How to Use the Path of Least Resistance Productively

I'm all for taking the path of least resistance. Honestly. Do whatever is easiest. You have my permission.

That doesn't sound right coming from a personal development aficionado, right? I'm supposed to tell you to buckle down, put your nose to the grindstone and persevere. I'm not pulling your leg either, I'm being serious.

Take the path of least resistance but (ah, there it is) make sure you created that path. Set up your own path of least resistance and follow it as far as possible. Here are some examples of what I mean.

ARE YOU RUSHING AROUND IN THE MORNING AND AS A RESULT NOT EATING A GOOD BREAKFAST OR GETTING A GOOD START TO THE DAY?

Set your clothes out the night before and get breakfast ready as much as possible. Instead of stumbling around like a zombie when I wake up and rushing to get out the door, I can stumble into my clothes, find my breakfast waiting to be finished on the counter, and suddenly have 10 more minutes to end my morning in a peaceful manner. Sure, you have to have the discipline to prepare the night before, but once you've mastered that, which is easier-- preparing the night before and gliding through your morning routine or rushing around like a fool in the morning?

HAVING TROUBLE GETTING THE MOTIVATION TO WORKOUT WHEN YOU GET HOME FROM WORK?

Immediately change into your workout clothes, even if you have no intention of going. Sometimes when I come home from work I know I should workout but I just can't get the motivation to go right that instant. I'll tell myself that I'll go later but I've found that getting the motivation to change AND go workout can be a little too much to overcome. Take care of the changing earlier and working out later might be much easier to accomplish!

GET TO THE GYM AND THEN HAVE A LAME WORKOUT?

Go with a plan! Write down what you're going to do before you even start working out. Instead of just working out by "feel" and quitting what you want get through that list! If you've made the decisions beforehand it's much easier to just follow the plan. Don't trust yourself to make decisions regarding what's best for your workout after you just finished busting your butt on the treadmill. Take the path of least resistance and follow your pre-written plan!

HAVE A HARD TIME STAYING FOCUSED WHEN YOU SHOULD BE WORKING ON YOUR COMPUTER?

Install a program that blocks all of the sites that suck up your time. I use one called SelfControl on my Mac and it is awesome. I set a time limit and hit a button and suddenly all my time wasting websites are completely unavailable to me (even if I restart my computer). Sure, I know what hitting that button means. But hitting a button and then "suffering" through four hours of distraction free computer usage is much easier than trusting my self-discipline to not go to those sites. Make it easy on yourself and impossible to be distracted!

FIND YOURSELF EATING UNHEALTHILY AND WOULD LIKE TO IMPROVE?

It's really quite simpleā€¦ don't bring any "bad" food into your house. If you are dying for a snack and your only options are fresh fruit, some nuts, or some other healthy and whole food it makes the decision making process much easier. Don't always rely on your self-discipline to make the right decision. Even the strongest of us will falter occasionally when we are constantly tempted.

Making your own path of least resistance usually takes a little bit of effort and planning-- but less than forging a path of difficulty. Where else can you develop a path of least resistance to make yourself more productive or happier?