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Why Our Minds Can Make Us Unproductive

And how to achieve our long-term goals ...



Have you ever said you are going to do something, then you don't? This could be anything from losing weight (like I am trying to do right now), to cracking on with that all-important project?

If you're feeling particularly unproductive right now, remember to just do it!

If you're feeling particularly unproductive right now, remember to just do it!

copyright: pixelsaway / 123rf stock photo

Our minds just seem to work against us. We say, "just one more biscuit", then eat the whole packet. Why is this? Well, our minds like to grasps onto things we have an attachment to and avoid what we have an aversion to.

"So, when we spy the biscuits, our mind has an attachment to them instantly!"

What attachment means is that we think that a particular object, whatever it may be, will give us some sort of happiness. We grasp hold of the idea that just one more biscuit will make us somehow happy. And yes, it does ... temporarily. But it doesn't in the long-term because we don't meet our goals, our ambitions, our vision for ourselves.

The same goes with aversion. We have a project to start. We don't want to start it because it is difficult, so we have a mind of aversion towards it. We grasp hold of the idea that doing something else is more pleasurable and become attached to that idea.

We then go off and do the more pleasurable thing instead of starting the project we don't want to. This may give us temporary happiness, but it does not give us the long-term satisfaction we seek.

"So how do we get over this attachment and aversion cycle?"

Firstly, we need to realise that temporary pleasure is not going to help us get towards the happiness we seek. We want to be slimmer, we want to complete that project, we want to exercise more. They are long-term goals we need to achieve in order to make us happier in the long term.

Once we have really bought into the idea that achieving our long-term goals will make us happier in the long term, we can then be able to use logic to talk ourselves out of doing the short-term things that damage our chance of fulfilling those long-term goals.

Secondly, to do this, we need to be mindful of what we are doing and why we are doing it. To become more mindful, next time you want that biscuit or avoid that project, take a moment and ask yourself what you are feeling at that moment in time. Will it help achieve my long-term goals or will it not?

Lastly, make a decision to acknowledge your feelings and choose to move beyond them. I talked about people with grit last week, who also have perseverance. To get to our long-term goals and happiness, we need to have perseverance, so when the going gets tough we can look beyond our feelings and, in the words of Nike, 'just do it'.

"Would you like to know more?"

So if you are feeling particularly unproductive right now, do give me a call on 01858 414226 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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More about Ellen Willoughby ...

I'm Ellen, Director of All About Quality and All About Productivity. I have over 20 years experience as a professional in the quality world and 17 years as a practising Buddhist. As a result of this, I have a passion for improvement. in business and personal life.

This has led me to productivity and how I can be the best I can by devouring hundreds of blogs and books on the subject and practising meditation and mindfulness techniques. Combined, this has helped me understand what needs to be done to improve the performance of processes and more importantly you.

If you would like to know how I can help you do call me!


01858 414226