Have you ever had one of those days where no matter how you tried you were just very unproductive? I seem to be having one of those today. It is frustrating. Normally I aim to have this blog post written and published by 10am. And am working on getting it done earlier still. Today, I’m starting to write it at 1145.

So far this morning I have done nothing of any real substance other than the bulk of my morning routine. Except that I got sidetracked before finishing the blog post part of it.

The sad fact is that no matter how hard you try there are always copious distractions. I touched on this in my post about interruptions. It still staggers me that after an interruption it takes us 24 minutes before we start focusing again.

Today I want to talk about an idea I have that I hope will get me back on track. So I thought I would share it with you. Perhaps it might give you some ideas too.

Recently, I was listening to a podcast. It was with an entrepreneur called Maneesh Sethi. He has developed a product called Pavlok. This is a wearable that gives you electric shocks when you don’t do the things you should.

As an aside, electric shock therapy is the most effective method of stopping smoking. A few decades ago this was in common practice. It had a success rate of over 50%, compared to just 8% for Nicorette. Had I known I might have tried it when I first started attempting to stop smoking. Fortunately I have finally stopped!

Anyway, I’m not prepared to give myself electric shocks to help me change my behaviour. It did though give me the idea that I need to try and develop some kind of a trigger to help me get back on track.

Last year I went to a conference run by a guy called Mario Brown. One of the things he did was to give us all one of those rubber wrist bracelets. I can’t remember the exact phrase that was on this. I think it was “Massive Imperfect Action”. The idea though was that you could flick it against your wrist and it would inspire you.

Last night on my run I listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast. In this he mentioned the idea of wearing a rubber band on your wrist. You could then use this to help you stop complaining. His suggestion was that you go on a 3 week campaign of not complaining. Every time you find yourself complaining you flick the band against your wrist.

So it struck me that this could be a great idea to help get me back on track when things are not going the way they should be. It is all very well having plans and goals. But if you aren’t taking any action they are completely meaningless.

taketherequiredactionProbably the standout book I have read this year is Straight-Line Leadership: Tools for Living with Velocity and Power in Turbulent Times
. The core premise being to stop going round in circles in your life and business. Instead find the straight line from A to B. This makes complete sense, it may not always prove as easy as it sounds.

One of the many things I wrote down from the book was this:

At least fifty times a day ask yourself if you are doing the necessary required action for what you are up to in life

So I am going to try a band round my wrist. I might even get some made up, so if you want one leave a comment. It will say something along the lines of “Take the Required Action”. If you have a better idea let me know.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on how you get yourself back on track again.

Time written: 19 minutes
From Start to finish: 19 minutes
Time editing 26 minutes
Happy with results: 7<