We all have a specific productivity style. Some of us find ourselves the most driven when the world is quiet in the early morning and we can just beast mode through our projects and work. Others of us find that motivation doesn’t hit until the sun goes down and our counterparts are winding down.
While we might have things in common, each of us has a unique style and finding it is the first step in getting shit done and reaching our goals. That being said a lot of people often find themselves cockblocked by common myths about productivity. Well, today I am here to help you realize those myths are complete crap and how you can address them.
Myth 1: You Can’t Schedule Creativity
How many times have you found yourself cozy in bed minutes from dreamland when your mind develops the best idea? Or maybe for you, it’s in the shower or during a long drive. It never seems to happen when you sit down with hours to work. That seems to be when your brain has tumbleweeds blowing around and you don’t have a single good idea.
Trust me; I get it. While you can’t control when creativity strikes you can learn what triggers yours and set yourself up for creative success. By planning for the things, you can control, like blog post topics or your post formats you can optimize the time you have. If you are a trainer, you can design your ideal workout method to train. While you may not have each step laid out, you can have the outline in place.
For example, you know that your ideal workout for your client is 10 minutes of warm up, legs, arms, ab work, then cool down. You can sit down and fill in the blanks later.
Perhaps you are making a 7-day meal plan for a client. You may not be able to think of all 21 meals and 14 snacks, but you know what nutrition guidelines you want to have.
You know you want three proteins, five vegetables, three fruits, two starches and one fat. When you look at this outline, it’s a lot easier to fill in the blanks. Productivity isn’t about forcing anything it’s about cultivating what works.
Myth 2: I Don’t Have Time to Create or Maintain Systems
Have you ever had a friend call you crying? She just got dumped by that boyfriend you never really liked in a text message and she is crushed. Changes are this call didn’t happen when you were conveniently down the street from her house with a bottle of her favorite wine chilled in the passenger seat. You were probably on the way to the gym, making dinner or writing that week’s blog post. Well, I’m sure you didn’t say, “I don’t have time for your crisis right now, I’m too busy,” click. You probably sat down to talk to her about all the reasons she deserves better, or you ran to the grocery store to pick up wine and a frozen pizza to take over.
The same goes with systems. You decide what you make time for. The best thing about systems is while they may take some initial time to set up and tweak once they are in place you’ll find that you save tons of time.
Myth 3: I Have Too Much Inconsistency In My Life to Maintain Systems
Life is inconsistent. Your doctor probably doesn’t call with your test results and say, “Is it a convenient time for you to have some irregular cells on your pap smear?” Your grandmother didn’t call the week before she passed to make sure, “It was a good time for her to die.”
You’ve probably heard of this lady, Sheryl Sandberg, writer of Lean In and COO of this dinky little website called Facebook (maybe you’ve heard of it?). Life didn’t ask her if it was a good time for her husband to succumb to a heart attack while they were on vacation in 2015. When she experienced this heartbreaking loss she didn’t close up shop and gave up on life, in fact, she co wrote her second best seller Option B, as a result of it.
Life is going to be inconsistent, setting up systems will help you maintain productivity even when life happens. By working ahead, identifying your triggers for productivity and lack of motivation you can better address them. If life weren’t inconsistent, we wouldn’t have the need we do for productive systems.
Myth 4: I’m Already Productive; I’m Constantly Busy
Busy and productive aren’t the same thing. You could spend 3 hours planning out your Quarter 3 business plan but until you actually put those ideas into practice, you’re just doing busy work.
Identifying the difference between productive and busy is a major key to overcoming the things that waste so much of our time.
A few ways to determine if a task is a busy task or a productive one is by asking yourself these three questions before working on it. I recommend doing this rapid fire style, so you don’t have time to talk yourself into believing the busy is productive.
- Is this a money making activity?
- Is there a tangible result I can identify once this task is complete?
- Is this a necessary task to get me to my ultimate goal?
To have a successful business, it’s important to have a balance of productive and busy tasks. You need to respond to emails but chances are most of them aren’t making you money. You need to keep your site information updated but you also need to make time to create new content.It’s important to have a balance of money making tasks and admin tasks. Click To Tweet
Let’s say your goal is to have 4 training clients by the end of the month. You sit down to work and your to-do list says:
- Check email
- Make social media graphics and copy announcing 4 open spots for September
- Watch webinar replay on Facebook ads
By asking yourself the questions above you may decide that watching the webinar is a productive task because you can take notes before creating your social media copy for the ads above. So you choose to look at the webinar, create the graphics and set up the ads then check your email when you’re done.
Maybe you’ve put out fillers and emailed a few potential clients about the open spots in your training schedule, so you decide that quickly skimming your email for anyone who has decided to buy and postpone reading irrelevant emails until after you respond to those new clients. You decide after you respond to those emails you can watch the webinar and create the ads. Once your new ads are set up, you can check the rest of your emails.
Perhaps you don’t have the money to do Facebook ads, so you decide to check your email for client responses, then create your social media graphics. If you have time, you might watch the webinar or see if there is something that could currently help you grow your business you could work on instead of watching a webinar that you won’t be able to take actionable steps on.
The goal of productivity training is to learn how to make the most out of your time and cut out things that waste it. The best use of your time may look different than someone else and that is okay.
Myth 5: X Didn’t Work For Me Nothing Will
“_______ is the ultimate productivity hack and it didn’t work for me so I can’t be helped.”
Productivity isn’t one size fits all. You may have business friends who rave about the Pomodoro technique or claim they were only able to grow their business by batching. Maybe those things don’t work for you so you feel like you can’t be helped. The truth is they have probably tweaked those general systems to work for them. You need to figure out what works for you and the sooner, the better.
It’s not as hard as it seems to be productive once you learn what does and doesn’t work for you. I recommend starting by having super clear clarity in what your goals and priorities are. If you would like to work with me one on one to improve your productivity, you can sign up for my six-month productivity coaching package Business Gains.
Now you tell me:
- What do you do to stay productive?
- Do you feel like you are more easily productive one area of your life over other areas?
- What is one thing that always drains your productivity?
- Is there something that always increases your motivation and gets you moving?
- After a long stretch of good productive work, how do you relax?