First up, I’m definitely not the best person to be writing this! And there’s no other way to sugar coat what I’m about to say - I’m lazy. I’m incapable of exuding endless amounts of energy. I literally saunter through work. Let’s assume that the Earth is caving into its core and basically the entire human race is going to be destroyed - even then I’d sit to finish my nearly melting ice cream and then I’d run to save my life! Thats just how I am!
Before you guys start having any negative thoughts about me or which way this article is going, let me just tell you that I’m no Alex Parrish from Quantico to lead a double life - where I’m incredibly suave and fast in one life and laid back in the other. I’m basically a (high position holding - well, sort of) couch potato telling you how not to be a couch potato.
I’ve known a lot of people who use the popular excuse “I’m busy.” Hell, even I say that to escape conversations I don’t want to be part of (or to sound fancy sometimes!) “Can we have coffee? Sorry, I’m busy” “Can we water the plants now? Not now, I’m busy.” “Do you even know what busy means? Nope. But I’m busy”
Everyone is busy (or at least seems so). Its easy to say that you’re busy. But have you ever tried saying you’ve been productive? No, right? That’s because its easy to say and be busy. Its way more tougher to be productive.
Busy people have their work jotted down. They check things off their to-do lists. They work and get things done.
Productive people do all that and more. They check the right things off their to-do lists. They get the right work done.
Now, there’s a difference between busy people and productive people. And the difference lies in the way the execute their work. Are you busy being busy or are you productive? To determine the difference - ask yourself these questions.
1. Do you do everything with a goal in mind?
Effort or hard work without a purpose is just plain effort. Productive people don’t just know what to do - they know why. They have long term goals and then they have short term goals which support their long term goals.
The key factor here is a motive. A purpose. Without purpose, its just aimless work. Productive people do everything with a purpose. And that is why they appear dedicated, they’re organised and they consistently work towards achieving their goal. They don’t fall prey to routine - they are driven only by what motivates them to do better and they are quick to put away roadblocks that might hinder their work.
First define what success means to you. Your definition of success might be different from everyone else’s, but that’s okay.
It’s easy to stay focused and be productive when you truly care about what you hope to achieve. And the people who win are the ones who do things differently 😉
2. Do you have a structure that supports your goals?
If you’re an entrepreneur, your goal would be to build a successful business. Your system should consist of your processes for sales, marketing, fulfillment, operations, etc.
A goal is great for way for planning and mapping out what success looks like; having a structure is great way for actually working towards that goal.
Productive people know that a goal can provide direction and even push them forward in the short term, but eventually a well-designed system always wins.
Everyone has goals; actually committing to a system makes all the difference in achieving those goals.
3. Do you believe in yourself?
Now I’m a Walt Disney fan. And the one thing that I’ve learnt and always taken back from Disney’s animated films is to believe in yourself. Diligence isn’t easy. Hard work is actually hard. Pushing forward when successes are few and far between takes optimism and self-belief.
That’s why busy people quickly give up and productive people keep going.
Productive people embrace the fact (and it is a fact) that the only way to get where they want to go is not to just try, but to keep on trying. They know eventually they will succeed. All you have to do is have a bit of faith, trust and pixie dust!
4. Are you in control of your life?
Many people believe in a factor called luck. If a business picks up; luck favoured them and if it fails; luck was against them.
I for one have always believed in this statement - “the nicest people have the rottenest luck” and like everyone else I also think luck and another factor called time play a significant role in determining just about anything - life, career etc.
Luck certainly does play a part, but productive people don’t hope for good luck or worry about bad luck. They assume that success is totally within their reach. If they succeed, its on them; if they fail, then thats on them too.
Worrying about luck basically derails your mental energy. How long are you going to sit and wait for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? Half of your life will be spent on wondering what if rather than what can be done.
Thats exactly what productive people don’t do. They don’t sit and wait for things to happen. They go and make it happen! They know they can never control luck - but they can always control themselves.
5. Do you embrace randomness?
When your nose is at the grindstone, all you can see is the grindstone. And that means you miss opportunities to spot something new, try something different, or go off on a fruitful tangent.
Busy people stay almost totally on - task. Productive people build in time so they can take advantage of opportunities to experience new things, try new methods, and benefit from happy accidents.
Don’t always try to reinvent the wheel. Be happy to adopt someone else’s perfectly functioning wheel.
6. Do you use your goals to make your decisions automatic?
Before you pick a dress, don’t you always ask your friend “Will this look good on me? If you think its ugly, I’m not buying it!”
Productive people apply the same framework to the decisions they make. “Will this help me reach my goal? If not, I won’t do it.”
If you feel like you’re constantly struggling to make decisions, take a step back. Think about your goals; your goals will help you make decisions.
That’s why productive people seem so decisive. Indecision is born of a lack of purpose: When you know what you truly want, most of your decisions can–and should–be almost automatic.
7. Can you multitask?
Research says multitasking is completely demented.
Some may agree. Some may not.
Try doing two things at once. You’ll do half-assed work on both these things.
You can try and be the jack of all trades. You’ll only wind up being the master of none.
Productive people focus on doing one thing at a time. They don’t put their foot through too many doors. They focus on that one thing, do it incredibly well and then move on to the next. And they do that incredibly well.
8. Do you ask for help?
Busy people will eventually ask for help when they can’t get something done. Productive people are quick to ask for help, but not just because they need it. Asking for help shows respect for the other person. It shows that you value his or her experience, skills and insight.
Mutual respect is the foundation of every solid relationship, and the best way to build mutual respect is to be the first to show respect.
Want to be more productive? Surround yourself with people who trust and motivate and inspire you - and in turn will be inspired by you.
Even if you don’t achieve every one of your goals, your life will be much richer.
9. And lastly, are you bonkers?
Hell yeah you are! 😆 And I’ll tell you a little secret, all the best people are 😉
You have to be crazy enough to think that you can change the world. And then you have to be even more crazier to actually go after your goals and get it done!
Productive people are brimming with brilliantly insane ideas. And they’re crazy enough to go after them - and by crazy I mean driven (before you all think I’m spewing some crazy ass ideas on you!)
Don’t wait for sheer dumb luck (as Professor McGonagall puts it) because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that actually do!
by the so called Marketing Maniac