Limitless Productivity: Create Your Life Vision And Accelerate Success

Have you seen the movie Limitless?

It’s a very thought-provoking and engaging movie. Eddie, a down-on-his-luck writer, bumps into his ex-brother-in-law who gives him a new “wonder drug” that produces enhanced mental abilities and super motivation.

With the drug, he is able to access all of his brain power, allowing him to write books, learn new languages, and decipher stock trading algorithms in a fraction of the time it would take without the drug. This new Eddie creates great success and wealth, but he also stirs up a lot of danger and trouble for himself and others.

At one point during his narration of the story, he asks the audience, “What would you do if you became the best version of yourself?” Would you take this drug if you could access all of your brain power and have limitless productivity? His girlfriend contends that the best version of himself isn’t one that is created by a drug.

So I pose this question to you — what is the best version of yourself? What would you do to access this version in order to accomplish great things?

Would you take a mental or physical performance-enhancing drug?

Would you work 60 hour work weeks?

Would you write lists, set goals, remove all distractions in an effort to get it all done?

According to Meriam-Webster.com, to produce is “to compose, create, or bring out by intellectual or physical effort,” and productivity is “the quality or state of being productive.”

However, I contend that productivity is more than simply being productive — it is being productive in ways that compliment and enhance the type of person you want to be and the life you want to live.

Thus, being productive doesn’t mean doing more, and it doesn’t require a drug or herculean effort. It means doing what’s important.  What’s the point of limitless productivity when you aren’t producing something meaningful to you? When you are focused on what’s important, you have:

more energy

more motivation

more enthusiasm

more peace of mind

more balance

more joy

The trick is defining what’s most important for you, and creating a personal operating system for your life that keeps you focused.

One way to do this is to create a vision for your life. When you know what you want for yourself and from life, you can use this vision as a road map and a framework for making decisions, setting goals, and taking actions.

Here’s how I begin creating a life vision:

Step 1: Ask yourself three questions.

  • Who do you want to be?
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • How do you want to live?

As an example, this is how I would answer those questions:

Who do you want to be:

I want to be loving, patient, kind, emotionally mature, humble, and forgiving in my relationships with family, friends, and business associates.

I want to be a person who lives in accordance with my values and within my integrity.

I want to be light, playful, adventurous, curious, and a life-long learner.

I want to be physically and emotionally healthy.

What do you want to accomplish?

I want to guide and raise my children to adulthood and maintain a happy and loving relationship with them.

I want to build my coaching and online businesses so that I serve and inspire others and become financially independent.

I want to travel regularly all over the world.

I want to write and publish a book or books.

I want to meet a wide variety of new people and continue to challenge myself to learn new skills.

How do you want to live?

I want to live with a healthy balance between work, play, introspection, and rest.

I want a home that is comfortable, peaceful, inviting, and manageable.

I want to enjoy relationships that are stimulating, supportive, mature, fun, and loyal.

I want to have enough money to enjoy the experiences and some material things that are important to me, but not so much that it becomes a burden.

I want to have freedom, flexibility, and independence in my work and lifestyle so that I can take time to work on and experience many things.

Step 2:  Write down the specifics.

  • After you have answered each question, list some specific actions or goals under each answer. For example, if there are ways you are not being who you want to be, write this down and include ideas on how you can change your behaviors or actions.
  • If you have specific things you want to accomplish in life, list them under each answer you provided in your vision.
  • If you aren’t living the way you want to live, make note of where you would like to change your circumstances and how you might go about doing that.
  • Keep a running list of all of the actions, behaviors, and changes you want based on your vision.

Step 3: Prioritize.

  • At different times in life, different elements of our vision may take precedence. Further, if you have a lot you want to accomplish or change in your life, you must realize that you can’t do it all at one time. Especially if maintaining balance is one of your priorities.
  • Pick two or three areas where you are living out-of-alignment with your vision and where your focus would make a profound positive impact on your life.  These will be your main areas of productivity for now.
  • You can always refine and adjust these areas of focus. Once you accomplish or address something, you can begin with something else.

Step 4: Stay true to your vision.

The purpose of creating this vision is to enhance your productivity by keeping you focused on what is most important to you. If you veer from this vision, you are diminishing productivity and wasting time.

To stay true to your vision, try these actions:

  • Keep your vision questions, answers, and actions posted where you can see them daily.
  • Before you begin anything, ask yourself the question, “What is the most important thing I should do right now?”
  • Remove distractions. Clear your desk. Turn off your phone.
  • Focus on the task at hand.
  • Learn to say no, even when it’s uncomfortable. When something is asked of you, refer to your vision.
  • Remember that if rest and play are part of your vision, then you are being productive when you are resting and playing. Productivity doesn’t necessarily equate to work or tasks only.
  • Accept that sometimes you will be pulled away from your vision for reasons out of your control or by your choice. Just start again and refocus when you can.
  • Revisit your vision questions every year to reevaluate if they are still valid for you and to change them if necessary.

When most of your actions are based on your vision, your productivity will be limitless. How can it not be? You learn not to waste time on actions, behaviors, tasks, and interactions that do not serve your greater good. Everything you do has “the quality or state of being productive.”

If you would like some additional strategies for productivity,  I recommend checking out Leo Babauta’s (of Zen Habits) new book called The Little Guide To Un-Procrastination and this wonderful article by my friend Mary Jaksch (of Goodlife Zen) called Zen and the Art of Ninja Productivity.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful for your life. If so, please tweet it and “like” it on Facebook. Or Stumble it.

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Comments

  1. Christopher Lovejoy says:

    Hi Barrie, I dare say, this post might be the next best thing to having a coaching session with you. I’ll probably be studying it closely in the days to come in preparation for a post I’m writing next week.

    Btw, you’ve got me interested in seeing the movie Limitless. Although I can’t imagine how it could have a happy ending, the concepts explored by it could bring up some serious food for thought.

    Christopher

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Christopher,
      A coaching session with me is much better!! 🙂 Let us know when your post is ready. I’d love to read it. I won’t tell the ending of the movie, but it is a surprise. And yes, it is very thought-provoking.

      • Christopher Lovejoy says:

        Barrie, I have no doubt that a coaching session with you is better than awesome (which, of course, implies your post is merely awesome ;). Saw the movie, loved the ending. It made me think: now, if I were in his position, what would I do and how would change the world? The movie’s a great jumping off point for getting in touch with the most enlightened version of yourself. I’m glad I read your post yesterday 🙂

  2. After seeing this movie a friend asked what I would do if I had limitless potential. My answer was that I believe we already have limitless potential, it’s just a matter of which of that potential we choose to pursue, and that helps shape each of us into the unique individuals we are.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That’s a great perspective Jason. Also, if we have the limitless potential that the guy in the movie has, our focus would be scattered and frenetic. I want to enjoy the ride!

  3. rolf tschochohei says:

    I have learned in my personal life there isn’t any limits if I really want it. After reaching all my goals (carrier, familie, passion…) one thing left that I want to be for my life: happy! Truly happy, with my soul, with my heart. Every second I come this goal closer. My opinion is this is the only true goal, the meaning of life-of my life.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Rolf,
      I think your goal of happiness is available to you all the time, in every moment, by focusing on the perfection of the moment. It’s easy to get distracted by the past and future, which depletes our experience of happiness right now.

  4. I appreciate this. These are really important questions and sometimes not so easy to answer honestly.

    For me, one of the most important concepts here is that priorities can change over the course of time. I find myself drawn to that idea. I changed everything, literally everything, to live my dreams eight years ago. This led to an unbelievable amount of tumultuous change that I had not reckoned with. Now the dream is evolving into something else. I have to accept that at some deep level (that things have changed, that I am older, that my knowledge base about how things work is deeper), and somehow face forward, ready to make grand change again.

    I am trying to not fret, and I know that things will take care of themselves to a certain degree. But in order for to reach full potential, we have to continue to evolve. And prioritize and grow and reckon with the changes.

    Thank you for the gift of your ideas.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      I think you are so spot on Diana. There are infinite possibilities for our lives. Just one different decision or action can alter the course of our lives. We can view that as a threat or as a gift. There is magic behind every door we open, even if initially things appear frightening or strange.

  5. Hi Barrie — Loved the insights you shared in this post. Am reading a great book by Carol Dweck called “Mindset”. She lays out two schools of thought on mindsets: Fixed, “I am who I am”, and Growth, “I am open to what I can become”.

    Great info!

    Blessings! Sheri

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That sounds like a great book Sheri. I want to check it out! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  6. Hi Barrie
    Yes being focused and balanced can be a task within its self. Spending hours doing what I would rather do, which is working on websites as opposed to a job for a company that under appreciated the people. But being focused on the long term end result keeps me glued to the computer screen day in and day out. Progress can be slow, but we all have to lay a foundation before we can start to see “the building” taking shape. I just keep reminding myself that it is the only thing to get from here to where I want to go. So, I continue to read and create. I am a better person now than when I was at a day job. I have found happiness and the understanding it is absolutely nothing to do with material objects. Lost my job to the economy was a blessing in disguise, although I do miss the extra pay. Finding happiness is more important and the rest will take care of its self in due time.
    Thank you for the encouragement
    Mary

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Mary,
      I have heard those words so many times — “Lost my job to the economy was a blessing in disguise . . .” Your life vision was working on your behalf! Congratulations on laying the foundation for a new career and a new beginning. Your passion for your work and vision will give you energy to keep you moving forward toward success.

  7. Absolutely Barrie. When you say so truly that productivity in and of itself means nothing if it is not tied to what is truly important for us, I think you are speaking of the need to be genuine. What is more important, really? If that is my first concern I think life slows down a bit and it is easier to know what is a true priority right now and what isn’t.

    Perhaps then too we begin to touch the peace that is so anxious to bless us in our life.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Christopher,
      Yes, we need to be genuine and thoughtful about how we spend our days. I love your comment that “peace is so anxious to bless us in our life.” I love the oxymoron of anxious peace! Beautifully said.

  8. Awesome post Barrie! There is so much info in this post, I will definitely take some time to go back over it, and absorb it into my brain!
    Bernice