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  • Writer's pictureMegan Filoramo

The one tip every productive person needs to know

How many times do you find yourself saying

I really need to….

I should have….

I just can’t….

I have to….

And you look at whatever completes the rest of the sentence with either dread, resistance, or defeat.

Here is the one trick you need: Change what you are fueling your productivity with. Not sure what I mean?

We can take all the action in the world, but if the fuel is crappy, you will have crappy results (or worse yet, no results at all). And here’s the crazy thing, most of us don’t even realize we are putting in bad fuel. We are like newly diagnosed diabetics who have no idea that sugar can come from pasta and not just cookies.

We think we are doing the right thing.

To demonstrate this in real life, let’s use the example of exercise.

I really need to start exercising.

I should have done something active instead of watching Netflix.

I just can’t exercise after work because I am so done.

I have to exercise if I want to lose weight.

How do you feel after reading these sentences? Motivated? Excited?


These thoughts make us feel weighed down and defeated. The sneaky underlying theme is “I’m not good enough.” And that thought gets us NOWHERE!

So this is not an opportunity to beat ourselves up. “ Now not only did I not do the things, I unknowingly sabotaged myself with my language and thoughts!” Instead, let’s use it as the first step in course correction.

It’s like an infection.

  • We know something is wrong.

  • We draw blood cultures and send them to the lab.

  • We start an antibiotic based on our best guess as to what the underlying organism is.

  • We wait 3-7 days for the culture to grow.

  • We get the results and change the antibiotic to one that the infection is actually sensitive to.

This idea of thoughts as fuel is the same thing. We know something is wrong based on our assessment (aka lack of results). We start a treatment (take some type of action). We realize what we are doing isn’t working so we dig for the underlying thoughts that are fueling us (look for the culture results). We realize we are fueling with crappy “should have” thoughts (using the wrong antibiotic).

STOP HERE! This is not the time to engage in some drama that you are so stupid to pick the wrong antibiotic/ pick the wrong thought. It was just not the most sensitive to the problem. This is an opportunity, not a condemnation!

Ok , rant over. When you realize you need a different antibiotic, you just switch the antibiotic.

Easy peasy.

We can do the same with our fuel. Once we realize our fuel is not effective, we can just switch it.

Best part? It is 100% guaranteed if you use better fuel you get better results.

So once we recognize what the crappy fuel is, how do you pick good fuel? What does it even look like? After all, the fuel you are using now may seem like fact, like a decent antibiotic. But keep in mind, penicillin doesn’t work for MRSA.

One of the easiest ways I have found to switch gears is to run toward something instead of away from something.

Today I have a lot to do. A LOT. I am sure you can relate…. But look at that sentence. Rephrased it can be “I have to do a lot.” The sneaky fuel. When I think I have to do a lot, the feeling is overwhelm and ironically, overwhelm often results in procrastination, not action.

If I take a minute to think about what I want, what I can run toward, it changes everything. I want to write a blog. I want to help other nurses. I want to finish my day feeling productive and accomplished (I love that feeling). I want to prep dinner early so when I am starving it is ready. I want to have the laundry done so I don’t have to search for clean clothes (or so that my favorites can be worn over and over). AND I have all day to to do these things.

I want to run toward being the person who follows through.

Can you feel the energy shift?

Start poking around in your own life to see where the fuel may be secretly foul. Do the culture. Change the treatment. The reward is health, productivity, and self satisfaction :)


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