Survival Level Productivity – Being productive as a Martian

If you have the opportunity to see the new movie, The Martian with Matt Damon, I highly recommend it.  While I won’t drop any spoilers here there are some great productivity reminders and inspiration to draw from the film.

Do it as if your life depended on it

It’s easy for us to become complacent when it comes to executing on tasks or taking action on things to do.  If you hold the mindset that your world will come to an end if you don’t get it done you may be able to give yourself the motivation necessary to get the ball rolling again.  While few if any of our daily tasks are at risk of causing significant calamity, it doesn’t hurt to provide a little drama to get a running start.

Work with what you have, not what you wish you had

As part of the productivity community I spend far too much time evaluating the next latest-greatest solution to the personal productivity problem.  We all can fall into that trap unless we stop and force ourselves to think creatively about the tools and resources we already have and how to apply them rather than what we wish the perfect tool would do for us. Pick a tool you are comfortable with and see how far you can push it.  If you hit a limit, devise a work around.  If you find a feature you absolutely cannot live without, write it down rather than going searching.  Remember that our forefathers founded a country with goose quills and parchment…no task management applications there.

Make decisions

It’s easy for us to procrastinate taking action on a task if it’s not something we want to do.  It’s even easier if the task involves a decision to which there may be ramifications.  If you’re going to make a decision, pick a point and do it.  Stop waffling.  Do the research and come up with the best choice you can then stick with it until it doesn’t make sense to.

Be creative

Giving ourselves chances to design solutions to our problems rather than waiting for someone else to gives us the chance to grow and expand our skills and intuition.  The more problems we solve for ourselves the better we get at solving them.  There’s nothing wrong with looking at how others are doing things but when it comes down to it, it’s up to you to solve the problem.

While you may not trying to survive each day on an alien world, you can apply the same types of thinking to your daily life to succeed at your own missions.