Note : This article is the third in a series of articles concluding my reading of ten books in the category Productivity & Effectiveness in my Crazy Personal MDA Challenge, after 10 Things You Can Do Tomorrow To Increase Your Productivity and 10 Exceptionals Books about Productivity and Creativity in a Glance .
Contrary to the first article in the series which focused on simple things that can be implemented, here I deal with concepts that seem to me to be profound and interesting, and that require, for the most part, reflection and time to learn more and then use them. Often, these are the foundational concepts in the books from which I drew them – even though there are some that don’t come directly from the ten books in the category – and I think that they all have the potential to change our view of the world with regard to their subject matter. Here they are without further ado:
1 – We are all more efficient when our mind is free of parasitic thoughts that endlessly invade it. When we reach a state of absolute concentration, where we are completely focused on the task at hand, we are capable of miracles, that is to say, of doing things more quickly and efficiently that we could have imagined. It is a state in which we can choose to dedicate ourselves completely to our tasks, without the slightest interruption, parasitic thought, daydream or other source of distraction, while remaining absorbed and in full possession of our faculties. A dream, is it not? It is what practitioners of martial arts call “mind like water” (Mizu-no-kokoro), and athletes call “being in the zone,” or psychologists the flow. Moments like this have no doubt occurred in your life. Were you performing, more satisfied with yourself and your accomplishments? No doubt you were.
It is possible to cultivate habits that allow you to reach this state frequently, to develop a system. GTD recommends a system completely based on writing in order to free our mind from all the thoughts that endlessly interrupt our concentration. Matthieu Ricard, in The Art of Meditation, tells us this is the best way to develop a more attentive mind, conscious of the present moment, free of all emotions and negative thoughts. There are no doubt many other ways to reach this state of mind, and the fact that it is described in multiple disciplines shows clearly that it is an important universal concept and that we will benefit by learning more about it.
To learn more:
2 – It takes years and years to completely master an art, a discipline, or a subject. To become a true master in a field, if that’s your goal, is a bottomless well that you never truly reach.