edges was enough to give me a panic attack.

After much psyching up, I decided it was time to break the fear and I did it.

6 abseils in 3-4 hours, with the final one being a glorious free fall from an overhang - a cliff edge that juts out further than the cliff face below it - next to a waterfall.

At the time of writing, the euphoria from conquering this mammoth task is still strong.

I've embraced it and, without giving away too many trade secrets, I had a 1 hour call with Bob tonight that ended up being one of the most productive calls we've had in over a week. We tackled some of the pressing to-do items that we'd unintentionally procrastinated on over the past week.

All items are now actioned and we feel great, which as I mentioned above, makes us want to do even more!

Your Turn

Other than jumping off a cliff tethered to a tree with a rope your mate tied, what's something you can do this week that'll get you out of your comfort zone?

Examples include:

  • engaging with people you normally shy away from.
  • speaking up at work about something that means a lot to you.
  • taking on the one item on your to-do list that seems insurmountable.
  • WRITING SOMETHING.
  • driving without Google Maps during peak hour and still getting to work on time. (Hint hint!)

Whatever it is, this week you're going to face your fear, own it and use the rush to WIN. Do it and let us know the details in the comments!

-- Julian

With so many avenues to pursue in Python it can be tough to know what to do. If you're looking for some direction or want to take your Python code and career to the next level, book a strategy session with us. We can help you!


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