Can Productivity Be An Intentional Choice?
Note: this is a guest post from Tanya at Tanya Lochner Coaching. Enjoy!
We’ve all been there – planning out that beautifully colour coded google calendar with high hopes of achieving everything that’s in there!
Then the familiar feeling of temptation starts creeping in . . . ‘Oooh, let me go see what’s going on in so and so’s page’ or ‘Wow, look at this awesome funnel idea!’ and before you know it, an hour has passed with no work done.
How often do you get to the end of your day and feel like you’ve been crazy busy but didn’t get anything done?!
Here’s why – it’s human nature to be curious and with information coming into our space at a million miles per second, we’re bound to get distracted by at least a few of them throughout our working day.
So what can we do about this? Quite simply, it’s about making an intentional choice and aligning your to-do list with your highest values.
Urgent vs Important
Stephen Covey really nailed it in his book about the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. The urgent stuff will keep popping up during the day, so you need to be clear about what’s really important to move you forward and be optimally productive.
Start by listing your top three priorities for the day. DO THEM FIRST. This is one of the habits that most successful people have - to tackle the most important, and often the thing they feel least like doing, first.
Why? Because it drains your energy when you’re dragging the thought of that important thing along in your brain the whole day. Eventually, you would have procrastinated it so long that you’ll just ditch it anyway.
Also, because you’ll feel like you’ve been productive by getting the important things done so that you can deal with the urgent stuff that’s going to come up anyway during the rest of the day.
Aligning with your highest values
This requires a little more inner work to understand exactly what’s important to you as a business owner. What do you want to achieve right now that will have the highest impact and feels good to you.
Next, make sure that you’ve connected to your big WHY to every step you take in your business. Keeping this in mind will help you stay motivated and on task. This means being clear about what aspects of your business you enjoy and where your strengths lie. It’s a good idea to get help in the areas you don’t feel as much joy, rather than spending hours trying to figure out that website button!
Those pesky distraction gremlins
The best way to tackle this is to be realistic about what you can really fit in to a day. You often have a to-do list longer than your arm and then feel disappointed when you don’t get to half of it. It’s easy to then go into overwhelm and get distracted with other things that feels like less pressure.
A good way to change this is to take some planning time at the beginning of your month – map out what you want to focus on for that month. Do the same at the beginning of each week – what’s the focus and what action steps do you need to take. Be realistic about what you can truly fit in, especially during the week. In other words, what’s your highest impact tasks.
It’s also a good idea to get an accountability partner, someone that will help you stay on track with your set goals.
That’s it folks – let’s get productive
Using these simple tools to shift your perspective will help you to be optimally productive and to just get it done. It’s all about making an intentional choice to not browse through the ‘limited time sale now on’ email that just popped into your inbox. Schedule some dedicated time for you to browse and stalk Facebook at your leisure, so you don’t have to feel guilty or lose track of valuable work time.
Also ensure that you have some time out. It may feel counterintuitive, but those little breaks throughout your day can make all the difference. Schedule it in, even if it’s just a cup of tea or a walk outside. It will give your logical brain a break to let the creative juices in ;)
Don't go yet - there's more!
About the Author
Tanya Lochner is a Holistic Life & Success Coach who helps busy moms find balance and purpose through aligning with their highest values, so that they can be successful in each area of their lives. Mom to three human and five fur kids, she lives in beautiful Cape Town, aptly known as the Mother City of South Africa.
Her passion for helping women powerfully navigate life and motherhood, blossomed when she left her corporate career of sixteen years as a fiduciary specialist, mentor and business development expert to follow her dream of helping women create a life they truly love. Infusing a holistic form of coaching and consulting, she helps woman from all over the globe become the best version of themselves while raising happy, healthy and successful children.