The Basics Of Productivity
Do you want to be more productive? I think if you ask anyone that then immediately that answer would be yes! Please!
For the most part, I think that we are productive just not in the ways we wish to be. Unless we are sitting at home doing nothing all day other than being on social media (which we do not make money for) then I think we are productive.
The issue is that usually, we are productive on the wrong things. Shocking I know. If you are working away and you do not stop then you are being productive you are producing but it may not be what you wish to produce.
In this blog, we will be looking at the basics of productivity. I will be giving you some tips and tricks that you can start using straight away in becoming more productive.
As with any of my blogs let us start off with the basics.
What makes us feel productive?
Now to me, this is quite simple as a business owner. For me, productivity looks like moving the wheel forward. I.e. doing the activities that bring me money in.
This is what productivity is to me, if I am doing one of these activities then I think of myself as productive.
When I worked in a call center productivity looked like this:
- Taking New Inquiries
- Reviewing Prospects
- Retaining Prospects
That was productive.
What was on neither of these lists:
- Answering Emails
- Doing The Books
- Meetings On Marketing Strategy
I think you get the picture.
However, these tasks were still important in both ventures and needed to be done. However, I am probably the most disorganised human on the planet! I hate ADMIN with a passion.
This has always been my downfall, but unfortunately, I have to do it. So when I am doing these tasks, I am not being productive, I am doing what is necessary.
However, like me, a lot of people will prioritise these funner productive tasks, as it gives them a sense of achievement, and by doing this and evading those other tasks that need doing we end up having a day filled with the admin.
Then we start to feel like we are falling behind and the wheel keeps on moving.
But what if I were to say that none of what I have just mentioned is actually productive?
Now, this is probably the point where many of you are confused, but hear me out.
productivity has nothing to do with the actual tasks. It is more to do with setting goals, maintaining your energy and focus, avoiding distraction, and taking breaks!
All of this sounds crazy, right? So let us go through each one at a time.
To be actually productive we have to have a goal that we are aiming for. This is important as it is how we will ensure ourselves.
If you think back to the blogs on clarity, everything came down to having unambiguous & challenging goals.
When we give ourselves a goal, we then start to see what will be productive towards that goal.
Let us now go back to my earlier examples:
The Business Owner:
Instead of our productivity being:
Instead, our productivity is measured on engagement. How much engagement are we getting?
What tasks will increase our engagement?
- Research On Topic
- Interesting Headline
- Substantive Effort
- Answering Client Emails
- Filling Out Client Profiles
- Keeping Up To Date With Clients
- Return On Investment
- What Has Worked
- How Many Hours Have I Engaged For?
- How Have I Engaged?
- Where Have I Engaged?
Now, this is a lot different from just the headline is it not? All of a sudden those admin tasks with answering certain emails falls directly into being productive.
Because I have set a goal now I have clarity on what activities are productive.
Now I am not saying spending two hours a day on email will be productive because it probably won’t, and you need to be selective with the emails you choose to answer. But productivity comes down to having a goal that moves you closer to a dream or the next level.
Maintaining Energy & Focus:
Here is the big killer in productivity. To be productive we need to be energised and focused on the goal at hand. That means sitting down for fifty minutes out of each hour (this will be explained further down) and not checking your phone, not thinking about what you will have for dinner later on.
It is about being present in the moment. When we are present and focused we can get more done inside an hour.
For me, I can write a one thousand word blog within thirty minutes if I do not allow myself to become distracted by the noise around me. If I do not check my emails, or go on social media.
This is hard for me because naturally, I get very distracted! But if I want to get all twenty blogs done inside a week then this is what needs to be done!
I also have to maintain my energy throughout the day. We as human beings only have a finite amount of energy that we can conjure up. In order to protect this, we should be taking a break every fifty minutes.
This means moving away from our computer screens, standing up and going to the toilet, or going to get a coffee or water. This does not mean a chance to go on your phones!
By allowing your brain to come away from the task and reset, you can get your focus back.
The Question To Ask Yourself:
After each break when you come back to your computer you should sit down and ask yourself the following question.
What is my main goal for the next fifty minutes?
By asking yourself this question you set an intention for yourself. You allow yourself to re-focus on what is important. By doing this you allow yourself to remain productive.
Productivity is more than what meets the eye. When we think about being productive often we focus on a task-based system instead of a goal-based system.
When we start focusing on our goals and moving towards them that is when we see true productivity.
Until tomorrow this has been your coach Andy.