Being busy is not the same as being productive. Anyone can be busy but not everyone is producing. When you know this difference and set a game plan to produce what matters in your life, it gives you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment vs always feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Let’s jump into some strategies you can use to get closer to your goals.
Today is all about producing. I’m going to share productivity secrets and the difference between being busy and being productive.
The biggest difference is that root word, produce. A lot of times, I’ll hear people talk about how busy they are and they think that might be unique, but it’s not. Most of us know that it’s not very unique to be a busy person these days, but what is unique is being a productive person – to produce things that actually matter and move the needle in your life.
Today, when I talk about productivity secrets, I want to put this picture in your mind of what it means to be productive. What is that goal for being productive? Honestly, there’s so many of us that have projects or goals in mind that we really want to complete. It’s that sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that really drives us forward every day. It’s the reason we get up out of bed and we get excited for the day. If we know we’re moving forward, we’re progressing in some way, it feels good.
When talking to my high-performance students in my membership club, the one thing that’s missing is that feeling of fulfillment, as if they can rest their head at the end of the day and they can feel at peace. They can feel relaxed. They can shut their mind down for a little bit.
If you can’t finish your day and just say, “That was a good day,” I’m really glad you’re reading this blog, because you need to hear this more than anybody.
There is no worse feeling than a constant drain of feeling really busy, worked, overwhelmed, stressed, and frantic, but then to get through the day and you rest your head and you’re like, “I didn’t get enough done. I didn’t do enough today. I didn’t get it all done. I don’t feel good enough. I don’t feel fulfilled in any way.”
There’s this void, but yet you did stuff all day. Right? It’s a really crappy feeling. Today, I’m kind of just going into this idea of productivity with a sense of let’s really step back for a minute and think about how productive you have been in the past let’s say 60 days, the past two months. This is stuff I really go deep in in my high-performance coaching program. If you need help in this area of your life, I highly encourage you to look at that coaching program and talk to me about it because this could really serve you.
Today, we’re just going to touch on it because I want to give you a few key secrets, one being that if you are weighing out your productivity and that feeling of doing enough based on the numbers of things you check off your to-do list, that is your first mistake.
Secret number one: Do not measure your productivity based on the number of things you did because all things are not created equal.
Can we agree to that? Some things on your to-do list are just things you got to do. Other things on your to-do list make a big difference in your life towards the projects and the goals that you’re trying to achieve. A lot of times, I hear this from women, “I can never do enough. I never feel like I got enough done,” because they’re constantly measuring how much stuff they got done versus measuring the quality of what they did do and what that means for their life, what that means for their family, what that means for their work, their career, their productivity.
Let me give you an example. Say you’ve got a couple big projects on your to-do list, and I have a whole productivity sheet and things that I teach that are awesome to get you in alignment with those projects. Let’s say you’ve mapped out two projects that you really want to accomplish. I’m going to give you a tip here. Don’t just have a project on your to-do list. Have action steps underneath that project that they must get done to move that project forward. A lot of times, people don’t break down their projects in action steps. To get a project done or to reach a goal, there’s always a few steps we’ve got to take. There’s always a few things we’ve really got to complete in order to move closer and closer to the finish line.
Number one, make sure you’re clear on what really matters to you because there’s never going to be a time in your life when you have all this extra time. There’s never going to be more time in your day. There isn’t, so let’s get to that reality, but there is ways to prioritize, to delegate, to organize, and to really set aside time for the things that matter most.
A lot of people have big goals. They’ve got dreams. They’ve got projects on the horizon and they just kind of sit there because, one, you haven’t dissected it yet. You haven’t necessarily looked at that project or that goal and said, “What are those benchmarks I’ve got to hit? What are those tangible action steps I’ve got to do in order to get closer and closer and closer to my goal or to completing that project?”
I know that as I am really excited about putting together a business coaching system with my husband Vito, we’ve looked at it. We’re like, “Oh my gosh. This is awesome. We’ve got to create this. This is going to be phenomenal.”
We don’t just look at that big goal and say, “Okay. When are we going to work on it?”
We do, but if we don’t really know what we need to work on first, second, third, fourth, fifth, A through Z, then it’s always going to feel overwhelming and it’s always going to be put on the back burner.
You know those types of projects. “I really got to clean my closet,” or, “I really got to get my car …”
You know, some people get their cars cleaned from the inside out. My husband is like super particular. If his car is dirty, he’s like a total disaster. He’s always got to have that done. Or if it’s a big project or you’re trying to lose weight, it just depends on you and what you’re looking to do.
For me, I want to get this business coaching thing done. We’ve got these lists of action steps laid out. That is one of the first things you’ve got to do. Even before that, like I mentioned, what is really on your agenda that matters, that’s going to add fulfillment to your life, add value, maybe increase your income or your health or your relationships or your status or whatever it is?
You’ve got to know what those are so that you can start looking at those goals and projects and putting them in your day because producing something in your life is different than just doing stuff in your life. We can all go through our day.
I talked to a teacher the other day who’s on summer break. I said, “What are you going to do this summer? You’ve got all this free time.” She said, “Oh, you know. I’m going to kick back and relax a little bit.” I said, “Great.” I said, “What would you love to produce over the summer to feel really awesome going into the new year?” She thought about it for a little bit and she said, “I would really like to get a lot of uninterrupted time to work on me.” I said, “Whoa. That’s incredible. That’s awesome.”
She also has some books that she wants to read. She’s got some things that she wants to work on in her relationship. I thought, “Wow.” I said, “So, how many hours do you have each day for you?” She kind of thought about it. She had four hours or so maybe, maybe sometimes less. I’m like, “Wow. Let’s do the math here. Over the summer, you’re going to have about 200 free hours, give or take, maybe 50.
What an awesome opportunity to set a goal or a project and really put that focus and intention on doing it because you’ve got an extra 100 to 200 hours of opportunity to do something amazing, to create something amazing, to tackle something.”
I think that’s so awesome, but most of us just go through our day and we don’t really think about it. We don’t really think about what we want to create, what we’re looking to produce.
We’re just going. We’re just running. We’re just in the race. We’re just getting it done, checking things off the list, going to the grocery store, getting the hair clipped, going to the games, setting up a vacation, blah, blah, blah, but at the end of the day, what’s really going to make you feel good and fulfilled and accomplished?
You know, that might not be important to everyone. I fully understand that. I accept that. I appreciate it.
I know that for so many of you that listen to my podcast, you’re ambitious women. You do want to create great things in your life. You are looking to elevate yourself. That means accomplishing stuff. That’s fulfilling those goals and those projects that you’ve got sitting on the back burner, but you haven’t yet done them. What are those? What are those goals? What are those projects? Have you broken them down?
Then, we’ve just got to look at, “Well, okay. Where am I putting that into my schedule?” That’s always the question. People are always like, “Now I got to find the time.” Well, here’s the thing. We’ve all got free time. If we really dig and we really look at our whole day and we look at all the opportunity that we have to spend time doing other things other than our work, our job responsibilities and things like that, our hygiene and eating and all that stuff, outside of that, what are you doing?
Then, you got to prioritize. If you’re not clear on what action steps you need to take, it’s really hard to take action and to actually get closer to those goals and completing those projects because you don’t really know what you’re doing. You don’t really know what you’re working for or towards.
Got to start chipping away, but then you got to create this space. It’s reprioritizing. It’s saying, “You know what? Instead of every night watching that show that we love so much, on Wednesday nights, I’m going to take two hours and work on this project.” Wednesday nights, you’re sacrificing one thing to produce another.
Maybe that’s all you want to do. Some people want to get it there faster. They want to get it done faster and reach that goal faster. They’re willing to sacrifice a little more time. They’re willing to prioritize those action steps towards that project or goal more than the other stuff. That’s always up to you.
That’s always going to be your responsibility. Nobody can set your schedule but you. That’s the reality you got to face. If you’ve got dreams, if you’ve got goals and projects that just aren’t getting done, you’ve got to look at, “Have I set aside some time to prioritize what goals matter, what action steps I need to take, and where I’m going to put that in my schedule?” It doesn’t have to be every day.
Some people think, “Jeez. I can’t fit it into every day.”
What are you doing on the weekends? Everybody’s got a little more time on the weekends, right? I remember my boss back in 2006, he said to me, “Anna, the only way to get ahead is to work on the weekends.” I was like, “Screw you, dude. Weekends are mine. I am not working on the weekends. Forget about it. I’d rather not get ahead,” – until I got sick of not being ahead.
I got to the point where I was just so sick of not accomplishing and earning and creating what I wanted for my career that I decided I got to sacrifice some of that free time because I want that other thing more.
I wanted to develop my online business.
I wanted to build that website.
I wanted to put that DVD program together.
I wanted to get my own TV show.
I had to go start filming freaking videos in the park on weekends when my friends were drinking beers. You have to decide what’s going to allow you to, at the end of the day, rest your head and say, “That was good. I did something really valuable today that moved the needle in my life towards what I really want to produce.”
It brings me back to full circle all the way back to the beginning to really having that feeling of resting your head at the end of the day and feeling like you produced something that mattered.
If you, for instance, you are working on something around the house and it’s a big project. You worked for an hour or two hours on that project – say you’re getting things decluttered and you’re repainting, so you’re busy and you did that fo two hours.
At the end of the day, I hope you can rest your head and be like, “Today was a good day. I spent two hours on that project and got closer to being done.”
It’s the quality of what you’re producing, not just the quantity of things that you got done. Every day that you come home and you rest your head at the end of the night, I hope that you’ve at least thought about one thing that moved the needle in your life, that moved the needle in your business or your relationship or your health or your finances or your personal growth, or whatever it is that you value.
You can feel good resting your head and saying, “I did a good job today. I produced some really quality stuff.”
In my life, it’s like if I shoot a podcast, if I write my blog, if I do amazing coaching call, if I created some content for my book, those are huge productive activities for me.
If that’s all I did all day, I’m like, “Today was a good day,” and I accept that. It’s a frame of mind. Not everybody gets there quickly, but that’s a high-performance mindset and it’s a high-performance way of thinking about what you produce because that podcast, that’s a week of content that I’m going to continue to share all over my social platforms. I mean, that’s a big deal. That’s a big productive thing that I do.
If I’m putting two hours of time into a presentation that I’m creating, it’s a lot. That’s going to not only be a part of a presentation I do that time, but then maybe in a future time. It’s got an extended benefit. Maybe I can turn it into a webinar that then teaches something else. It has a high value for my time. If that’s all I did all day, boom, that is good.
You know, I tell a lot of people that really have busy, busy lives and they never feel like they can do enough in the day, I tell them that is because they haven’t put anything on their agenda that really matters and they’re not working on that ever.
If that’s not enough, they haven’t yet changed their frame of mind to value certain things over others.
If I go to the grocery store and I run a bunch of errands in the day, I don’t feel fulfilled. I don’t feel accomplished. I’m like, “That’s just stuff I got to do.” That isn’t producing something of value that really matters to me in my life. Yes, everyone needs to get fed. Yes, the car needs to be washed. I do have to get gas. I do have to get a haircut once in a while. All that stuff matters but I don’t weigh them out the same and neither should you.
You should know that if you’re spending all your time on those to-dos and those things that are just about living, getting by, living your life, if you value that as much as producing something or creating a project or reading a valuable book that’s going to improve your life or taking a course or, you know, going to a seminar, if you value those things equally, I would question that.
I would question how you can weigh those and balance them equally because if you really think about what you want to do in the world, what you’re looking to create for your life, I guarantee you one matters more than the other.
It’s time to start dissecting those things. It’s time to stop finishing your day feeling like you didn’t do enough and really start thinking about, “What would make me feel fulfilled at the end of the day? What am I trying to achieve? What am I looking to accomplish? Have I set that goal? Have I put that project on my to-do list? Have I broken down the action steps? Have I found time in my calendar to make it a priority to actually produce a result that gets me closer to those goals?”
If yes, you are going to be winning and you will finish the day and you will rest your head and you will be able to say, “Good job, girl. You crushed it.”
I hope you take these different productivity secrets and you start implementing them in your life ASAP.
If you want to go deeper on the strategies and even the mindset that I teach in my high-performance course, I highly encourage you to, number one, first just take my little quick five-day mastery course because it’s going to teach you not only about productivity but also having more clarity and more courage and more influence in your life. That’s going to give you a taste of what I’m teaching in high-performance because it’s my passion to help women not just be healthy and vibrant, but to live healthy, vibrant, high-performance lives so you can serve better, lead better, and help us create a high-performance world.