If you intend to be more productive in 2016 – how about making “positive thinking” to one of your resolutions?

“How is this supposed to help me getting more productive?” you might ask. Well, the thing is that negative thinking will make you procrastinate stuff and hinder you to concentrate on your work.

I will illustrate this on two examples. The first one is from the excellent book “Getting Things Done” I already wrote about. David Allen explained why people procrastinate to do their taxes:

“Do my taxes? Oh, no! It’s not going to be that easy. It’s going to be different this year, I’m sure. I saw the forms—they look different. There are probably new rules I’m going to have to figure out. I might need to read all that damn material. Long form, short form, medium form? File together, file separate? We’ll probably want to claim deductions, but if we do we’ll have to back them up, and that means we’ll need all the receipts. Oh, my God—I don’t know if we really have all the receipts we’d need, and what if we didn’t have all the receipts and claimed the deductions anyway and got audited? Audited? Oh, no—the IRS—JAIL!!

And so a lot of people put themselves in jail, just glancing at their 1040 tax forms. Because they are so smart, sensitive, and creative.”

… and are thinking negative, I would add. If they would think positive, they might say: “Okay, maybe I could make a mistake with my taxes. And maybe I could get audited. But even if the IRS would find something, I would say that I did it in all conscience and they wouldn’t put me in any trouble.”

This passage from the GTD book came to my mind today after a personal experience. Here’s the story:

I (living in Switzerland) ordered something from Germany in the middle of December. Yesterday evening – still haven’t got the parcel nor any notification – I checked the tracking link I got from the sender and found out that DHL would have tried to deliver it on December 21. and would have left a notice. The webpage said they would store undeliverable parcels for seven days and then they would be returned. This is what was going on in my head:

– These *bad word here* ! There was no notice! (This much is true!)
– Sure it is already to late now – they are going to send it back to Germany.
– Anyhow they will send me a bill about the customs
– I will not pay this bill – it’s not my fault they send it back – there was no notice!
– They will insist I have to pay, but I will not. We will go to court in the end.

The whole thing stirred me up that much that I wasn’t able to continue with my finances which I wanted to do afterwards. I decided to switch of my Mac.

Today I called the customer service. As it turned out it is not to late. They will re-deliver the parcel next week free of charge 🙂

More positive thinking -> more productivity.

Happy new year 2016!