So, you want to be productive, eh?
Productivity and getting stuff done is by far one of the greatest success habits you can master if you want to be succesful. If you practice being a bit more productive every day you will eventually become unstoppable at crossing off your to-do lists and bucket lists.
However, being productive does not equal success. If you are not working towards your bigger future you are simply just being productive with the wrong tasks. Therefore, before aiming to become more productive you should make sure to have a complete vision of what you want to achieve and who you want to become.
1. Have a clear vision for yourself
The secret to productivity is binary thinking. It’s either a “Hell yes!” or a “No.” Never say “I do it later.” There is no inbetween. Get rid of gray-area statements and eliminate this middle-of-the-road thinking. This doesn’t neccesarily mean that you have to do the task. It is okay to delegate or eliminate it. As long as you take action instead of dwelling on it. Leave no room for second-guessing. Every minute you wait, your bigger future slips a little farther out of reach.
First off, lay out your main daily activities and ask this question regarding them:
“Is this action taking me closer to my bigger future or taking me away from it?”
Be aware of what the activities are costing you. If they are not serving your bigger future you have to pay no attention to them. You must increase your money-making activities and decrease the busywork that doesn’t make you a dime.
2. Practice discipline and control
Discipline is simply creating a habit out of an action that will get us where we want to go. Forming this form of discipline becomes even easier when you reduce your tasks to their most basic elements.
“Living life the hard way is easy and living life the easy way is hard.”
1. Pay close attention to the people with whom you associate. You are the average of the closest people you spend time with.
2. Lay out your day. Don’t just hope to have a good day. Create a schedule that imposes discipline on what you do and when you do it.
3. Have a disciplined mindset. Focus your thoughts. What you think is who you become. Don’t tell yourself “I’m never going to do this.” Instead, tell yourself: “This is going to be a little tough, but I’m going to make this happen.”
4. Take action and get results. If you don’t take action nothing will happen.
3. Get real about time
We spend a lot of time doing things that don’t matter. If you don’t believe me, start documenting what you do hour by hour for a week. Note whatever activities you’re engaged in — from online activities, to phone conversations, to meetings, to paperwork, to lunches, to picking up the laundry at the cleaners etc.
In order to be productive, you just need to get great at a few things. If you can do these things at the highest level, then you can be successful. Boil down the top 3–4 things most of your focus should be on and just do those things. As simple as this sounds it’s what most people do not do. Concentrate your time and energy what is crucial to making money. You can hire people to help you do the other tasks.
“Time and effort are bendable and results are less about minutes passing by and more about the level of commitment to that time allocated. So do your best to create 2-hour sprints rather than daylong slogs.”
If you find yourself drained after working this intensely, take a break. Go for a walk, stretch, get some tea etc. to renew your energy.
Setting dates and deadlines are crucial because doing so create a sense of urgency. Entrepreneurs and successful people work best under pressure.
It’s not about waiting until the last minute. It’s about providing yourself a tight but reasonable window in which to get important stuff done.
Also, stop trying to be perfect in everything you do. Perfectionism is hidden procrastination. And don’t get me started on multi-tasking. Our brain can’t focus on 2 things at once. That’s a proven scientific fact.
4. Block out distractions
Following on the previous point. You must work on the ability to stay focused in a world full of distractions. You can’t control everything, but you can control how you spend your time. Never be accessible at all times. This is only for desperate people.
“By selfishly reducing distractions, you can have it both ways — great success and a great balanced life.”
Use an autoresponder that communicates: “I reply to e-mails every day at 2 PM and 7 PM. Other than that, I’ll be working on my bigger future.”
Don’t be the person that immediately look at your phone when receiving a notification etc. Make sure to never live in a reactive mode but rather a proactive mode. This is especially true with computers and phones. E-mail is one of the biggest distractions ever. Distractions will cost you millions.
Learn to say no more than you say yes, and you will thrive!
5. Stop being worried
We’re driven by 2 things: pain and pleasure. We move away from pain and move towards pleasure. How we define either pain or pleasure is up to us. One of the main productivity killers are worry. Worry can stop you in your tracks, and it can keep you stuck for a week, a month, a year, or even longer.
The common excuses we tell ourselves are usually:
- Lack of a plan
- Lack of a skill
- Lack of confidence
Know, that these excuses are all something in your own head. Chances are, whatever you are trying to accomplish in your life it has been done before by other people in the past. These people might even have had less ressources than you have right now, yet they didn’t let this worry control them. Despite it, they took action and ended up becoming successful.
You control what you do, not your worry.
6. Honor the struggle
“What if all the struggles, and all the BS we go through are actually designed to show us if we are worthy of success? What if, when you go through those trials, you’re actually paying your success tax?”
Take a step back and look at all the rough parts of your life. And look at them as they really are: nothing more that you paying your success tax.
“Honor the struggle.”
The bigger your problems are, the more risks you are taking, the more you are thriving, and the bigger results you are getting for you and your family. Therefore, bigger problems are good for you.
Inspired by: “Millionaire Success Habits” by Dean Graziosi.