If productivity is the holy grail of success in life and business, why are so many failing at it? Click To Tweet
Everyone wants to be successful at their life’s work. Everyone wants to be amazing. If you profess otherwise, it may be because you are afraid to fail. And if you are afraid of failure, that suggests that you in fact want to succeed. So, go ahead, admit it, you want to win at whatever you choose to do in life – back to my point, we all want that.
When you are close to forty years like I am, there is no way you can make claims that you have not done some silly things. One of them for me is that there was a time in my life when I was busy as a bee. Was I being productive? Not necessarily. They say it pays (I think they mean cost) to learn. No doubt, I have paid dearly with my time. Because when I look back on the many things I’ve had my hands in, the way I allowed other people’s agenda to become my own, I know I have thrown away some of my wealth.
But then as I get older, there’s no doubt I’m wiser. As I become wiser, I believe paying it forward is a good investment. Here are some productivity tips I’d like to share with you.
- Say no to things that are not part of YOUR agenda. Avoid being busy – prioritize and do only what matters. Are you invited to speak at a conference about an off-topic matter? One that doesn’t align with your purpose? Turn it down nicely. ‘No’ is a complete sentence but if you must explain, let the person know that it doesn’t align to where you are headed. They will understand. If they don’t, all the more reason you should say ‘no’ in the first place.
- Realize that there are different levels of priority. If everything is important, nothing really is. Things like checking emails are not that crucial. Believe me, the sky won’t fall when you refuse to check your email every 10 minutes. As a matter of fact, you may want to turn off those email notifications on your phone (food for thought). Set aside a special time throughout the day for that and honour it.
- Also on the subject of email, don’t copy more people than is necessary and don’t ask to be copied on every single thing. The more people in the thread of email, the more responses are coming in that require you to at least acknowledge. Your successful self will thank you for it.
- Just like you wouldn’t want someone to skip you in a line at the bank, let new tasks wait their turn. Avoid adding them at the beginning of a queue. The more you are able to mark off older items from your to-do list, psychologically you will feel much more accomplished and motivated to stay focused.
- Schedule, schedule and schedule some more. Take it from me – someone who hates routine and to be scheduled – it is the best thing I could ever do for myself. Like I confess earlier, I was always busy but not necessarily productive. Using John Lee Dumas’ Mastery Journal has worked wonders for me. I focus on my sessions throughout the day, take the necessary breaks and can actually measure my progress along the way. You know the importance of this right? What doesn’t get measured cannot be managed.
- As you get better at scheduling, you will realize that you will need to tweak how much time you spend on a particular item/task. It will help you be more realistic as you goal set.
- Try and limit the pop-up meetings. You know the kind that wasn’t scheduled ahead of time but you are expected to attend? I know it is impossible to avoid, as for entrepreneurs, the only constant is change. You should really evaluate if the meetings you are attending are necessary towards your growth agenda.
- Use a scheduling App when trying to set up meetings. It eliminates the backing and forwarding to determine convenient times for all parties. A scheduling app like Calend.ly works wonders for me.
- Master social media involvement. Automate and schedule like your crazy. There are a myriad of tools such as eCLincher, MeetEdgar, HootSuite, Recur Post and others to help you. So far eClincher is the best I’ve come across. There are even a few that works with Instagram where you can not only schedule posts but schedule your first comment using your hashtags, etc.
- Well, this one I’m about to mention is so key (note to self). Take time to take care of yourself – rest, eat properly, take breaks in between, exercise (yes Heneka, exercise). You only have go at this thing called life, don’t waste it trying to make a living and forget to really make a life.
I would love to hear from you. How are you mastering productivity or are you still struggling? Leave a comment below.