You know the feeling.
It’s already there when you wake up in the morning.
You’ve got a massive amount of things on your to-do list and it feels like this insurmountable wall that you’ll have to start climbing as soon as you get out of bed…
We need to change that, right?! So I’ll dedicate this month to looking at productivity from different angles and finding ways to help you get everything done that matters to you.
Are you ready to tackle
The Productivity Conundrum
When you feel like there a never enough hours in your day and not enough days in your week – it’s high time to think about ways to increase your productivity. #ClichebutTrue
Think you don’t have time for that? Shh, I’ll let you in on a secret: You absolutely do have the time to do it! *surprise*
I’ll let time management expert Laura Vanderkam tell you why and how in this 12min TED talk, as she does a marvelous job:
The Real Reason For Being Unproductive
The key message of Laura’s talk is:
Whenever you say “I don’t have time for that”, what you’re REALLY saying is “It’s not a priority in my life right now”.
Like when you tell yourself you have no time to work out and then spend 2 hours in front of the telly… So you do have the time, you just don’t feel like doing something productive.
Finding extra hours?
While I mostly agree with Laura’s key message, I don’t particularly like her example of the busy woman who suddenly managed to find 7 extra hours in a week to deal with her flooded floor emergency.
She argues that if we treated our business or personal goals with the same priority as that broken water heater that flooded the floor, we WOULD get everything done.
This is where I respectfully disagree.
Emergencies are emergencies. Fullstop. A real emergency requires your immediate attention and quite possibly some sacrifices you wouldn’t otherwise be willing to make.
Who cares if the dirty clothes pile up, you eat fast food all week, and the kids have to figure out their homework themselves, as long as you have to deal with a flooded floor??
No one. Cause this is perfectly acceptable in an emergency situation. For a couple of days of a week maybe. But on a continuing basis? Not acceptable at all.
During emergencies, you find super-human strength to pull through and make it to the other side. You might stay up all night to deal with that floor. Doesn’t mean you could do this every night… It’s just not sustainable.
Therefore I’d say yes, treat your goals as priorities, but not as
Treating them as emergencies
Treating them as priorities,
Here is where I agree with Laura again: To ensure they really get done, schedule your priorities, be they personal or work-related.
Dedicate time to these important things and don’t wait to tackle them until you magically find some extra time or feel like doing them.
Sustainable productivity isn’t about fitting more and more things into your limited time. It’s about getting the things done that really matter.
So, as Laura suggests, choose 3-5 goals that would have the biggest positive impact on your business and your personal life this year. Make those your priorities, commit to achieving them, schedule them and just do the work.
How To Increase Productivity
To me, mindset holds the most important key to successfully increasing your productivity.
Most people know what they SHOULD be doing, they are not stupid. They just can’t bring themselves do DO the work.
I think the core problem of not being productive is this: We might set those big goals that would really make a difference, but when the time comes to take action, we just don’t FEEL like doing any of it…
That’s the new-year-resolution-problem, right? The good intentions are there, but we just don’t take the necessary actions.
We are inclined to choose immediate gratification over long-term benefits.
That’s why we’d rather watch another funny cat video than start a work-out. It’s much more fun NOW. And the consequences of not working out are potentially far in the future.
We are wired to think that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush…
And this is something we can’t ignore. It’s human. We aren’t robots and we don’t always follow strict logic.
Yes, everyone has the same 168 hours per week, but not everyone manages to push themselves to do the things they should be doing.
If you are having a hard time starting even the simplest things, try Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule.
It’s a simple trick to get you moving and start taking action when you know you should but really don’t feel like doing it.
Ok, let’s sum this up. If you really wanna make a difference and make headway on your personal or professional projects, try these steps:
- Set 3-5 professional and personal goals for the year.
- Commit to achieving them.
- Make a plan.
- Prioritize and schedule the necessary action steps.
- Use the 5-second rule to give you a push when you don’t feel like doing the necessary work.
Now I’d like to know: What are your biggest struggles when it comes to productivity and how do you overcome them? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!
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What are you waiting for?? 5-4-3-2-1-Go! 😉
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