I like to think I’m productive. When people ask me about my values I’m always quick to state ‘Work Hard’ as my first value. However when I reflect on where I was 18 months ago compared to now I get it. I finally understand that what I thought work hard meant was just time wasting. I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the past 18months. Here are a few of the key things I’ve learnt about personal productivity.
Do Your actions match your ambitions?
Sounds pretty self-explanatory but it’s so important. What I mean is that the level of your goals needs to reflect the level of your work ethic and the actions you put in on a daily basis. If your goal is to break even and just get by that’s cool, but if you have ambitions of being the best in your field or even the best amongst your team then your actions need to reflect that. You can’t compare yourself to your collegues and friends if their not achieving the sames things in life that you want. Its pretty simple for me. I want to one day hear my name said in the same sentence as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and deserve to be there. So I constantly ask myself is what im doing right now really enough to get me to that level? Generally the answer is no so I know I need to step up and do more.
Have a plan…not a goal, a plan!
Goals are great! I’m all about goal setting. It is the foundation of any achievement and comes a very close second to figuring out what’s important to you in life. After that you need a plan. My inspiration for this came from two inspiring business owners I know who are on a much higher level than myself. Hearing all that these two people manage to squeeze into a day, month & year inspired me to take some time to really plan out the next 5yrs of my life. I now constantly evaluate how much I’m getting done and how much time I am spending on the critical tasks that need to get done and how much time I’m spending on feel good tasks.
I now break it down in a few key steps. My long term goal is to achieve 100 goals over the next 5 years and track my journey. Some of these goals are massive and scary and other are smaller fun things I want to “tick off”. I then have this broken down into what goals I want to achieve between now and the end of next year. I break these yearly goals down even further into small steps and give each small step an allocated month it must be completed in. One thing I’ve learnt from this is to break the habit of ticking off smaller, easier tasks well before I really need to complete them. Although in the short term this feels good, it is simply procrastination and time spent away from the big tasks I need to be doing.
This is when I reflect on point one and ask myself, do I really need to be spending time on this right now and is this really moving me towards my goals?
Enjoy the process!!
It’s so important for long term success that you learn to love the process and not just the result at the end. This is probably the one point I struggle with the most. I need to be better at celebrating my successes before moving onto the next goal. Any big achievement takes time and patience. If you want to achieve great things like the Bransons and Musks of the world you need a long-term perspective, were talking 30,40,50years! You will never stick to the plan long enough to achieve these goals if you don’t learn to enjoy the process of achieving as much or even more than the goal itself. Setting small little goals along the way and little rewards for yourself when you achieve them is so important.
One thing I always reflect on when I’m being impatience is that at 28 years old I’ve got time, So much TIME!
Finally You can always do more, there is always another 5–10% more productive you can be and its probably the difference between where you are now and where you want to be. So there are 3 steps that help me to be more productive. A question to leave you with that might spark some questioning for you. What is your lack of productivity costing you?
By Shaun Burn
-work hard, have fun, give back
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