It’s not available on iTunes, or Google Play.
You can’t buy it at Best Buy, but I’m pretty sure there’s books about it at Barnes & Noble.
I’m talking about your attitude — the most powerful productivity app you’ll ever need.
It may sound simple. It may sound cliché. But it’s absolutely true.
Like you, I spend a lot of time testing out productivity apps on my iPad, and reading blogs like this one. I get tips and tricks and test out the apps — and, to be sure, they’ve helped me a lot.
But none of those things matter if your attitude isn’t adjusted.
For example, the other day I woke up feeling anxious right out of bed. I was worrying about some conference calls I had later in the day, and the nervousness was threatening to throw off my entire day. I had done my pre-night scheduling routine, my email management process was in place — in short, I was following my productivity plan, but it didn’t matter, as long as I had this nervous feeling stuck in my brain.
That is, until took a picture of my son in his soccer uniform (it was his first day of practice). Taking that photo, and then staring at the photo of his smiling face, put everything in perspective for me.
It changed my entire attitude for the day. I remembered that no matter how important those calls were to my job — they paled in comparison to the importance of my family.
We all have days like that, and the most organized, proven productivity and stress-relief regimens don’t mean squat if your attitude isn’t adjusted accordingly.
Of course, there are a number of things you can do to adjust your attitude. Yoga. Exercise. Breathing exercises. A relaxing morning ritual.
A good attitude allows you to remain disciplined during the day. It keeps you focused; allows you resist temptations to check your email at non-batch-scheduled times; gives you the strength to say “no” to non-agenda conference calls; prevents you from getting stressed when the phone starts ringing while you’re in the middle of a deadline to-do.
But there’s another type of attitude that needs adjusting, as well. I’m talking about the kind of person that rejects change and any type of productivity or time management advice.
You know … the type of attitude that causes some people to say things like:
“Email batching sounds great, but I have to be on email at all times. No way I could go two hours without checking my inbox.”
“Exercise in the morning? No-can-do. I start work during breakfast to get ahead of my day.”
“Not checking email on the weekends? Are you crazy?”
These types of people need attitude adjustments to realize that they can take control of their schedules (and, thus, their lives); that they don’t have to give into the window-dressing of long hours and wasted time.
People in these attitudes toil in their martyrdom — not necessarily being any more productive or making any additional progress — because they either too stuck in their ways or close-minded to change they way they do business.
So, you see, we can employ all the apps and tips and tricks and guidebooks in the world. But none of it matters if we don’t have an attitude to kick it all into gear.