Luis Costa

Motivation and Productivity Resources That I Used This Year

Motivational resources

Even though I said in my last post that motivation is temporary and that you shouldn’t rely in motivation to achieve your goals, motivation is still useful when you need that little push to start.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.
Jim Rohn

This is a powerful quote. Pin this to your wall, set it has your desktop wallpaper, your phone wallpaper, whatever. I, personally, try to live by this quote. Motivation can come from a lot of places. It can come when you’re lying in bed at night or when you’re coming home from a trip and great ideas of future projects start popping into your mind. With this said, is important that you have some good sources of inspiration that you can access from time to time. This is a list that I’ve composed which comprises the most relevant sources of my motivation.

Podcasts

I’m a huge fan of podcasts. I like to hear podcasts on my phone when I’m commuting to and from college or doing exercise. It’s a great way to enrich your mind with new ideas. I have to admit that I don’t listen to as much podcasts when I’m not doing one of the former things (commuting or exercising), which is something I should improve and I intend to do it. I don’t know. I like to listen while commuting because it gives me a feeling of company throughout the way. Anyway, here’s the three podcasts I would recommend to you, to get some motivation to get things done:

The Daily Boost

You should be familiar with this one. This podcast is gold. Seriously. It is hosted by Scott Smith. This guy has so much life experience and he has dedicated most of his life to talking and coaching people. He has a lot of programs which you can sign in his homepage. I suggest you check it out. This podcast consists of small (8-12mins) shows, but he somehow manages to, at least for me, give you little “golden nuggets” of motivation. He talks about a variety of subjects, how to improve your life, how to take action, to accept failure and to keep moving forward, which are, I believe, fundamental concepts of living a better life. Just check it out, I promise you won’t regret it.

The Charged Life

This podcast, presented by Brendon Burchard, is also a really good source of motivation. He focuses his shows on how to achive your dreams, how to be a better person, habits, dealing with stress, you name it. It’s, after the Daily Boost, my most favorite podcast.

Habits 2 Goals

This is fairly recent podcast, presented by Nick Palkowski, and I have not yet got the oppoortunity to explore more deeply this podcast. I have listened to a couple episodes throughout this year, but I liked the “bulk” of it. This show covers a book called “The Habit Factor”, written by Martin Grunburg, which gives you a framework on how to use habits to achieve your goals, by constantly applying patterns in your life.

Reddit

Hold your horses now. Reddit may mean to you Procrastination or time sinking, but, used effectively, it can be a really helpful tool in your life. This are the subreddits I consider helpful to improve yourself:

/r/getdisciplined This is probably the most known subreddit in this area. In this subreddit, you can give life advices to people, expose your problems and ask for help, discuss methods of beating procrastination and being lazy, etc. It even has a daily thread where you can post your day plan and get encouragement from other people. It’s a great community and I really recommend you check it out. I also suggest that you browse the most upvoted threads from this subreddit to get an idea of what you can get out of it.

/r/selfimprovement Even though I’m not using this subreddit as much anymore, it follows the same principles of the former, but has a broader scope in terms of developing yourself.

/r/decidingtobebetter I believe this is a subreddit more focused on delivering self improvement articles to read. It’s still a good sub, even though not as active as the former two.

/r/getmotivated Don’t be fooled by the name of this subreddit. I would advise to use this subreddit for a quick motivational boost, but if you get trapped here, you’ll looking at the next picture, and the next, and the next, until you realize this is like /r/gifs. It still has good images with motivation quotes, some articles, though. Use this subreddit with care.

Blogs

Reading blog posts can also give you a boost of motivation. These are the three blogs that I have checked daily or every couple of days for the past year:

Zen Habits

This is a very popular blog. Leo Babauta has been blogging for a long time, and this website has blog posts that date to 2006. It consists of short and powerful messages that can motivate you to be a better person. I really like this blog because he also gives you his life experience and how he learned over the years to perfect his methods and habits. This are the posts that I recommend you to read:

Mark Manson

This guy is a beast. Seriously. He has a provocative way of writing, but he writes so damn well. He has a strong opinion on things and he does not give a f*** about what other people think about him or about what he writes. That’s probably why he’s so successful. He writes about how to be a better person, how to beat procrastination, why you procrastinate, how to not worry about things that don’t really matter, … To get a better understanding of what this blog is all about, check out this archive, that contains his best articles.

Life Hacks

This website is great and it gets even better when you browse to the productivity section. It covers a lot of different topics, and it can help you in other areas of your life as well. The productivity section has a lot of articles that talk about pretty much anything about… being productive.

Productivity tools

When one talks about productivity tools, one should be careful. I believe we should strive to live a de-cluttered and the most simplistic life as possible. So, don’t get overwhelmed about which tool to use, which tool is the better to journal, etc. I’m saying this from personal experience. Over this past year I did so much research on which tool was the better, which synced better with my phone, which had more storage space in the cloud, etc. However, you need to realize that, in the end, your objective is the same: you need a place to store your words, thoughts and experiences. Don’t over complicate this shit.

This are the productivity tools I used, and still use, to improve my self:

Evernote

I don’t really have to say anything about this one, do I? Seriously, if I really, really wanted to live a more simplistic life, this tool would be enough. It let’s you do anything. It’s synced with my phone so I can write any notes or thoughts that come to my mind while I’m not at home. It has everything you need as productivity tool.

calm.com

This website (which has a mobile version as well) is great for meditation. I’m still a sucker in this area, and this helps me get more concentrated in my meditation sessions. If you’re into this, I can not recommend you this website enough. For the newbies, like me, your sessions can be also guided, which is great to understand what you should be doing while meditating.

Google calendar

I don’t want to forget when my college exams are due, or when is the next event that I want to attend, etc. This is a simple enough calendar tool that can sync with your phone. It’s effective and does it job.

FocusWriter This little piece of software is brilliant. I only recently discovered this tool, but, if you aspire to be a decent writer, you need a good writing tool, and this one is simple, clean and lets you focus on the essential: your writing. Just open and start writing. You can customize themes to get it the way you want. This is also really useful to journal.

Pocket Everytime I come across an article that I don’t have time to read or that I procrastinate into reading it, I save it to my pocket account to read it later, for instance, when I’m commuting or while waiting in some place for a friend, etc.

RunKeeper Although not related to personal development, this tool allowed me to keep track and to organize my jogging sessions. It’s an important part of my life and I like to have it organized the way I want. It also served me to try to beat my previous times. I consider this as personal development as well because, not only you’re exercising, you’re trying to constantly improve, even if it is such a simple thing, like running.

That’s it.

I know it’s not much, but I believe it’s enough to help you becoming a better person overall. But please remember, to improve yourself, there is no tool or motivation that can overcome your own will and desire to be better. That’s the best tool you have at your disposal. With that being said, use your tools wisely, don’t get lost into the ever growing sea of tools at our disposal today. You don’t need all of that. You need some motivation and a place to organize and write your thoughts, so you can check them later and reflect on your actions. Before installing a new productivity tool, or any tool as a matter of fact, stop and ask yourself: “Will this tool help me archive my goal? Is there any tool that I already have that can do this?”.
Also, remember:

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci