If there's one thing I've learned about productivity, it's this: you'll always be productive if you remember the 3 things I'll be talking about in this post below.
Ready to know exactly what those are? Let's dive in, my friend.
1. Remember why you started
Over on this blog, I talk about productivity a lot. But it's for a purpose!
I believe so many people – even some (not all!) "productivity gurus" out there – have forgotten what productivity is all about, which is all about doing purposeful things with the limited time and energy we have.
Productivity isn't about turning into a machine. It's about being able to do what matters most to us with the time we're given. It's about using our time with purpose – and especially in ways that works for us.
So purpose is key here. And purpose is really just another way of answering the question "Why?"
I recently wrote about the 5-why test and how we can use it to find the Root Reason or Why behind our goals. I think it's equally important to remember during moments we want to ditch being productive too.
Remember what your goal is, and why you want it done. And remember that productivity is one of the best ways you can achieve your goal sooner rather than later – while still giving you a life outside the goal-chase.
productivity is all about using our time with purpose, especially in ways that works for us.
must-read on productivity
2. just start
Okay, so you know what your goal is and why you want it to happen. And you've made sure you've eliminated anything that might distract you from your goal.
You're suddenly wondering if it's too cold to start, say, writing that book, so maybe you should spend some time toying with the A/C.
Or you think 2:13 PM is an awkward time to start so maybe you should wait for 2:15 PM.
Or you now believe there's a better way to film that training video than the one you've thought of, so maybe you should do more research and look at video editing styles you haven't considered yet.
Ah, procrastination. It so loves to disguise itself as busy work.
Procrastination comes in many forms. Sometimes it takes the form of "I'm not ready." (But when are we ever ready anyway?) Sometimes it's a work email that's just come that we believe is urgent. (Even when it's not.)
I've seen people use every excuse in the book (and then some) to not actually do the work we ought to. And my advice for them? Just start.
Catch yourself in the act of procrastinating, and commit to getting things done. You can also stick to my 10-minute rule that lets you commit to just 10 minutes of deep, quality work – I promise you, you will rarely want to stop after just 10 minutes.
And allow me to borrow a famous brand's way of putting it:
Just do it.
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3. track your progress
Let's go back to a little high school physics here.
One thing I've always said about productivity is that it's like a muscle that only gets better the more we work at it.
And as we get better, we get more motivated to keep going. That's where momentum kicks in.
Remember, momentum is what can drive something to move faster and faster each time. There are things that slow down that momentum, sure, and things that stop it altogether.
But the thing about mental momentum is this: once you've built up enough of it, even a stumbling block makes it very hard to stop.
So say your big goal was to earn an extra $1,000 on your side hustle. And you worked hard, worked smart – and you did it! (Congratulations, you goal-digger, you!)
And so the next month, you set off for the same goal. And you did it again!
But say on the third month, something happened. Maybe you got sick for a week.
Sure, your momentum is slowed down a little bit. And you might not hit your goal of earning a consistent $1k this month. But that's okay, you reckon, because you can do whatever you can anyway – and make up for it next month.
That's the value of tracking your progress. It builds momentum.
And once you know what that momentum feel like, trust me, my friend. It's very, very hard to get you to stop. 😉
once you've built up enough mental momentum for your goals, even a big stumbling block makes it very hard to stop.
you'll always be productive when you remember these 3 things.
So don't forget: remember why you started; just actually freaking start; and track your progress along the way.
You might be surprised with how effective these three itty-bitty little things are for your productivity. But that's really it: productivity doesn't require big, big changes. It just needs effective micro-changes that give a huge impact.
And speaking of big impact, check out The Goal-Getter Playbook – a digital and printable goal-setting weekly planner designed to help you set your goals, remember your why, and track your progress. All the things you learned in this post!