This is a post on how to be productive. It is not a post on how to get more done. That would be stupid. Adding more to your list, and keeping yourself busy does not equate to productivity. So, what does?
My definition of Productivity: Getting from where you are (Point A) to where you want to be (Point B) as effortlessly as possible. The problem is…most people don’t really know where they want to be (Point B), let alone how to get there (more on that soon).
What Separates The Successful from the Unsuccessful
Let’s draw a big fat line in the sand separating the “successful” from the “unsuccessful.” We don’t even need to define what success means. You know whether you are successful or not. Either things are working for you, or they’re not! You’re business is either growing or dying. You’re either happy, excited and passionate about what you’re doing, or you’re not. With that being said, I’ve been very fortunate to spend a lot of time with people I would label as successful, and there is ONE key distinction that separates them from the unsuccessful. (This is where we would add the alluring headline: The Secret to SUCCESS! Ooohh Ahhh!!)
Successful People know what to focus their time and energy on. Plain and simple.
To say it differently, There is a direct correlation with your level of your success, and your ability to focus on what really matters
To conclude, Being Productive is synonymous with your ability to discern between tasks that move you closer to your goals and tasks that don’t. “Well crap, how do I do that?”
3 Steps to Being More Productive
Step #1: Figure Out What the Hell You Really Want!
Is this hard for you too? Take a big fat step back, look at the big picture, and get super clear on what you really want. Don’t get caught up in details. At the end of the day, we all want to be happy. Well, what makes you happy? Working less? Making more? Traveling? That new car?
When you get clear on what you want, you get clear on what’s important to you, and where you need to go. Now we need to figure out how to get there, this is where Step #2 comes in…
Step #2: Figure Out the Strategy!
If I am in California, and I want to go to New York, I need to head East. That’s the 30,000 foot view Strategy. Ok James, look at the beach, turn around and start walking. Knowing what your destination is and the general direction you are heading is crucial. You don’t even need to know how you’re gonna get there just yet!
Step #3: Get Clear on What to Focus on
Being successful is all about obtaining what you want as effortlessly as possible. Going from California to New York can be quick and easy or long and painful. You get to make these types of choices (unfortunately most of us make these choices unconsciously…ya that’s another blog post for another time).
Here is what efficient and easy looks like: My assistant books my nonstop flight from John Wayne Airport to La Guardia. A private driver picks me up at my door. I arrive at the airport, board my flight, watch a cheesy movie and arrive in NYC 6 hours later.
Here is the long and laborious way: Uh…just start walking? Hitchhike? Drive? Take a boat?
The long and hard way sounds stupid, doesn’t it?! Yet, we choose this route in our business and our lives every day!! We make things difficult and complicated. We work on things that take up our time and energy, yet don’t get us any closer to our destination. “Ya! Why do I do we do this James?!” Well…that’s another blog post too!
The key is honing your ability to distinguish which between tasks and action items are worth your time, and which ones are not. The more clear you get on what makes your life easier, the more productive you become. Magic!
NOTE: I am not insinuating that building a business is supposed to be filled all easy -peazy 100% of the time. BUT there is a difference between working your ass off on a project that propels your business forward, and one that is a complete waste of your time. Our job is to eliminate the latter.
How to Determine What is Worth Focusing On
Here are some simple stuff to start doing now (I do ALL of these!) to become a master at OWNING Your Time & Energy!
1. Take a Step Back
I love the story of the busy little bumble bee who is banging his head against the glass window trying to break on through to the other side. He knows what he wants, and he is trying so hard to get it. Well, entrepreneurs are NOT paid for their effort or their hours (you do know that, right?!). All this little guy has to do is back up six inches and he would notice there is an opening in the window 6 inches to his left. Instead, he is too busy working to notice something isn’t working. STOP what you are doing. Pattern interrupt yourself (we are creatures of habit!) and look around. Put yourself in check. Take a step back and assess!
2. Ask Questions
The quality of your life IS determined by the questions you ask. And recently I have discovered that finding the answer is actually dangerous. Knowing a “truth” causes you to settle and cease searching. When you think you know the answer, you lose your sense of childlike curiosity. There is always more, better, bigger, faster. Stay curious, stay reflective and ask! “Is this the best use of my time?” “Can I get to where I need to be easier and quicker?” “Do I NEED to be doing this?” “Could someone else do this for me?” “How can I automate this?”
3. Model Others
If what YOU are doing isn’t working, it ain’t gonna change unless your thinking changes. The best way to do that, is see how others are thinking. Modeling is no new concept, yet it is super easy. All you need to do is find people that have what you want and observe their thoughts and habits. If they have books or interviews, grab them! If they have a blog or website, study them! Shadow their actions, do as they do, and see what happens.
A $25,000 Lesson in Productivity
Here is a fun video I did talking about the specific ways I stay productive in my business, and how you can too! Enjoy
Thank you for watching and reading this post on Productivity! No matter what you took away from this post, the most important thing to remember is this: if your INTENTION is to improve your productivity, it’s bound to happen. Don’t beat yourself up or get frustrated, simply observe your habits now, and look for ways to become more productive over time. It IS a journey, and it ain’t gonna happen overnight!
Please leave your comments below! I would love to hear from you!