Melvyn Tan
March 18, 2014 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

Do You Lead A Productive Life?

[blockquote source=”Luke 3:9 (NIV)”]The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.[/blockquote] Performance-Centric In our performance centric marketplace, we are often judged by what and how much we produce. If we fall short of expectations then […]

[blockquote source=”Luke 3:9 (NIV)”]The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.[/blockquote]

Performance-Centric
In our performance centric marketplace, we are often judged by what and how much we produce. If we fall short of expectations then it would not be long before we are sent packing. Even if we meet expectations, we are merely seen as being compliant. Only when we are capable to continually produce good work do we see any hopes to get a decent amount of rewards. And in order to reap the lion’s share of rewards, we need to be exceptionally prolific and brilliant in our creation.

My Creative Work Flow
In recognizing that our ability to produce great work is based on two key elements; chiefly our own work flow and the environment in which we operate in. The work flow that I have found to be extremely useful in helping me produce great work is the Learn – Live – Lead approach.

Learn
In this work flow, I am recognizing that the quality of my work is a function of the quality of inputs I put in. As a result, I pay close attention to the inputs and make deliberate attempts to feed my mind. There are currently three sources that I rely on to feeding my mind, viz the Bible, podcasts, and books. Through these inputs, I then extract key learnings that I can apply; which brings me to the next step. Application.

Live
Typically I would ask how I can apply what I’ve learned to enhance my existing work. Sometimes there is a good fit, other times none. When there is a fit, I would almost always implement it right away to see how well it worked. But when it cannot be applied immediately, the idea is then filed into Evernote.

Lead
Based on my own experience of how well (or not) it worked, I would then seek out someone and teach it to that person. Sometimes (okay, its probably most times) it’s my spouse; where I would insist that she listens to my experience. Other times it would be people that I am coaching, where I would offer them tips as to how to enhance their lives.

Environment that puts you in Flow
However establishing a work flow is just one aspect. We would also need to acknowledge that we are subjected to our environment, which we may or may not have direct influence over. Sometimes the environment is a little more intense, whereas other times it could be more at ease. But we can make a deliberate attempt to re-create the environment that facilitates the creation process.

For instance, in his recent book, The Rise of Superman, Steven Kotler that there are Four Stages of Flow: Struggle, Relaxation, Flow, and Learning & Consolidation Phase. Briefly the stages here:

  • Struggle: this is the stage where you are literally packing so much information in your brain
  • Relaxation: this is where you take a break from the usual grind so that you allow the conscious mind to relax and let the subconscious mind take over
  • Flow: this is where your ideas flow almost effortlessly, where you feel like you are Superman
  • Learning and Consolidation: where you take in the learning from the flow experience and consolidating with your existing experiences.

Now that we know these four stages, we become better able to manage or even re-create the environment or stimuli that facilitate flow.

Prayer
Father I pray that we will continue to produce great work that serves Your will. In Jesus name, Amen.