Here’s a quick technique you can add to your productivity toolkit. I call it the envision film and it’s a very simple visualization technique. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of visualization, it’s where you close your eyes and imagine a certain outcome you desire. When you can imagine what you want to do or have, you’re more likely get what you want.
I know it sounds a bit woo-woo but visualization techniques are becoming more mainstream as more people discover the power of this simple practice. For example, Olympic athletes use visualizations to improve their performance and there are books written about it such as Psycho-Cybernetics (which we can recommend).
The Envision Film
The envision film is a simple visualization habit that you want to add to your life. A friend of ours, Alex Fournel, taught this to me a long time ago. Here’s the simple practice:
1. Sit down at your desk.
2. Know what you will be working on. This step is very important.
3. Before you start your task, close your eyes.
4. Now visualize how you are going to complete that task. This should take no more than a minute or so.
5. Open your eyes and get to work.
The basic idea is that you imagine playing a film of how you are working and how you see yourself completing this task. You also imagine yourself in the ideal scenario and what it looks like when you are done with this task.
For example, I might have a task for writing a blog post for Asian Efficiency. Before I start writing, I create my envision film. I’ll sit down at my desk, close my eyes and imagine myself writing this post. I can see myself focused, energized and in flow as the words are appearing on my screen. As the paragraphs are forming, I can feel how excited I am to share this knowledge with all the AE readers. When I hit the publish button, I know I’m done and I can call it a day. I’ll open my eyes and then I’ll start the actual writing process.
Visualization is an extremely powerful technique for addressing procrastination before it kicks in. We often procrastinate because we don’t know exactly how we will finish something. If you don’t know what the end result looks like, why would you even want to start?
Zing! That’s when procrastination kicks in.
When you visualize how you will complete your task, you also test your clarity. Do you really know what you’ll be doing? If you can’t imagine doing something, there is no way you can execute it when you have to.
For example, try to imagine putting together a motor cycle from scratch. Really, try it.
Pretty tough, right?
You haven’t even started actually doing it but you’re already struggling to complete this task in your imagination.
Now imagine trying to start a car you’ve never driven before.
It’s a lot easier, right? It might look something like “have keys in hand, press a button to open the door, put the key in the ignition and turn it”.
When you envision how you will complete a task, you’ll start to address all obstacles that might come your way before they become obstacles. This is the true power of the envision film. When you can resolve your problem in your imagination, you’ll make it easy for yourself to finish the task. When you start working and you come across the obstacle you thought of earlier, you already have the solution. You’ll smooth sail to completion of your task and all it took was a simple one-minute visualization technique.
I can’t say enough how powerful this simple technique is. It’s so simple and worthwhile to make it a habit. Before you start your next task, try to the envision film technique.
Photo by Pylon757.