This Surprising Productivity Pitfall Traps Us All

This article might shock you for two HUGE reasons.

First, because it predicts when (and how) you can be motivated to take BAD actions… even when you say you ‘won’t’. It reveals how you get swept into taking actions that destroy your productivity and progress.

Fortunately, we’ll do a little judo to make those motivation hot buttons work FOR you instead of against you.

The second reason this article is shocking is because, in the name of science (and for a good cause), it gets college guys sexually aroused, so you see how passion impacts productivity. It was a research study conducted at MIT University. For some reason, it was very popular.

Please don’t let the sexual arousal scare you away because there are huge productivity, motivation and even life lessons you can gain from this material. I promise it’s not ‘R’ rated. It’s only PG-13 rating (at some point kids under the age of 13 will need to leave the room).

But enough small talk. Let’s get down to business.

Imagine that you’re preparing for your work day.

"You set goals. You’re committed. But, somehow, by the end of the day your goals didn't get done. Why?"

You plan to get more done. You set goals. You’re ready and committed. But, somehow, by the end of the day there was little, if any, progress. And you know, in your heart of hearts that you should have done more. You feel the sting of regret as you continue to wonder WHY. Why didn’t you get more done?

It’s not that you’re lazy or dumb. But it didn’t get done. Why?

Most folks blame common factors like…. Not enough time. Too many other things to do. They got caught up.

Those are common excuses but the research of MIT University Professor Dan Ariely uncovered a surprising reason why folks fail to achieve their goals. He was actually trying to solve a health problem but his discoveries can answer our productivity questions.

So what was the professor trying to find out?

He wanted to see if the smart students at MIT could predict what they would do when it came to having safe-sex. Would they protect themselves and their partners?

He was relieved to hear that most of them committed to keeping sex safe.

By answering questions, in a cool classroom, students completed the first part of the test. But the second part of the test got HOT and messy.

FAIR WARNING: This is the part where kids should leave the room.

To keep things ‘really’ simple the professor only had heterosexual guys participate in the study.

For the second part of the test, guys were given an issue of Playboy magazine, access to a dark room and a laptop computer (that was covered in saran wrap to protect it from nasty spills). Test subjects were asked to masturbate but NOT ejaculate. Why?

Because Professor Ariely wanted them to answer the same safe-sex questions but this time they would answer the questions while in the grip of passion. Did our heavy-breathing guys give the same answers?

Here’s what happened…

When students were in the grip of passion they were more than twice as likely (136% ) to risk their life and have UNsafe sex.

Professor Ariely, in his book Predictably Irrational, said “Our experience at Berkeley revealed not just the old story that we are all like Jekyll and Hyde, but also something new,–that every one of us, regardless of how “good” we are, under-predicts the effect of passion on our behavior”.

Professor Ariely added “Even the most brilliant and rational person, in the heat of passion, seems to be absolutely and completely divorced from the person he thought he was.”

Passion is defined as a strong and barely controllable emotion. The below list of changes tells you why it’s so hard to control.

When in the grip of passion these changes happen without your control, consent or knowledge:

  • Emotions blur the boundary between what’s right and what’s wrong
  • You lose sense of time (causing you to lose MORE actual time than you’re aware of)
  • You get tunnel vision for pleasure and passion (so long-term goals fall off your radar)
  • You are driven by desire and the need for instant gratification
  • In many cases, your behavior is NOT logical

Those changes might make you a BETTER lover but they make your work productivity WORSE.

Because I’m a “relatively” old guy 🙂 , I would say there’s little or no danger of sexual passion in the workplace but, apparently, that’s WRONG.

Today, there are workplace relationships and even marriages. Some nut-jobs even try sexual harassment. Most shocking was A 2014 survey which said “63% of men and 36% of women watch porn while at work”. So for many of those folks sexual passion could be blocking their productivity. But I suspect that many in that last group have much bigger problems to worry about.

Unfortunately, you’re not out of the woods even if sexual-passion at work is not a concern for you.

Why? It’s because…

Other Passions Put Your Progress In Danger

Here’s the tough part. Many advertisers also know that passion, when properly presented, can pull you away from work and pull you into their world so you achieve their goals and NOT your own. They use your passions against you.

Remember, passion is barely a controllable emotion and that’s what advertisers want. They want you off-balanced not goal-focused. We all have many passions that when exposed they captivate, entertain and even excite us.

Facebook, YouTube, video games, cell phones, the news and Netflix are designed to hook you on a headline then reel you in like a fat fish pulled into a boat called ‘passion’. When you’re out of the water your productivity stops. All because they hooked you with a 10-second headline, teaser or promise.

Advertisers use passion as A WMD – Weapon of Mass Distraction.

Let’s be honest, few people work hard hour-after-hour without breaks. Everyone needs and should take breaks.

The problem is that some activities are designed to lure you in for a momentary break then they reel you in to their “passion” boat . And because passion is pleasurable you willingly go.

IMAGINE: You’re interested in a story, teaser or news-clip. You begin to find out more and more until… it’s too late. You’re into the passion boat and your productivity crashed.

2 Ways To Tell if You’re Under the Spell Of Passion:

  1. You go beyond your intended time limit (you’re passionately captivated burning time)
  2. When you’re in a passionate time-burning trance you’ll answer ‘Yes’ to the below questions:
    • Are you driven by the desire for instant gratification or satisfaction?
    • In that moment, does your drive for pleasure override the desire to achieve long term goals?
    • Considering how badly you want to achieve your long-term goals is it illogical to waste time on a frivolous activities?
    • When that activity has captured your full attention do you lose track of time?
    • Will you regret the time-wasted on the activity?

Let me be perfectly clear.

The point that should hit you like a ton of bricks is that you’re being baited and reeled in like a fat fish. Advertisers know that you believe you’re strong enough to resist the pulling power of passion. They count on your confidence. It’s why their trap works so well.

Their only job is to turn your quick 1- minute break into a captivating passion-driven adventure.
It’ll FEEL pleasurable but they are stealing your time and productivity using passion…

  • When that happens you’re not going to do the most logical thing.
  • When that happens you’ll participate in risky behavior
  • When that happens your long-term goals will lose out to time-wasting activities
  • When that happens you’re sure to have a painful regret hangover.
  • When that happens you’ve transformed from Mr. Jekyl into evil Mr. Hyde (and you won’t even know it or you won’t care).

"once you’re in the throws of passion
you’re already too late"

The pivotal point Professor Ariely makes is that once you’re in the throws of passion you’re already too late. Your brain and body will work to keep the instant gratification going and flowing.

So the best strategy is to proactively and aggressively prevent it from occurring. That’s exactly why the free Procrastination Crusher Kit gives you ways to spot it early and even learn how to prevent it. If you don’t have the Procrastination rusher Kit then click here to get it today

Nobody plans to procrastinate. Nobody plans on wasting time. But, at the end of the day you either enjoy the hard-earned feeling of accomplishment (knowing you’ve made your mark on the world) or you feel the painful sting of regret along with shameful memories of time-sucking activities.

Of course, the question is NOT so clear when you’re in the midst of it. Then it’ll seem like a harmless decision to take a 10-minute break or just read a headline. But Professor Ariely’s work proved not only that you can get sucked into a passion pit but he proved that you don’t even know how strong it is (or how weak you can be in the face of passion).

The surprise is that only when you acknowledge that this happens can you put up strong safeguards to prevent it. Otherwise you’ll depend on your ego to ‘just say no’. That’s a strategy proven to fail.

Most self-help guys will tell you “just say No” to Facebook, twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other time-traps. Frankly, that advice is lazy and lame. It’s a recipe for failure. Why? Because we’re wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Just as important is that in order to perform at optimal levels we need breaks .So the just say no advice is almost like asking you not to breathe. Here are better approaches.

  1. Identify replacement pleasures
    After working hard you’ll have earned a break and/or a reward. Denying yourself can cause complete crashes.

If you find something as enjoyable as the time-sucking activities (or find an activity that’s MORE enjoyable) then you will not have to fight yourself.

Here are a few ways to take enjoyable (and productive) breaks:

If You Decide To Enter The Bait-Loaded Waters of YouTube, Facebook Or Some Other Time-Trap Here Are Ways To Protect Your Productivity:

  1. Before You Enter – Reinforce Your WillPower

Draw Energy From Your Senior-Self.

Stanford Professor Kelly McGonical, author of WillPower Instinct said “Studies show that imagining your future self can increase your present self’s willpower.”.

Let yourself daydream in vivid detail, imagining how you will feel, how you will look, and what pride, gratitude, or regret you will have for your past self’s choices.

  • Let a picture of your senior self inspire and inform your actions.
  • Building on the earlier point. A picture of yourself at age 80 or 90 can help put things in perspective. It can help fight-off time wasting activities. But how do you get a picture of your senior self? Well, as they say…”there’s an app for that”

You’ll find plenty of iPhone or Andriod phone applications that’ll take your picture and age it.
Try apps like AgingBooth for the iPhone or Oldify for Android phones.
Put a picture on your computer monitor or someplace where you’ll see it before you enter bait-loaded waters.

Before You Enter – Create Safeguards:

  1. Remind yourself of the pain of regret
    • Use a post-it note to remind you of the painful-passion pitfall and the tricks advertisers use to bait you
    • Olympian Apolo Ohno used to workout in a t-shirt that had the message ‘Zero Regrets’.
    • Post a ‘Zero Regrets’ sign on your computer.
  2. Start a timer-before you begin an activity that could turn into a time-sucking tragedy. If you use timer remember that if you get hooked then a timer might not be strong enough to pull you out of a passion-pitfall.
  3. Find ways to enforce time targets
    You can engineer mandatory time limits by being a bit creative.

    • Strategically only use Facebook or other dangerous activities before you need to go to a meeting. As long as the meeting is important enough to pull you out of a passion pitfall you’ll prevent getting carried away.
    • If someone is waiting to meet with you then they can pull you out and prevent time-sucking troubles.

Well,  you’ve gotten a ton to chew on. Helpful right?

I truly hope so. My commitment is to giving you great value.


PS. Don’t forget the to the free Procrastination Crusher Kit

P.P.S. To get the 1-Minute Relaxation and Will-Power Replenishment video click here