This is especially true in a day and age where time seems to be in short supply but the tasks on our daily to-do list aren’t. We live in a time where we measure our success on our ability to be productive and therefore, we measure our value in this world based on this productivity as well. It’s an exhausting cycle of go-go-go and do-do-do just so that we feel ‘ok’ about ourselves; so that we can go to bed feeling like we have achieved something in our day.
It’s no secret – we are all busy bees and time is in short supply. Gone are the days where women stayed at home, cleaning the house, cooking and taking care of their families while their husbands went out to work. Now, we are all on an equal playing field which means that we have to wear a million and one different hats throughout the day, juggle a load of responsibilities; all the while caring for those we love and most importantly looking after ourselves. Needless to say, productivity is a key ingredient in pulling off this miraculous circus trick!
Being our most productive self is key for our success. After all, the more productive we are, the more time we will have for ourselves and trust me when I say:
Looking after yourself in a fundamental key in productivity.
…and the cycle goes on.
One of the biggest excuses when it comes to making health changes, diet changes or establishing a self-care routine is the lack of TIME.
We all have the same number of hours, minutes and seconds in a day. So when it comes to getting s**t done it’s time to look at how productive you are with that time. How proactive are you vs how reactive are you? How are your time management skills? Are you balancing your priorities so they align with your values?
Learning to be your productive self is key. Not only will you feel more successful but you’ll also start juggling all those different hats so that they create balance in your life, WITHOUT leading you to burn out!
I’ve spoken about procrastination before because I truly believe it is the silent killer to all of our dreams and when it comes to your success, it’s productivity’s worst nightmare!
It is the complete antithesis to productivity. After all, if you’re procrastinating then you’re not being productive, are you?
I know how easy it is to procrastinate, trust me, I’ve been there and done that. My inner dialogue to myself would go something like this:
It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of doing something, isn’t it?
I’m willing to bet it happens way more often than you’d like to admit.
The thing is, those brief pauses where you’re talking yourself out of doing what needs to get done, all add up to one giant block of time that could have been used for something productive.
Aside from the obvious time wasting energy that procrastination brings, it can also bring up feelings of doubt, fear and perfectionism.
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
I love that saying SO much! That nagging voice inside your head, that tells you you’re not good enough, you won’t succeed or that you’re stupid for even trying – yea, you know that voice – well it needs to take a hike! It needs to GO and I mean NOW! Melissa Ambrosini calls it your inner mean girl and when it comes to procrastinating she is the ultimate ring leader.
So what if you fail?
So what if you don’t succeed?
What’s the worst that could happen?
Stop that inner mean girl from running the show, ditch the doubt and let go of that need to be perfect.
Perfectionism (although an admirable trait and a great quality to share in interviews) is fuel for procrastination. That need to be perfect can actually stop you from doing things! Stop searching for the PERFECT in everything you do. We are all our own harshest critic and I’m willing to bet that if you’re a perfectionist then NOTHING will ever meet your standards. Let go of that need to be perfect and just start DOING. Don’t stop yourself because you fear you won’t measure up. Don’t hold yourself back because the world will see your imperfections.
So what if they do?
Does it actually matter?
Life shouldn’t be feared. The more you fear, the less productive you will be. Our mind and bodies don’t have the time for fear and if you’re fearful of failing, falling short or of not being perfect, you’re going to stop yourself from getting things done!
The last ingredient that will help you get over procrastination:
Know your ‘why’ in everything that you do. Be 100% clear on what is driving you. When you do that, you’ll have your ‘get out of jail free card’. Whenever procrastination creeps up on you, repeat your WHY. Remind yourself WHY you need to do what you have to, why it’s important to you and why it will benefit you.
Finding your why is a major key player in productivity, not only for fighting procrastination but in also giving you the tools to balance and prioritise what aligns with your values and what doesn’t.
I see so many people rely heavily on motivation to push them through those barriers, to carry them through those tough times and in truth, motivation can be fleeting. It can come and go and it isn’t always there to support and guide us. Yet, it’s still so important when it comes to productivity.
Well, firstly it comes back to that WHY. Your WHY will give you the discipline and dedication that you need to continue your journey when your motivation has taken a back seat.
The second point I’m going to make here is this – You won’t always know your WHY. There are some things in life that you have to do but can’t think of a valid reason WHY. Your priorities can change, your values can change and so can the way you see the world – because of that, your WHY might change too. In those cases, rather than hoping your WHY will carry you through to motivate you, focus on what you enjoy!
As human beings, we are more likely to do something when we enjoy it. Let’s face it, we have no problem drinking a yummy hot chocolate but it’s way more of an effort to face having a greens powder shot! The hot chocolate isn’t always the best choice for our health but it’s yummy, so we’ll drink it. The greens powder is obviously the healthier choice but because it doesn’t taste so great, we don’t enjoy drinking it and therefore we might convince ourselves out of it.
For example, I enjoy how my body feels when I get greens into my system. I enjoy how energised I am and how healthy my skin looks. When I focus on those points I’m more likely to drink that greens powder.
If you don’t enjoy work but you want to be motivated to go, then focus on what you DO enjoy. Is it the people? The need to get dressed up in the morning? The industry? The coffee? The never-ending supply of biscuits?
Change your mind-set so that you’re focusing on the positives over the negatives.
Then finally ask yourself this question:
Be clear on what success feels like to you. Soak it into your mind and your body and use that as the fuel to drive you forwards.
Being your most productive self isn’t just about getting things ticked off your to-do list. It’s about balancing life and freeing up time to look after yourself. After all, you can only be your most productive self when you’ve taken the time to practise some form of self-care, whatever that looks like to you. Say goodbye to procrastination and revamp the way you see motivation so that you can be that epic super hero you are!