Most of us are on a permanent mission to get more done, and as a Productivity Coach, it’s my job to help you with this mission!
In my work, I get to see first-hand the mistakes that people make that end up blocking their productivity which is why I’m sharing the top 3 mistakes (and simple ways of fixing them) so that YOU can become your most productive self this year.
Be warned, though. You might be making these mistakes without even realizing it.
MISTAKE #1 – Avoiding structure and routine at all costs because of #freedom
Hey, I get it! My top value is freedom!
My big massive goal was to be able to run my business from anywhere in the world, which I am successfully doing. But I had to step right over my dislike of routine and structure to make it a reality.
Even though I had been organizing people for 20 years, I had a strong dislike for routine and structure in my own life. So when I started working for myself, I wasn’t going to tie myself down to a strict routine. I wanted a flexible life. My ultimate goal was freedom, after all.
Guess what? That didn’t work so well.
It’s ironic that the routine, structure and deadlines that I was forced to adhere to in my old corporate life were the things that were blocking my productivity.
I resisted having structure and routine in my life for a long time, so I want to share this with you in the hope that it doesn’t take you as long to realize:
FREEDOM COMES THROUGH DISCIPLINE
Have you ever wondered why it’s easy to find time to brush your teeth at night, yet you can’t get that critical task done until the last minute?
It’s because you have created structure around brushing your teeth, so it just happens automatically.
The same needs to happen for your time throughout the week. You need a system to ensure things get done without having to think about them.
Structure makes us more productive, but it doesn’t have to be tedious. It can be a structure on your terms.
I mean, no week looks the same for me as being location independent means I’m often in different time zones. This impacts the time I am on coaching calls, but every week I know exactly when I am in ‘work mode’ and when I am in ‘play mode.’
That is incredibly free’ing.
Taking control of your schedule by planning your week in ‘time slots’ will make it clear when you will be working on what areas of your business. This will ensure that you always end your week feeling fulfilled that you achieved what you set out to do – as well as having enjoyed time out.
Action step to fix mistake #1
Schedule in specific blocks of time in your diary this week, and review at the end of the week what worked, what didn’t work.
I like to use 90-minute chunks for my time blocks.
I then hold a ‘Weekly Review’ every Friday afternoon, where I review the last week’s goals, set my 7-day goals for the week ahead and then plan out exactly when I will work towards achieving these goals.
Even though it sounds simple, putting blocks of time into your diary that tells you exactly what you will be working on daily is a MASSIVE productivity hack.
This is what gives you MORE time, not less.
Try it for one week and see how it impacts your work output and your mood.
MISTAKE #2 – Waiting for things to be ‘perfect’
I couldn’t not talk about perfection in this post because everyone I meet is holding themselves and their business to a perfect ideal.
And perfectionism is a classic example of a productivity block. When you want everything to be perfect, you don’t take action, and then you have NO freedom business. That is the truth.
On the contrary, getting comfortable with taking imperfect action will ensure you actually have a thriving business.
I encourage you to go for it and just see what happens.
REMEMBER, NOTHING SENSATIONAL HAPPENS INSIDE YOUR COMFY COMFORT ZONE!
When I first realized I was blocking my success with perfectionism, I decided to make #ImperfectAction my mantra. I wrote it down on a post-it note on my screen so I could see it every single day.
I took massive imperfect action, but if things went wrong and I allowed myself to be ok with it. Instead of waiting for things to be perfect I was showing up and helping the people who needed my help.
And guess what? I haven’t broken my business or my reputation. Nor have I lost any friends or clients by not being ‘perfect’. Instead, I have grown my business made it successful, and I’m living the life I dreamed of — freedom to work from wherever I choose.
Where would I be if I had stayed in the ‘safe’ zone until things were perfect? Probably back in the corporate world no doubt.
Certainly not travelling the world, running my location independent business and living my dream life.
Action step to fix mistake #2
Consider this your permission slip to go and take some #ImperfectAction this month. Publish that blog post, hit send on that newsletter, just get out there and take action.
Feel the fear and do it anyway because I promise you, from the bottom of my heart – Imperfect Action is always better than NO action!
Fancy committing to doing something that scares the hell out of you but will grow your business big time? Please do. I’ll be rooting for you.
MISTAKE #3 – Always aiming for your best month ever
I’m not a fan of the word ‘AVERAGE, ’ and it’s certainly not something I strive for in life. The fact you’re reading this blog means you don’t strive for ‘AVERAGE’ either! But always aiming for the best is how a lot of people end up blocking their productivity, and therefore, their success.
You have BIG GOALS, and you plan to nail them all……at the same time!
So you head into each day with a mammoth To-Do list, get distracted easily, feel annoyed for being distracted, then feel guilty for not being as productive as you are capable of.
More often than not, you get to the end of the week feeling like you didn’t accomplish as much as you had planned, despite working crazy long hours.
This is where you are making a mistake — striving to be exceptionally awesome is setting you up for failure.
How about if you start each day aiming to achieve a realistic amount of work?
Pick 3 priority tasks (MIA’s – Most Important Actions) for each day and do them with ease. You will have a clear focus and won’t have to waste time choosing which tasks to do from the mammoth To-Do list. Then you can end the week feeling completely satisfied with your achievements.
Then rinse and repeat. Nailing a realistic amount of work every single week will result in an entirely different outcome in 4 weeks’ time. And 3 months’ worth of such weeks has the potential to be LIFE CHANGING.
Action step to fix mistake #3
For the next week, identify 1-3 MIAs (Most Important Actions) per day and do those before anything else. Make it easy for yourself. Achieving 3 important tasks every day is a lot easier (and therefore more likely to happen) than working on a massive to-do list.
Again, give this a go for the next week and then review the impact it has on has on how much you get done.
Unblocking your productivity
Sometimes we’re blocking our productivity (and therefore our success) without even realising.
So here’s a recap of the 3 action steps you must take:
- Schedule in specific blocks of time in your diary to get work done, for next week. Then review at the end of the week.
- Take imperfect action by doing the important task you’ve been putting off for months so that you can do it perfectly.
- Identify 1-3 MIAs (Most Important Actions) per day and do those before anything else.
It doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming to get more done in your life and business. You don’t need complex systems or a new planner – and you certainly don’t need to work crazy long hours.
It’s time to get your productivity game on and create both the business AND the life!
Love Jo x