“I can’t believe it!”, I said to my friend shortly after I started my first business. “I can accomplish more in four hours than I did in a week at my corporate job!”
Productivity is a really big deal if you want to create anything. It’s so easy to spend all our time doing busywork or getting sucked into the vortex of social media. It seems so trivial to waste an evening watching TV and yet if you can harness that time to your agenda, you move closer to what you want for your life.
I’ve been working on this productivity thing for years and here are three things I’ve learned.
Get (and Use) a Good Calendar
If you want to be productive, the first thing to do is move whatever you can out of your head and onto paper. If you’re keeping your appointments and to-do list in your head then you’re using a lot of energy to make sure you remember it all.
A good planner keeps track of that for you, freeing up your energy for your work… and your time for naps. A major benefit of the planner is being able to block out time for whatever is important in your personal life, like your children’s games or your weekly pottery class or your afternoon catnap.
I use one called Planner Pad, but there are plenty of others. Find one that works for you.
Our world is a veritable circus of distractions. Your phone is making silly noises, the computer is informing you that you have new messages and social media is reminding you to maintain your popularity.
And that’s not all! The dog is barking, people are shouting and your foot itches.
How on earth can anyone get anything done?
I really struggled with this one and I think the best way to do it is to start first thing in the morning. Don’t even open your email, just get right to the thing you want to get done.
Wear earplugs if you have to. You can get them at the drugstore.
Believe me, earplugs make everything better.
Find Interesting Work
This one is a lot bigger than buying earplugs and I know it’s not an option everyone can make happen right away. When I told my friend how much I was accomplishing, it was because I was so interested in the work.
According to Brendon Burchard, the high performance expert, high performers tend to be obsessed with their topic, suggesting that if you want to be productive, it’s extremely helpful to see the connection between what you’re interested in and what you’re doing.
I know this to be true in my own life. I’ve had the freedom to experiment with my business and I’m much more productive when the tasks are aligned with my interests.
Do you need a practical resource to move your career to more interesting, meaningful work? Download this book.
My dad, Dr. Steven Simon, wrote it after a long career of helping people find meaningful work. He can help you too.
Chances are that, like me, you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish when you love what you’re doing.