A couple of months ago, I asked the people who follow my Facebook page what they most struggle with in their business. The resounding answer was ‘staying productive’. I thought ‘ooh, I’ll write a blog about that!’ and since then I’ve proceeded to procrastinate about it – not very productive!
So why does procrastination strike? Well, there are many reasons: shiny object syndrome; lack of motivation; lack of time; feeling out of our comfort zone; knowing that there are other pressing things that we need to do – just a few reasons we put things off or literally, just don’t get things done.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort” Paul J Mayer
I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes we just have to make a commitment to getting things done.
I’m sure we all have our own top tip to having a productive day or week. The thing that works for me is prioritisation at the beginning of each week. What do I want to achieve and by when? I get a bit competitive and I like to get ahead of myself early on so that I can feel good about what I’ve achieved. I also like to ‘eat the frog’! If you’re not familiar with that term, the frog is the thing you least want to do – eating it is getting it out of the way quickly, i.e. doing the thing you least want to do first.
If you struggle with your productivity, here are some other top tips that may help you:
❊ Set goals for the month. Get clear on what you need to achieve. Focus brings results
❊ Break these monthly goals down into weekly goals and then daily goals
❊ Organise these daily goals and break them down into manageable tasks
❊ Create a daily schedule. Be strict on time for each task – and once your time is up, move onto the next task
❊ Get into the right mindset. Not always easy, but if you’re strict with yourself and do a few things first that you least want to do, you’ll feel so much better
It’s all very well, but this is often easier said than done isn’t it? Often there are things in the back of our minds that hinder our daily schedule. The best way to beat this is to get organised. Tidying up, clearing the clutter on our desks, in our offices, in the kitchen, etc., will clear the clutter in our minds leaving a clear path to be productive.
We also need to turn off distractions. My phone is always on silent these days – I can’t be doing with ‘ping ping ping’. I do have a watch which is connected – it vibrates on my wrist when I get a phone call, but otherwise it leaves me distraction free. I’ll look at my phone (because we just have to look at it, don’t we?) when I’m at the end of the time I’ve allocated to complete one of my tasks. I’ll have a little break, put the kettle on, check my phone etc.
Walt Disney said “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”. He’s right, we’ve just got to do it!
I hope these tips are helpful if you have a secret weapon to staying productive, I’d love to hear it.