The Industrial Revolution was great. It allowed increased productivity which made company executives very happy, but it made certain workers obsolete. The ongoing digital revolution is awesome too. We hardly ever have to pay bills by snail mail, write letters by hand, or even drive anywhere to get food. We can do it all online or on our phones. But this makes mailmen and women a little mad.
And now you have companies like Google and IBM trying to get into the artificial intelligence game with their fancy driverless cars and computers that can think on their own. Who knows how many jobs that will destroy? As time goes on, humans are being replaced by machines more and more. But instead of getting mad and trying to stop this type of technology, we should follow the old adage: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
Ask any manager what the most frustrating part of their job is, and the answer is usually dealing with staff. That’s because people aren’t consistent and some people are complete wild cards. They get sick, they don’t show up for work, they have babies and things like that. Obviously we can’t stop those things all the time, but that’s the reason companies like machines. You just turn them on and you know what you’re going to get.
We should strive to be like this in every facet of life. And being predictable doesn’t mean being boring. It means following a schedule and sticking to it. The greatest athletes the world has ever seen, such as Bruce Lee, Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan, all had their days planned out meticulously. They were very predictable and machine like in their approach to practice and work. They didn’t care if they were getting tired or didn’t feel like completing the task. It just had to get done.
If you’re an employee, this means showing up to work on time and ready to perform. You want to be irreplaceable and show your bosses that when something is asked of you, it’s going to get done.
When you turn on your microwave, you expect something edible to be produced. When you start your car, you expect the engine to turn on so you can get where you need to be. I don’t think we’d be too happy if our dishwasher starting checking its Facebook feed in the middle of its job, which is being a washer of dishes.
Research has shown that multi-tasking doesn’t work, and from my years of being a student and now a professional, I firmly believe that as well. Focusing on one thing will allow you to do it very well, while doing more things just drops your productivity like crazy. But it has become even tougher in this day of constant notifications and updates. I hate acronyms very much, but FOMO (fear of missing out) is a very real one nowadays.
We don’t dare miss the latest Facebook update (notice how Facebook is a common destroyer of productivity), CNN urgent news update or email blasts. But the fact is, in most industries, checking email/Facebook/Twitter just once or twice a day is more than sufficient. Focusing on the task at hand and putting all of your energy into it will usually produce great results. So put the phone away for a bit, turn the background TV off and get your task done like a boss. Or like a machine.
I might be reaching a bit with this one, but hear me out. Technology is constantly changing. Phones, appliances and TV’s of today do not look or work anything like they did 20 years ago. And the same will be true 20 years from now. Machines are constantly becoming more sleek and efficient over time, and we must too.
This means setting up regular intervals of self improvement. I’m a firm believer in the Miracle Morning, in which you wake up early and do things for yourself before you do them for anyone else. Hal Elrod, the creator of the program, specifically lists six tasks to complete in the morning: Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. This is the specific program he created, but the point of it all is to focus on making yourself a better person every single day. Even if you can add one self improvement task to your daily routine, it will pay off tremendously.
Many people say they’ve been meaning to read all the books they bought, but just don’t have the time. Simply make more time or eliminate something that’s not important and just do it. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, it can make a difference if done consistently. Same goes for exercise. Many people want to do it, but say they don’t have enough time. Find the time, and make is a consistent part of your regimen.
Before you know it, these habits will be second nature….like a machine!