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May 24, 2019 17:07:19

The most important productivity tool is your mind

by @haideralmosawi PATRON | 313 words | 🐣 | 181💌

Haider Al-Mosawi

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I'm currently trying out Notion, an app to help organize my writings, documents, tasks, notes, etc. So far it seems to have great features, and I see some features nudging me towards being more organized and more productive.

But as I'm moving some things from TaskPaper to Notion, I can't ignore the fact that the most important productivity tool we have and will every have is our minds. 

To be clear: our minds are both the problem and the solution for productivity. 

Most productivity struggles are rooted in the mind, and to make proper use of any productivity tool, no matter how advanced, requires the collaboration of our minds to make it work. And, in most cases, our minds are doing the heavy-lifting to decide what the best layout will be for a document and how it will be used. Even with templates available, our minds make up the final decision after weighing the benefits and weaknesses of the options available to us.

Regardless of the tool I use to stay productive, it ultimately boils down to a conversation I need to have with my mind to identify what it is that I'm actually struggling with and how I can resolve it.

I occasionally use paper and pen, sometimes I need to go for a walk to clear my mind and come up with solutions, a conversation with a thoughtful friend, or any other way to get my mind working on the task of figuring out what the problem is and how best to fix it.

If you're ever feeling stuck or not as productive as you like to be, don't underestimate the power of your mind in finding a solution and a good way to use it.

Fun fact: The brain is the only organ that named itself.

Scary fact: Your mind knows where you sleep, so don't make enemies with it.


  • 1

    @haideralmosawi - I like this article. It's a great jumping off point for some discussion.

    1. What do you think happens in our bodies when we go for a walk?
    2. How do you know the brain didn't send out a request to all our organs and ask: "What are you called?" -- and they all looked at themselves and came up with a name.
    3. Does your mind even know you? If it did, why would it allow you to do destructive things?

    Brian Ball avatar Brian Ball | May 24, 2019 07:35:05
    • 1

      @brianball Great questions.

      1- Thinking and walking: A couple of things that I know of: 1) the body releases endorphins, which reduces stresses and has a host of other benefits to thinking. 2) Not engaging directly with a task allows for "diffuse mode" thinking where our brains are working on problem-solving in the background. That's why many "a-ha" moments occur away from work.

      2- Organ names: Good point, and now I'm more scared. #aGangOfOrgans

      3- Self-destruct: The mind has the capacity to rationalize, which looks like rational thinking, but can be irrational. It's like how we can harm ourselves to cause harm to those we believe wanted to cause us harm. Trying to drive someone off the road in a fit of rage would be an example of this.

      Haider Al-Mosawi avatar Haider Al-Mosawi | May 24, 2019 22:57:12
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