Be friends with people who get things done

Abokin ɓarawo ɓarawo ne.

Hausa Proverb that literally translates to A friend of a thief is a thief.

The environment you live in has a subtle effect on your habits. People who have clear workstations tend to get a lot more work done than people whose desks are cluttered. A clear space signals your desire to focus by giving your brain less distractions. Clutter makes it easier for you to procrastinate. If, nothing else, it gives you the excuse of needing to clear your desk before you can start working.

Five people having a discussion around a table.
Who do you spend the most time around?

One part of your environment is the company you keep. People join professional associations because they get to meet with like minded peers who are on the same mission as they are. The people around you (and this includes both your peers and the people you report to) have an impact on your productivity.

Imagine an office where the supervisor always shows up late. Very soon every one realises it doesn’t matter if you are a few hours late every day. If the supervisor can’t show up on time, how can he enforce discipline? Before long, the behaviour spreads to all the workers in the department. No one bothers to show up on time leading to lost productivity. In this case, the behaviour of one person, someone in authority affected the entire department until it became acceptable to be late.

Group of five

It’s not just people in authority that can affect your productivity. It’s easier to maintain productive habits and keep your drive when your friends are also making an effort to get things done. Aspiring poets, for example, often benefit from joining a poetry club. Most clubs invite members to recite their work each week. Peer pressure ensures even the most reclusive poet gets up to recite something they have written. Being in the presence of others who share the same goal can also be an eye-opener. It gives you a taste of the lifestyle and lets you decide if it’s one you wish to commit to.

If your goal is to be productive, make a list of the people you spend the most amount of time with. Do any of them have a personal development plan? If they don’t, you might need to acquire new friends.

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