“There is much to be done; therefore we must proceed slowly” – Buddha
Productivity is a permanent state of mind–a life-long journey that doesn’t end. Similar to weight loss and healthy living, every action you take reinforces that new behavior and helps you enjoy permanent, lasting results.
About two years ago I trained for my first half marathon. I ran five times a week for about a year and after completing my first race, I moved on to completing a tri-athlon and other half marathons. After my last race, I decided to take a little break from all the running and enjoy some very well deserved “time off”. My trainer discouraged me from distancing myself too much from running, even for a few days as it would likely affect my momentum. Almost two years later, I think he was right. It’s gotten a lot harder to reclaim the momentum I once had when running was part of my life.
The same principle applies to productivity. I will venture to guess that at some point in your life, you too were productive, even if it was just for a day. Perhaps you created a really sharp electronic task list or managed your calendar successfully, de-cluttered your office space or delegated the things that were slowing you down. Then, you stopped. Perhaps because it was all too much to remember or maybe things were going really well and you just wanted to take a day off. Regardless of the reason, you have yet to get back to being productive.
It’s time to get back to what you were. Below you will find the five things to do right now to get back on track:
Make a brain-drain list. If you’ve ever said “I don’t know what to do first! There’s too much!” then you have fallen prey of the overwhelmed syndrome. When there’s too many things running through your head, it’s necessary to write it all down just to get it off your mind. The Brain-Drain list is NOT a to do list, you will create one of those later. This is an exercise to release all those thoughts and things to do so you can relax and release all that energy it takes to keep all those thoughts in your head.
Identify your default activities. These are the things you tend to do when you feel unfocused, confused and overwhelmed that help you avoid your priorities. A recent client’s default setting was playing solitary for hours on end. As soon as she felt overwhelmed, she would walk away from it all and play solitary for hours. To prevent this scenario from happening to you, create a list of your default setting activities and place it where you can see it. By just being aware of what you do to ignore what you should do will help you not go there!
Only focus on the very next step. Let’s say you have a cluttered office space and the mere thought of cleaning all that paralyses you. Instead of thinking about it as a big ol’ thing to do, just think, “What is my very first step now?" If it doesn’t come to you right away, then just pick one small thing and move steadily into it. After that next thing is complete, move on to the very next step.
Move past perfectionism. Perfectionism is overwhelm’s first cousin. Not creating any action until that perfect day is by far the best way to sabotage your productivity and momentum. Instead of waiting for all the stars to align in order to get things done, be aware of the action you need to create and then…schedule those activities in smaller chunks of time. Best selling author Annie Dillard said, “A schedule defends from chaos and whim.” So schedule that action in smaller chunks and finally get past perfectionism.
Kill the “it’s never enough” voice in your head. At times it may feel like no matter how hard you try, it’s not enough to get past overwhelm and feel like you are finally achieving what you want. When that happens, you need to quiet the voice inside. If you are experiencing smaller accomplishments on a daily basis, the voices that say it’s never enough will eventually disappear. Therefore, give yourself the opportunity to experience completion and celebrate the small accomplishments along the way.
Araceli Gonzalez is the founder of BeProductiveToday.com, a company dedicated to helping creative entrepreneurs find their path to productivity and success. She is also the author of the eBook: “Get It Done! Your Complete Guide to Your Next 30 Days.”
If you are ready to become more productive in your life and business, then you will truly enjoy the “No More Excuses Kit.” This kit includes a checklist that gives you 101 ways you can save at least three hours from your workday. It also includes a 50-minute high-content audio that gives you a very detailed, step-by-step system to prioritize your time and marketing for your business. Click here to grab “The No More Excuses Kit.”
Do you need help resetting your default activities, releasing perfectionism, or quelling the "It's never enough" voice in your head so you can get more clients, make more money and have more fun in your business? Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me to learn how to do that–and more–so you can have a business that sustains you financially and emotionally!
Your partner in success,
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach