How productive are you?
What I mean is, you can look in the mirror and say with incontestable conviction you’re moving the needle and getting stuff done.
What would you say?
Some of you are doing just fine. Every day you wake up with intention to make a dent. Kudos if you belong to this tribe.
For the rest of you, your life is going something like this.
You are a package. A package of wants, dreams, aspirations, etc. You have an endgame.
Your package might be to uplevel your business. Transition from a career you hate to one that lights you up. You’re a new coach who wants to build a coaching practice. Or perhaps you’re a sales dude or dudette that wants to buff their selling skills.
One day you get sick and tired of the same old results. You make a fist and slam the fleshy part of your hand, the hypothenar for you science types, on the table and say “Damn it! This is the week I’m going to change my direction!”
Monday rolls around and your week begins. You start to prioritize, perhaps get a day planner, purchase a motivational book, look to possibly hire a coach, etc.
Those first few days your middle name is -Busyness.-. Then life happens. You feel like an octopus with six tentacles being pulled in as many different directions. You’re no longer on the path towards your endgame. Result? You’re out of control and once again haven’t produced any worthwhile change.
It’s not because of a lack of conviction. It’s a lack of execution!
Yes you had the best of intentions. You equipped yourself with a beautiful set of tools. They look marvy. Maybe even professional. One problem; it’s all window dressing. Lipstick on a pig. Use whatever metaphor you want.
Just because you have tools doesn’t mean you’re productive.
Tools are just that, tools. Nothing happens until you pick them up, apply some sweat equity, and do the work.
I can say unequivocally, having coached hundreds of clients and having my own coach:
A coach will significantly increase your productivity.
Today’s guest post is courtesy of Steve Keating (CME, CSE,) Selling Skills Manager for Toro Company.
Are You Truly Productive? – by Steve Keating
Are you truly productive? That’s a question you may want to ask yourself with some regularity. We… you, me and everybody else has the uncanny ability to trick ourselves into believing that we are incredibly productive when in fact we’re merely busy.
Busy and productive are two entirely different things!
Busy is about doing stuff. Productive is about doing stuff for a purpose. Busy is about looking like you’re accomplishing something. Productive is about actually accomplishing it. Busy is about wondering what happened to the hours in your day. Productive is about knowing exactly how you used your time.
Busy people hope for a productive day. Productive people plan a productive day.
Their plan is based on their goals and objectives. They determine what they will do and when they will do it based on priorities that come straight out of their goals. They strive to be doing the most productive thing possible at any given time.
Here’s they most amazing thing about highly productive people: they have more free time to do as they please. They earn this free time by not wasting time being busy. They simply get more done than very busy people.
The key is effective goal setting. Once you invest the time required to have meaningful goals in specific areas of your life you’re halfway to being productive. To finish the job you must develop a detailed plan around how you will achieve each goal.
Specificity is vital here. If you allow wiggle room you’ll use it to fall into old, busy looking habits.
Share your goals with someone to whom you truly matter, someone who will hold you accountable to your plan. This is where a coach or mentor can really make a difference. People who have a coach or mentor are generally more productive and more successful. That is not a coincidence. Coaches and mentors make a major difference in the lives of those they work with.
So don’t be so busy you never stop to ask yourself if what you’re doing is actually productive. That little gut check can be the difference between getting something accomplished and wondering why you can’t.
I find working in weekly plans vs. daily plans helps a lot with this. Keeping a focus on big rock productivity helps. There will always be necessary distractions, unexpected weather, a sick kid… that can temporarily slow you down. It’s vital to know what you really need to get done each week and not get too upset by the slippery spots.
Weekly planning works for me as well.
You’re right, every now and then you’ll be blindsided. These events should be in the plan. Go with the flow.
I used to be way more productive than I am these days. I’m not sure what it is because I watch less TV and do fewer other things. I’ve got to work on that.
You write at least three blogs a week and walk 10K steps a day. With that schedule, who has time for anything else! ;-p
Seriously Mitch, it’s what we discussed the other day; getting focused. Then, finding some way to hold yourself accountable.