V2The more courageous and self-aware a person is the more productive they are. “Until workers find the courage and self-awareness to leave their dead-end jobs and create a vocation that truly inspires them, no amount of technology, tips, or tricks will help increase productivity”, says author Michael Veltri (pictured right).

But, regardless of what someone wants to achieve in life, transformation can be difficult. We tend to be our own worst enemies. We hold ourselves back without even realising what we are capable of.

The Mushin Way to Peak Performance draws pragmatic advice from the guiding principles of the Japanese martial art of Aikido. The book teaches readers that even the most challenging battles can be won – or may not even need to be fought.

Making our natural abilities stronger

To discover our natural abilities and make them stronger, we have to practice them – even if only for a few minutes each day. To start with, Veltri suggests answering four questions from Gay Hendrick’s book, The Big Leap:

  • What do I most love to do?
  • What work do I do that doesn’t seem like work?
  • In my work, what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to amount of time spent?
  • What is my unique ability?

But, how can we develop the strength and confidence to stop hesitating at every crossroad?

“When you have a big decision to make simply ask yourself, ‘What am I committed to accomplishing?’. Don’t get caught up in the how; that is, how you’ll accomplish this goal. Getting caught up in the how opens the door to hesitation and leads to analysis paralysis”, says Veltri.

Instead, he suggests focusing on what we are committed to accomplishing. Then, “getting into relevant action by completing one easy, simple, and quick step to build momentum.”

Turning setbacks into opportunities

V4The first thing we should do is remove the word problem from our vocabulary. “Tell yourself that there is nothing wrong here – just a setback or breakdown.”

When a setback occurs, we should look at the big picture – what we are committed to accomplishing. From there, the author tells us to identify three simple, relevant action steps that this setback is presenting us, which will help us move one step closer to accomplishing our ultimate goal. But, “be sure to get other people involved to help you identity the action steps that this setback is creating for you. Often we will need other people we know and trust to help us objectively identify opportunities that arise from certain setbacks.”

Finally, Veltri shares three simple tips, which can help us make better choices and be more productive:

Stop multitasking. “Multitasking is a myth. Trying to multitask takes longer and produces more errors in the work – including making poor choices – than if we see each and every task through to completion before moving on to the next.”

Start exercising. “From Stephen Covey’s bestselling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, ‘One of the fundamentals is no matter how busy you are, set aside time for exercise and taking care of your health, otherwise you won’t have the vigor to fulfill your other priorities in earnest’.”

Decision fatigue is real. “We have a finite amount of decision making power each day.  The longer our day wears on, our ability to make good decision decreases. So, make your important decision and choices early on in your day and save the less important decision-making for the afternoon.”