Now, of all the characters on TV, Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory is…probably not the one you want to emulate.
But you have to hand it to nutjob, guy knows a thing or two about focusing, solving problems, and getting things done.
So, if you’re trying to form some more productive habits, achieve greater success in your field, or just…get shit done, take a few lessons from Dr. Cooper.
Schedule, schedule, schedule
Wednesday is Halo Night. Saturday is Laundry Night. Friday is Chinese food and vintage game night. Thursday is Anything Can Happen Thursday (but make sure you plan ahead).
This is the same as President Obama only wearing blue or black suits — it’s one less thing for him to think about (can we agree that example of “how to make decisions and be productive” is kinda played out now?). But it’s totally true — if you *know* that every day at 7:30 you’re going to be making breakfast, or checking email, or walking the dog, you A) will just do that thing automatically and B) won’t make plans to do anything else in that time slot — ensuring you have time to get it done.
A mind as great as Sheldon Cooper’s can’t be wasted on trivial tasks like preparing food. Which is why he’s
trained gotten his roommate to handle these tasks for him. Those annoying, time-sucking tasks? The ones you do while all the while thinking “this is such a waste of time. I could be doing …” and wishing you had a few minions to do them for you?
Get. Those. Minions.
Me, I’m on the hunt for a good laundry fairy, dish wizard, and GIF-hunter for posts like these (I’m taking recommendations/applications).
Know where the line is, though. Sometimes I walk Onyx and think, “I could be getting some more work done right now.” But those walks are definitely one of those “simple pleasures” of my day (and, sometimes, the only times I leave the apartment). So I won’t be hiring a dog walker anytime soon.
And, if you have very specific routines or rituals that help you perform at your best, don’t feel like you have to defend them.
Know Your Limits and Plan Accordingly
Sheldon doesn’t drive. So he either gets rides from his friends or makes other arrangements, whether it’s lashing himself to the bus seats to make up for the lack of seat belts (while wearing his bus pants, of course) or temporarily moving to the university while Leonard works a graveyard shift.
I have a story about this. One of my former co-workers, at one point, was basically running an entire department by herself. She’s incredibly smart, creative, and really great at most of the aspects of her job. The part she sucks at (and she’ll readily admit this) is organization. I know this because for awhile, I was kinda working as her part-time admin assistant. Then I was told to stop, and she was told that one of her “professional goals” for the next quarter was to improve her organizational skills.
Now, I’m all for self-improvement and such. But I watched over the next couple months as her other work — the stuff she was great at — started to suffer because she was being forced to spend so much time and energy on something that didn’t come naturally to her. And I thought Why can’t they just hire an admin for the department? Why isn’t it obvious that she needs one?
The point is, you can work and work and work on your “weaknesses” and in a lot of cases, you’ll still just be average at them. And there are some things you just have to figure out. You can keep forcing yourself to do better at something you’re just not meant to do, or you can find away around doing it so you can invest more in your strengths and let them overcome your weaknesses. Like a baseball player who’s awful at defense but hits enough home runs that teams are willing to stick him in left field, or one who’s only good for a .250 average but is so slick with the glove you can’t not play him at first base.
Put yourself in a position where you have to work your strengths and give yourself the chance to become incredibly stellar and amazing — at something you (probably) enjoy doing.
I mean, when Sheldon determined his body and immune system were too weak to handle the rigors of everyday life, he quickly realized that strengthening his body wasn’t the answer. Building a virtual Sheldon was.
Do we even need Sheldon to tell us this? This is like productivity rule #1.
Sheldon Cooper, everyone. Productivity role model.