Controlling Your Productivity is as Easy As 1-2-3!
Take a breath.
Taking control of your productivity is as easy as 1-2-3!
Have you ever experienced the need to make things happen yet a feeling of confused frustration keeps getting in the way of productivity, leading to your increased pissed-tivity? This can come in the form of things feeling chaotic, overwhelmed, tired, being stuck or not knowing how to move forward?
I’m really not a fan of this out of control feeling! Seems to me this always happens at the most inconvenient times, genuinely messing with my productivity and my positive mindset.
When starting to spiral down this road of uncontrolled productivity, I’ve found the secret to making it Stop! Breathe…. It is as easy as 1-2-3.
Based on Franklin Covey’s ‘Productivity Tri-Quation’ the 3 principles to taking control of your productivity are 1-event control, 2-focused productivity and 3-self belief!
Shhhh…. The secret to increasing productivity starts with event control. Part of the reason we experience chaotic and unproductive feelings is not being intentional in event control and letting the events of our life control us. Moving from a place of chaotic task management and trying to finish 10 things at once to taking control of productivity requires being committed to figuring out how to make things happen while being flexible and willing to adjust as needed.
The starting point to taking control of your productivity is managing priorities and deliverables to clearly define what must be done now while making sure to have control of the assets/resources needed so you are set up for success. Event control means taking time to intentionally prepare how you are going to be productive and not just jumping in and getting started.
Time for a reality self-check: Often times we bring chaos to ourselves by trying to do too many things at once and not taking control of what is needed to make a specific action happen. Tasks aren’t going to finish on their own and projects are not just going to magically jump to completion.
Productivity requires intentional planning, focus and a commitment to figuring out what is one thing that needs to be done now to make everything else easier.
Stop! Take a breath and be intentional in your event control.
Once you do this it’s time for principle 2!
Have you ever found yourself checking emails, conversing with someone on Slack, listening to a podcast all while trying to finish a project deliverable. How did that work out? Are you doing your best work?
Having once been a firm believer in multitasking, I found myself exhilarated, yet always in overdrive mode, not really enjoying what I was doing. Due to a symphony of 24 hour a day notifications and thinking I needed to respond to everything now, I never felt I was doing enough!
Wow, this productivity approach was wrong! I was stuck in the chaotic mode of: “keep doing and moving.” I did not take time to appreciate the reality that all the messages and pings will never be done and it’s not possible to keep trying to do everything at once. It’s exhausting, defeating, and not effective.
The second part of the secret is focused productivity, which requires intentional planning, focus, and a commitment to spending uninterrupted time getting stuff done.
Focused productivity requires setting realistic expectations from start to the finish. Taking the time to identify how long a task will take and committing to uninterrupted focused time to get it done. This approach makes projects easier so you’re working smarter not harder. Truly giving yourself a chance to focus on a task allows you to complete your best work with reduced stress.
Isn’t that better then the chaotic rush of barely getting stuff done in a half-ass way knowing deep inside you could have done better?
Being fiercely dedicated to tracking progress and follow up is also a key element of focused productivity. When inching closer to a deadline, reviewing deliverables, timelines, and priorities daily is non-negotiable. If task progression and deliverables are not on track, it’s time to revisit your project plan. It is better to be honest and readjust expectations than to sacrifice the quality of your work.
In project based work, you are always interviewing for your next project and only get one chance to impress. Clients understand the need to readjust expectations, they do not understand crap work.
Now that you have event control and are taking time for focused productivity, you’ll notice the chaotic feeling is lessening your productivity will increase. At this point I feel myself smiling, can you feel it?
Stop. Take a breath! It is time for principle 3.
Increasing your productivity also increases your self-belief.
The reality is in every situation our minds have two options of how we look at it.
We can be positive or negative and we get to decide our mindset.
I don’t know about you, but I find when life is chaotic, it can be easy for my mind to start to wander to the negative and my mental playlist of “self-doubt” and “I’m not worthy’” greatest hits is on auto play. When you hear those tunes start to play in your thoughts, stop! Take a breath! There’s no need for negativity, it is time to believe in yourself!
It may not feel natural, but self-belief is an important part of productivity. Do NOT believe the voices of self-doubt as they are rude and stop you from doing your best work. Choosing self-belief and a positive mindset increases productivity by directing thoughts towards the best way to get things done with positive possibilities and solutions.
Time for another reality self-check: It feels good to get stuff done with less stress while feeling good about ourselves.
If you can’t see yourself completing the task and do not have a clear path to move forward you will not succeed. Keep going back until you figure out how to have a clear path you believe in resulting in increased productivity. If you believe, it you will achieve it. It’s is not just great for t-shirts, but this is actually true! We get more done when we believe in it and like doing it.
While it is important to be intentional with event control and focused productivity, self-belief and choosing a positive mindset are equally important.
Let’s frame it another way: When you’re in control of what you’re doing and getting stuff done, you feel better about yourself. Your mindset directly impacts the quality of your work.
The true secret to taking control of your productivity is knowing the power of paying attention to each of these principles so you are redirecting any negative spiral of chaos and frustration towards positive increased productivity.
The secret is knowing these principles are connected and being intentional to use this momentum to launch a positive spiral, increasing your productivity and success.
The next time you feel you productivity decreasing and your frustration spiraling to the negative,
Take a breath.
Remember the principles and that it’s as easy as 1 2 3!
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