Hello beautiful people! Today let’s get shit done! Check off that to-do list! Make progress on that project or paper that’s due, get ahead, catch up, or maybe a bit of both. I’d be willing to bet that all of us could use a little (or a lot) more productivity in our lives.
Spolier Alert, I’m not going to be sharing any secrets or magic spells to turn your mile long to-do list into a DONE list. Sorry to say, that doesn’t exist, Like most good things in life, that requires hard work and there are no real shortcuts. What I want to talk about, is why we want/need to be more productive in our lives. I will also share some of the tools and practices that I’ve recently started using to help me. I’ve already mentioned some of them on this blog, but others, I haven’t so I’m excited to share some tips and tricks.
I want to start by saying that all the productivity tools in the world won’t help you unless you get your priorities straight. My guy Brendon Burchard says that 60% of your work week should be going toward things that help you progress toward your life’s work. If you aren’t working towards something that matters to you, then it is EXTREMELY difficult to be more productive. So step 1: Find out where you are going or what you are working towards. Not an easy 1st step, but like I said earlier, most good things in life aren’t easy
That being said, I am a big believer in the value of the journey (I mean it’s kind of the whole premise of this blog right?). I am seeking clarity in regards to my life’s work and/or my purpose. I haven’t found it yet, however that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be seeking out ways to be productive.
One lesson in productivity I got from my mom. When it came time for chores, my mom used to tell my grandpa, “I meant to do….” or “I was going to do xyz, but….” to which he responded, “You DO, what you damn well WANT to do.” We will, by default make time for the things that we want to do. When I start to see a bunch of tasks piling up I start to get overwhelmed. I then make excuses for why stuff isn’t done. This never helps. Then in my grandpa’s voice I hear his message to my mom and I pause, and try to zoom out of these tasks and find something about that task that ties it in to something that I want. Here’s an example:
We have these huge glass water jugs that we fill with filtered water from a store. When they are full of water, they are heavy and cumbersome. They are also tricky to drive around with because they could (and have) tip over and spill in my car. Taking these jugs to get filled is one of the tasks that I avoid or making excuses for not doing. I have to change the story in my head. This story changed from “these jugs are heavy and cumbersome and will spill in my car” to “Dana Jill really prefers to drink this filtered water to stay healthy and hydrated; I WANT Dana Jill to be healthy and hydrated. and I could use the work out.” I came home last week after a long work day, and hauled the 5 gallon water jug up the stairs, and I know Dana appreciated it.
Here’s a 4 of the strategies I’ve been using lately:
-DO NOT CHECK YOUR EMAIL OR SOCIAL MEDIA FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. There are quite a few coaches in the personal development field that give this advice. Start your day with a clear mind. Think about how you want your day to go and how you can make that happen. Focus on those who you’ll be interacting with that day; how can you serve them? What do they need from you? What do you need from them? Checking emails and social media first thing in the morning causes you to start your day in a reactive mindset. This practice has been the biggest game changer for me.
-If something takes less than 5 minutes, do it RIGHT NOW. I always had a tendency of putting those things near the bottom of my list, and when I got to the end of my day there was so many nit picky things that I needed to get done. It really soured how I felt about the day as a whole. These little projects or things pile up quickly. Give this a try and you’ll be amazed at the results.
-I know I’ve mentioned it on here multiple times and I might have even shown you my planner in person if you’re in Seattle. BUY (AND USE) THIS PLANNER. My day doesn’t always go as planned, however the morning questions it has you ask yourself, help clear my mind and focus on what’s important each day. If you buy this 60 day planner, let me know, and I’ll buy you the second 60 day planner and send it to you for you to use or give to a friend of co-worker.
That’s all I’ve got for you today. I’m looking forward to my next couple of posts. I am previewing a couple of gyms in the area and really digging into dropping some pounds. Wish me luck! Also, send me questions or suggestions on topics. Also, if you’re struggling with stuff let me know! I want to help.