We are conditioned from a young age on how to work and how and when we’re supposed to be productive.
We are forced to sit at desks at school, be quiet and work until the bell rings.
We go to 9-5 jobs and expected to produce within those hours, to receive a paycheck for our work. We’re conditioned to think that when we work hard, we’ll be successful, and get paid for the hours we work.
Then when we go into business for ourselves it’s a very different situation.
We only get paid once we have produced and sold something of value. In business, productivity is less about the time we spend and more about the value we produce.
Motivating ourselves to be productive and creative for our own purposes can be challenging at times especially when we find ourselves procrastinating.
Productivity starts with the mind. It starts with what we believe is possible. What are we capable of?
When our minds are scattered, we get distracted and produce less. When we are focused, we’re able to produce more. This is why multitasking doesn’t work. Trying to focus on multiple things at once only adds to the time it takes to complete something.
When we remove the distractions and focus on once thing at a time, that is when we’re able to create the results we want. But it all starts with how we perceive productivity in the mind.
What does being productive mean to you? Working a certain amount of hours or creating results & outcomes? Having something to show for the time you put in or putting in the time?
How productive could you be? What’s possible?
So often we dictate what is possible based on how my time we think we need to complete something. Yet, when we have a deadline, we’re able to complete something quicker than what we originally would have liked. Are we possibly giving ourselves too much time to produce something?
Here are some key areas to focus on when wanting to up-level your mindset around productivity.
Define what productive means for you.
Everyone works differently and when it comes to being a solo entrepreneur you must get to know what works for you and learn to make yourself accountable for the results you create.
Find what works for you. Trying to squeeze yourself into a square-shaped box when you’re a fluffy energy ball trying to stop yourself getting distracted with the next shiny object because you’re trying to work 9-5hours is pointless.
When are you the most productive? In the morning, afternoon or evening? Where’s your creative sweet spot? Learning to set aside your most creative tasks to the times of the day and then putting the less effort required tasks to the other times helps to support a productive mindset.
Do to-do lists or priorities?
How do you work best? Do you like ticking off a to-do list, ticking the box on Trello or working with someone to keep you accountable? Do deadlines work? How can you set yourself up better, knowing how you can keep yourself motivated?
What you focus on is what you get: Problem or solution
When we’re focused on the problem, the problem persists. Learning to manage your mind and continuously refocus your mind to finding a solution will always keep moving you forward.
And it’s all about what you’re focusing on. Are you focused on the obstacle or focused on finding a solution? Do you accept what’s happening and then work towards creating a better outcome?
Or do you get so stuck delving into frustration, anger, and fear when things get too hard?
It can be overwhelming when we find ourselves stuck and struggling to find the answer, yet this is the opportune time to manage your mind and stay focused on the goal.
“It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.”~ Tony Robbins
Work towards progress, not perfection.
Perfection is an illusion. We can never actually reach it, so being able to focus on producing outcomes rather than trying to be perfect is what is going to help you progress quicker.
For the best outcomes, you need to produce the work so the world can respond to it and only then can you truly know if the outcome was a positive one.
Focus on improvement and progress, not perfection – it’s a trap and one we often can get caught in when trying to be productive.
Clarity or Confusion
Confusion is often a feeling people try to avoid yet sometimes it can lead to so much clarity. Especially when we’re learning something new or trying something for the first time. It’s ok to be confused, there is no need to label the feeling as positive or negative, it’s just a phase on the way to clarity. All successful entrepreneurs seek out clarity. Focus on it and the confusion will dissipate.
Time or results
We need to let go of the old conditioning that tells us that it’s about how much time it takes. When you find yourself thinking about how much time you’ve spent or when you’re telling someone else how much time it takes, this is a perfect opportunity to refocus your mind to look at the results.
If the results aren’t being achieved it doesn’t matter how much time you’ve spent. You don’t get paid for time when you own a business, you get paid when you produce outcomes and results.
Make sure you’re focusing on what activities bring in the money. We can get so distracted on doing all the things, getting caught up in the social media spiral and at the end of the day have produced nothing. What money-making activities can you prioritize to make sure you’re making results-focused progress?
‘Never mistake motion for action’Pablo Picasso
LEARN TO REST NOT QUIT
When things get hard, it’s important to know when to rest not quit. Or even more important – rest not push through. With all the talk about hustling, we can often get caught on the road to burn out, trying to produce one thing after the other and never stopping to take care of ourselves.
Only being able to put in 10% of ourselves because we haven’t learned to take care of ourselves and rest is not a road to success. No outcomes are better than crap outcomes. Don’t produce mediocre results just to produce, produce amazing results with all your heart and soul. Be 100% in and I guarantee the results will be phenomenal, but you have to be at your best to be able to do that.
Take care of your health and fitness, learn to get out from behind your desk, move your body and get out in nature to recharge your batteries so you can show up fully in your life and business.
So often we define what’s possible based on the past. Our brains reference the past to find evidence of what we’ve been able to achieve back then to find the confidence to believe in what we can create now. Challenge what you believe to be possible. Challenge how productive you think you can be. Your productivity is up to you. It’s not based on the past or what someone else thinks is possible for you.
Produce more and expect more results.
Expect more from yourself and ask yourself “What if?”
What if I raised my standards? What if I worked harder and smarter? What if I produced more? What if I chose how much energy I had and how my time I allowed myself to take to produce one piece of content? What if I was quicker, smarter, more efficient?
What would be possible for me then?