Have you ever asked these questions to yourself? – “How does your neighbor find the time to exercise daily?” or “How does your college find the time to get more done everyday?” or simply how does someone else who in your eyes is productive “Find the Time?” I say in your eyes, because we all have people in our lives we admire for being more productive than us and would like to be productive like them.
Before I start outlining steps or actions that you can follow, first we need to determine what do you think being productive really means? We all have our own definition of productivity based on our personal and professional goals. Goals are the predecessors that trigger our sense about how productive we really are. If there were no goals for us to achieve, productivity would cease to exist.
What makes you think you are NOT Productive? When you think about this – a list of goals pop up that you missed. As we link our goals as a measure of how productive we are. I want you to strike off the goals that are based on what your peers are doing and you think you should be doing too. Just because your colleague gets promoted, doesn’t mean promotion is your next immediate goal too.
Cross-off all the parameters that are holding you back, cut out all the “what ifs”. Stop waiting for the ideal situation to write your next creative. Stop finding time; rather start making time for tasks that lead you to the road of productive and better life. This will eliminate all the scenarios that you have decided should be ideal for you to work on your goals. What you will be left with on your list; a set of goals that are realistic, genuine and can be achieved if you work on them. A decided person is more productive.
What are the three things that the leaders of productivity have?
- Clear Direction
- Consistent hard work to “work” towards that goal
Your action plan based on above attributes
Clarity of Direction: If you don’t know where you are going, you will never reach there. You spend most of your time figuring out your goals and planning. Planning is important but that shouldn’t be the only thing you are doing. Don’t overdo, overthink and plan all day. Get down to work. There needs to be visible evidence at the end of each day for the time that you actually spent on working on your business or project. Instead of thinking, procrastinating and planning, you need to create, work and produce. You will notice a shift in your actions and at the end of the month you will be closer to the goal you have set for yourself.
Passion coupled with desire: When you are passionate about something, you will go that extra mile to work on it. Ditch your favorite show, skip that extra hour of prolonged sleep you stretch every morning. Desire to achieve and passion are interlinked. We all face “passionless days” when the desire to work is not fired up. But we need to push ourselves and get through those days or hours. Passion will propel you to actively seek and work towards your direction. The mantra is not to give up, keep doing what you are doing and set your eyes on the goal.
Consistency: How do you feel when you go to your daily Starbucks corner and not find your favorite drink up to your usual standards? If you drink the same drink each day, you can tell when the proportions are not right. Consistency is the hardest to achieve. Normally we are all excited at the start of a new venture and as time passes by, we overlook the path and start procrastinating about the goals that we need to achieve and stop working on the direction or path that we had set. Its good to keep an eye on the finish line, but what’s important is not to loose the track. If you follow your direction and work consistently, you will be prepared to take the bull of productivity by its horns.
Direction + Passion + Consistency = Productivity
I would like to hear your story on what changes you made to your lifestyle to turn the clock and make yourself more and more productive each day.
It is whole big world out there and no matter how unique your idea is there is someone else doing it, even if not exactly the same thing, a slight variation of that already exists. Should this stop you from experimenting and giving it a go ahead? Or is there something that you can learn, improve and better out than others.
The key is to find your ONE thing – Your signature. And why we need to do that, the reason is simple: Be the best at it.
How to do it exceptionally well!
- Statement: What is that one thing that sets you aside from the herd? Find that something special and make it better. Tap into the untapped market with a familiar product or service that they are already using but much better than the existing providers. The idea is to do what you are doing exceptionally well.
- Engage your customers: We have been providing virtual assistant service and if there is one thing that we have learnt, it is to keep your customers close. If your product or service is engaging and delivers what it says it does on the cover – you are in for gold! Customer engagement comes before the satisfaction and economic benefits. It’s all about the experience. Make them a part of your story.
- Nurture relationships: Establish the trust and share your experiences with your clients. Re-energize the bond between you as a company and your customers. Tasks Everyday flourishes on relationships. We as humans have a basic instinct to co-operate and form relationships. All we need to do is to tap into this primate instinct.
- Focus on your target market: Don’t try to do everything for everyone. Find your niche, cultivate it, nourish it, empower it, give it the right tools for growth and once that is done it is time to sit back and bask in the glory.
- Improvise and learn: Don’t be stuck with your idea. Be open to the possibilities of change and improvise with them. Be open to constructive criticism and learn from your shortcomings. That is what Tasks Everyday has done over the years. Each client has made us better. We are not perfect and no one is. We have learnt from our mistakes and with each error there is a lesson learnt.
The hardest part is knowing what all needs to be done but not having the time or skilled people to help you achieve your goals. You need to get rid of the clutter and focus on your One Thing! All those things that are a part of the clutter need to be cut down. This doesn’t mean you stop filling your expense reports, because you hate to do the paper work and it is keeping you astray from focusing on your One thing! But have someone else do the data entry work. So that you get to keep your sanity and do what you love to do while your assistant works on the mundane sheets and tasks.