As entrepreneurs, especially if you are starting out and running a one-(wo)man show, finding enough time to do everything can be challenging (or downright impossible!)
To solve their time problem, many turn to “productivity” trainings available on the market.
Many of these “gurus” offer great tips and strategies, even an entire routine planned out. But frankly I never had much success with them…
Whenever they say – for the first 90 minutes in the morning, keep everyone out so you can meditate, exercise, make green juice, journal till you turn blue and set intention for your day – I laugh.
Reality is, my kids wake up at some ungodly hour like 5.30am and no, I don’t have it in me to drag my ass up at 4am to meditate.
Do the highest priority tasks in the morning? Fat chance – try that as you pack lunches for son and husband, while running after a 2.5-year-old who drops whatever he eats on the floor and demands food every 5 minutes, very loudly.
Do the income generating projects first thing? Yeah right – try it with Happy Feet in the background and “mommy play doh open” every 5 minutes.
I don’t follow the rules because if I try, I would fail miserably. Yet most people I interact with are impressed by my productivity.
It is a losing battle to squeeze some arbitrary routine designed by someone who knows NOTHING about my life into my life.
Adopt a Productivity Mindset
Everyday, I have exactly 3 hours 15 minutes to go head-down, pen-on-paper and be super-productive. And people are often amazed by how much I get done (typing fast helps ;))
During that time, I focus on income-producing activities: work with clients, sign new clients, do interviews, being interviewed, write newsletter, build sales pages, create products, promote products etc.
Before you start working on a task, ask if it will bring you closer to client/revenue/other business goals (e.g. you are working on getting more publicity in the local area.)
And it’s not just about forcing yourself to do stuff. It is also about protecting your energy from things that don’t matter so you can spend it on what matters.
Discipline comes in when you need to eliminate mental distraction so you can stop the worst energy drains, which come in the form of things that make you take your focus off your most important/income-generating activities and spin your wheels.
It also means having the honesty to call yourself out when you are hiding behind busywork so you can avoid THE thing that scares you, but really, needs to be done.
If we consider sitting around toiling our thumbs to be zero productivity, busywork can be negative productivity because it makes you expend time and energy on going down the wrong path.
Productivity is not about checking some random stuff off a to-do list. Productivity is getting things that MATTER to your business done. So you need to know what REALLY matters to YOU and your business – not what other people say what “should” matter.
The Number 1 Productivity Tool
We are tempted to do stuff because the “gurus” say so, or our competition is doing so. But is it right for YOU? Will it take you where YOU want to go?
Do you know what your big WHY is? Do you know what your business is about? Do you know who you want to BE in your business?
If you are able nail that Ultra-Clarity, Identity and Conviction that are deep inside of you, they will become the guiding light and the filter you use to decide what actions to take that will bring you closer to alignment. (Misalignment = time, money and energy leak)
This discernment will help you stop wasting time, energy and money to chase after the Bright Shiny Objects. It will help you dig out of the Comparison Trap so you can stop rubber necking and actually keep your eyes on where you are going.
Awareness is the key – check in often to make sure you are doing what you are doing not out of fears or conformity – they often take you further away from where you truly want to go.
What If… Time Management Is Not About Managing Time?
We can “produce” enough if we have enough time. But do you? Maybe, your Time Management problem may not be about managing TIME – have you considered that possibility?
Chances are, it’s not because you don’ have the discipline or the willpower…
The Rocket Fuel Behind Your Productivity
What is your Drive – what moves you into action? Do you have the clarity to guide you to do what matters? Do you have a big CONVICTION that will pull you through and make distractions lose their powers?
Is the drive to get what you want bigger than the pull of fears (which results in self-sabotaging behaviors like procrastination or hiding behind busy work)?
Do you have that CONVICTION that leads to COMMITMENT that will fuel the GUMPTION so you can stick with it and stay on task?
How are you going to change your productivity mindset? Leave a comment below and share your insights: