Productivity and GTD
Raise Awareness to Improve Your Effectiveness
"Information is key to raising awareness of what our brain withholds from our conscious mind. Unfortunately we are hardwired emotion-driven thinkers. It takes effort and training to exercise introspection and mindfulness." ~ David Bloor
Sir John Whitmore, British racing driver and author of the classic book Coaching For Performance, used to say that if you know the basic principles of what he called coaching, you can not only help others reach their goals, but also apply them to any aspect of your life to improve constantly your own performance and, for that matter, the obtained results.
Coaching was originated in the sports world and Whitmore popularized it in the corporate world. Basically “it consists on releasing the maximum potential of a person to maximize their performance; it consists on helping him learning instead of teaching him.” This was completely different from the traditional command-and-control mindset that used to rule in the 1990s.
Even though coaching is usually used in environments where there are at least two people, the coach and the coachee (coachees if it happens to be a group), Whitmore advocated that a very underestimated and very useful application of this disciple was the self-coaching.
If you are a mess organising yourself, or if you are incapable of establishing the habits that will allow you to be more productive and improve your lifestyle, the ideal would be that a professional coach helps you take steps in that direction. But let’s be real, 99% of people actually prefer to continue being a mess instead of hiring a coach. Or, at least, they prefer to try it “their way”.
To a greater or lesser degree, we all try to analyse our situation and our behaviour if things aren’t going the way we want them to, to try to solve it. If you are going to do it your way and you want to increase success possibilities, you should know that the key element to work on is awareness. This implies obtaining knowledge through the observation of oneself and introspection.
To avoid going crazy with all the information that is constantly entering our lives, our normal level of awareness is relatively low. To improve something, you need to raise your awareness in that something, and maintain it that way. To increase awareness you need to practice the focused attention. You need to focus on what you’re doing and what you’re feeling, regarding the aspect of your life you want to improve.
If you want to improve your effectiveness you need to pay a lot of attention to how you are organising yourself currently and how do you feel about it. What are you doing nowadays to keep yourself organised? How many times does that organisation method gives you stress or frustration? What are the aspects you think you can improve? What are the steps you should follow to reach a significant improvement? What are the skills you should work on or improve?