06 Nov

Fasting for Productivity: Resist Distraction, Learn Discipline

Everyone struggles to stay productive at times. As entrepreneurs and independent thinkers, successful people spend time brainstorming on how to boost productivity. We know that shutting out distractions, breaking project work into more manageable chunks, and having a morning routine are all very helpful techniques to keep you on track. But I’d like to share something new with you–the idea of fasting for productivity.

We associate fasting with food and religion so let me say right out of the gate—this is not necessarily about that. There are other fasts that don’t include cutting out your body’s fuel (although, some techies swear by it).

Since that’s cleared up, let’s get into what fasting for productivity really is. Some undertakings are best broken off into chunks and scheduled over time. But there are some things that you need to push yourself headlong into without wasting any time. For these opportunities, you have to act immediately and create a concrete plan. And to get to your goals, you must be able to exercise serious discipline and willpower. Your motivation needs to come from inside.

I recently completed a 30-day financial fast. These are great programs to eliminate unnecessary spending for set periods of time. People typically pay in cash and limit their purchase strictly to absolute necessities—food, housing, utilities, and medicine. You save money quickly—I managed to hang on to an extra $800 in just 4 weeks. You also learn where your bad spending habits are and figure out what you can easily cut. I definitely recommend them as a method of fasting for productivity.

This time did more than just improve my financial habits. It got me back on track with my productivity guide. Not only was I spending less money, but I was spending less time doing the things that cost money. I’m always learning new ways to step up my attitude and dig into the projects I really care about. That’s what’s made this guide such a great tool—research and detailed information from real entrepreneurs and influencers.

The benefits of fasting don’t have to come from this one place though. Financial fasting isn’t the key to success in and of itself. You just need to look at something that will increase your discipline or willpower. Do something that’s challenging but not destructive. While it’s a great tool for getting on track or managing your money, a fast can’t be something that damages your life. You can’t fast for productivity by avoiding spending time with your family or spending lots of money you can’t afford to.

If you feel like you aren’t moving forward in an area of your life, this can be a great strategy to pull you out of the rut and really examine your options. It isn’t going to be easy but that’s part of why it’s worth doing. Having the willpower to cut out spending or sugar or watching television reminds you of how strong you really are. You have the power to resist these temptations and that directly translates to having the power to build a brighter future for yourself.

Fasting for productivity is a chance for you to eliminate temptations in one area so it will spread to other parts of your life. My favorite part is setting a reward for achieving the goal—something small like new book or movie or something bigger like a vacation or a gadget you’ve had your eye on. Whatever you do, you’ll find this technique helpful to building discipline, increasing focus, and proving to yourself what you’re really capable of.