Hey, we’re all busy! Every day, I speak with people and when I ask them how they’re doing, they say, “Ohhh, I’m so busy!” I always wonder what everyone is so busy doing?
I started thinking that this phenomenon is so common that there must be something going on that everyone feels the need to fill their day with “stuff.” Let’s talk about getting productive.I wrote recently about the myth of multitasking and had quite a few conversations with people on this topic. It seems that we are all so busy just flipping from one task to the next and not taking the time to truly understand what we should be doing.
Uhhhh tell me what to do, boss.
Now this is something we ALL must pay attention to. Most people have developed this habit of just showing up and waiting for someone to tell them what to do. Maybe it is an acquired skill we learned as children, because our parents had bosses or something like that?
But regardless of whether you are a business owner or employee, you must work on shifting your mind out of the “waiting for direction” mode.
I work with numerous small business owners on growing their business and typically they just need some direction and help in what tasks to do and how to prioritize.
People just don’t seem to know how to create their own schedules!
Activity vs Productivity
Grab a sharpie and write those two words on the wall in front of you. The difference between these two words is what creates true success.
Most people feel they have done a good days work because they showed up and got lots done. They did some paperwork, listened in on a conference call, or rearranged their desk. Hey, they even spent some time on Facebook. They got on the phone with some contacts and caught up, perhaps even had some meetings about how the business is going.
You have to ask yourself what activities you do each day that are actually productive. What is part of the plan?
Set your plan and measure the results
If you have been following my blog, you know I am a huge fan of setting long term strategies. Being able to map out where you want to go, and precisely how you will get there. I always tell my clients:
If you don’t know what you are supposed to do each day, how do you know you did it?. Do you go into each day with a plan and a schedule? Are you actually watching how much time you spend on getting things done? I know that when I map out a solid strategy, especially for 90 days, I can get more done that I would in a year without a strategy.
Napoleon Hill said that the #1 common denominator of ALL financially successful people he met in his entire lifetime of studying them was this: they all had a specific written plan and they stuck to it, no matter what.
The test will be whether you take the time to outline how you will actually get more done and be productive. What is causing you to stay where you are? What activities are eating away at your schedule? What if you could find an extra 30 minutes a day? What about an extra 2 hours? What will you do with that time?
My challenge to you:
I challenge you to write in your journal for the next 7 days your ratio of activity (chores) vs productivity (action) tasks. Just play the role of observer and track how much work you do that is actually part of your plan.
My bet is that you spend at least 75% of your time doing things that don’t move you ahead. Try it.
Very soon, I will be putting together a productivity course that will help you get more out of each day, so watch for it. Make sure you have signed up below as well to be on the mailing list for when it launches.
Are you a leader or a worker?
Regardless of what your station in life is – business owner, employee, janitor, or homeless…set a plan. Set an example for others to follow by building a plan and sticking to it. Develop your time management skills and create your own destiny by designing it yourself.
It is not easy, but do the work that you must today and get things done that actually produce results long term.