Productivity For The Overwhelmed

Are productivity articles giving you a case of the “shoulds”?

Articles with quick productivity fixes abound. They are filled with common knowledge and general statements. Here are some statements that I read almost every day:

  • Do these five things and have a four hour workweek!
  • Multitasking is bad.
  • Timeboxing is good.
  • Notifications are distracting.

Where are these articles leading us? They make logical sense, and people do follow the instructions, so why aren’t we the most productive people in the universe right now? Why do people usually abandon these practices?

Most productivity problems don’t have a silver bullet solution.

It’s because we’re not all the same person. I work with all kinds of people, in wildly different circumstances. Something that works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for you. My available choices are different, and so are my outcomes.

Which means your silver bullet solution could be my Kryptonite. Or, it could work ok but not great. Or the choice you made is out of my league entirely.

Most of the solutions aren’t adaptable to your personal situation, and/or they don’t take you into account. Your perspective. Your circumstances. If the solution isn’t flexible, it’s just not going to work for an entrepreneur.

Productivity has to be more than just a series of completed tasks. That’s part of it, of course. But many people overlook that you can get everything done and still feel like you’re not moving forward. Productivity, at least for me, includes the feeling that you’re on your way, making progress on a road you want to travel.

I measure productivity with a clear mind, participating in all aspects of my life without guilt for doing so.

Here are the four productivity principles that have put me where I am today.

  • Essentialism: Knowing what you want, and “no-ing” the rest
  • Experimentation: Finding the system works for you, changing your relationship with failure
  • Practice: Taking what works and making it a habit, choosing excellence over perfection
  • Reflection: How’s that habit working? What’s the view from 30,000 feet?

These four principles make up the majority of my discussions every day with clients, in my facebook community (The Dojo), and on the livestreams that I do four times a week.

In my next articles, I’ll dig a little deeper into what each principle means to me. Catch you next time!

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