Two simple, non-corny visualizations that will motivate you to be more productive

Takeaway: As corny as the practice sounds, visualizations will help you get in the right mindset to become more productive. Two that work well: imagine you received an emergency message and have to leave town tomorrow for a month, and imagine you received an all-expenses-paid vacation, but you have to leave tomorrow morning.

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute, 32s.

Finish_50411
Visualizations don’t all have to be as corny as this picture. (Click for full-sized image.)

I’ve personally never been much of a fan of using visualizations to become more productive–the practice has always felt a bit hippy-dippy to me (and this is coming from a Buddhist who loves to meditate). But visualizations don’t all have to be as corny as the picture above.

But in his great book Eat That Frog, author Brian Tracy talks about two visualization scenarios that I love. If you’re looking to get more done this week, they just might be what you need to light a fire under your butt to become more productive.

Here they are, taken straight from Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog, which I highly recommend:

1. “Imagine each day that you have just received an emergency message and that you will have to leave town tomorrow for a month. If you had to leave town for a month, what would you make absolutely sure that you got done before you left? Whatever your answer, go to work on that task right now.”

2. “Imagine that you just received an all-expenses-paid one-week vacation at a beautiful resort as a prize, but you will have to leave tomorrow morning on the vacation or it will be given to someone else. What would you be determined to get finished before you left so that you could take that vacation? Whatever it is, start on that one job immediately.”

According to Tracy, the best way to visualize your way into becoming more productive is to use visualizations to put more pressure on yourself. I write quite often about the importance of taking it easy on yourself while you become more productive, but I’ve found that your most productive zone lies between where you put too much, and too little pressure on yourself to become more productive.

Give it a try–I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well these techniques work, even though they might sound corny on the surface.

  • Why are you not a fan of good ol’ fashioned visualizations (just curious)? Love the picture btw…:)

    • Haha thanks man, I tried to get the corniest one made that I could ;)

      I know they work for a lot of people, but something about them feels strange to me; I’d personally much rather hunker down and get to work instead of visualizing ways that I could work better. I much prefer to use mindfulness to gain more mental strength as opposed to making up scenarios.

      • I see your point. Mindfulness is definitely the better way to go, but it is not the easiest to master. I am not big fan of visualizations either as they feel forced, but I am better at them than being present and mindful (unfortunately).

        • Naw, I totally get it. Even after practicing mindfulness and meditation for a few years I still feel like a beginner. Have you read any books on the topic? I personally love (and recommend) Mindfulness in Plain English. The best part is it’s free (public domain) and available a few places on the web if you’re curious: http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html

          • If you are a beginner after a few years of practice, where does that leave the rest of us :)

            I haven’t read any books on the topic, but I’ve always been curious so thanks for the recommendation. I will for sure add it to my reading list.

          • Awesome! Let me know what you think when you jump in :)

          • MaryP

            my favorite is “Wherever you go, there you are” by John Kabat-Zinn. I keep underlining passages. Pretty much the whole thing is underlined now.

  • Why are you not a fan of good ol’ fashioned visualizations (just curious)? Love the picture btw…:)

    • Haha thanks man, I tried to get the corniest one made that I could ;)

      I know they work for a lot of people, but something about them feels strange to me; I’d personally much rather hunker down and get to work instead of visualizing ways that I could work better. I much prefer to use mindfulness to gain more mental strength as opposed to making up scenarios.

      • I see your point. Mindfulness is definitely the better way to go, but it is not the easiest to master. I am not big fan of visualizations either as they feel forced, but I am better at them than being present and mindful (unfortunately).

        • Naw, I totally get it. Even after practicing mindfulness and meditation for a few years I still feel like a beginner. Have you read any books on the topic? I personally love (and recommend) Mindfulness in Plain English. The best part is it’s free (public domain) and available a few places on the web if you’re curious: http://www.urbandharma.org/udharma4/mpe.html

          • If you are a beginner after a few years of practice, where does that leave the rest of us :)

            I haven’t read any books on the topic, but I’ve always been curious so thanks for the recommendation. I will for sure add it to my reading list.

          • Awesome! Let me know what you think when you jump in :)

          • MaryP

            my favorite is “Wherever you go, there you are” by John Kabat-Zinn. I keep underlining passages. Pretty much the whole thing is underlined now.

  • Lea

    That’s actually a good way to idenitfy your priorities. If you feel it has to be done before a long hiatus, you know it’s that important and you have to do it.
    ~Lea

    • Exactly :) I love it too, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Lea

    That’s actually a good way to idenitfy your priorities. If you feel it has to be done before a long hiatus, you know it’s that important and you have to do it.
    ~Lea

    • Exactly :) I love it too, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • notionport

    I looove these. Printed them off and put them on my office’s bulletin board.

    • Awesome man!! I’ve gotten quite a bit of mileage out of these. I’m sure you will too. Happy Friday!

  • williamjohnsonca

    I looove these. Printed them off and put them on my office’s bulletin board.

    • Awesome man!! I’ve gotten quite a bit of mileage out of these. I’m sure you will too. Happy Friday!

  • Hugo

    Just by curiosity, what happens next day in the morning when you think about the trip you just dreamed about the day before ?

    • I’ve found that when I stop using the visualization when I finish working, the effect kind of wears off by the next morning. The technique definitely isn’t as effective when you use it every day though!

  • Hugo

    Just by curiosity, what happens next day in the morning when you think about the trip you just dreamed about the day before ?

    • I’ve found that when I stop using the visualization when I finish working, the effect kind of wears off by the next morning. The technique definitely isn’t as effective when you use it every day though!

  • Tomas

    Sometimes I have trouble meeting short term goals – long term, no worries but my short term goals can often fall by the way side from any little distraction. This looks like a good way to keep me centred in the short term.

    • Agreed :) They might not work every day, but they’re especially good for a kick if you’re feeling off-center in the short-run!

  • Tomas

    Sometimes I have trouble meeting short term goals – long term, no worries but my short term goals can often fall by the way side from any little distraction. This looks like a good way to keep me centred in the short term.

    • Agreed :) They might not work every day, but they’re especially good for a kick if you’re feeling off-center in the short-run!

Pin It on Pinterest

Emails suck. My newsletter doesn't.

After you sign up, I'll send you a few brand new productivity posts every Monday morning.

Join 200,000 monthly readers and never miss a single thing!

You can unsubscribe at any time, and I won't do anything slimy with your email. There are no catches.