Right now, I have 18 tabs open on my browser, an inbox full of emails I need to reply to, and a garbage that needs to be emptied.
I’ve learned a thing or two about productivity, yet I have so much more to learn.
Trying to be productive all the time — just like trying to be mindful all the time — is a daily juggle. Some days I’m a world-class juggler and others…not so much.
But, I’m getting better every day and have a few tips I’d like to share with you.
1. Build a Team to Help
Okay, so if this one seems like common sense to you, then you’re one step ahead of other solopreneurs out there or those, like me, who work a full-time job and run a passion-based profitable side hustle.
It took me far too long to finally give responsibility to other people. Now, I have three (and growing) assistants that are helping me produce my work. They are my saving grace and I’m excited to grow this new chapter in my life.
I now understand a bit more about what Tim Ferriss wrote about in the Four Hour Workweek. Delegating tasks that you have learned and can now teach to others to do is one of the simplest ways to spread your message.
By spending more time on the things that only you can do, you can deepen your purpose and have more impact.
There are some things, however, that I’m still not comfortable delegating. Like my email inbox.
I like to reply back to people who respond to the newsletter. I like writing this newsletter. It’s fun and at the core of my human-centered approach to entrepreneurship.
And I figure since Seth Godin has personally responded to every email I’ve ever emailed him, I could do it too.
2. Your Relationship with Time
I was recently interviewed on Adam Spencer’s Australian podcast, Morning Roar. We talked a lot about time and how it’s the most valuable asset we have: to spend time with family, appreciate Mother Nature, or work on a passion project.
There are some people who literally write out their entire day and assign time limits to each task. On one hand, I love that. It’s efficient and I’m a man who craves efficiency and cringes at inefficiency (which is why I often criticize the public school system design).
The thing is, however, that writing out a time limit to every task produces anxiety for me. It’s too structured.
I do write out my tasks for the day and use software to help manage my calendar, but when it comes to completing work at a certain time I like to mentally check in first.
If I’m feeling focused and in-tune then on with the show. If not, I’ll break for a quick meditation or handstand practice. Or I’ll sip a cup of coffee and stare at leaves on a tree if I’m really burned out! Then, when my mind is clearer, I’ll return to work.
I try to be mindful with time and having an appreciation for it.
3. The Mantra
A mantra is something I talk about often. It’s a quick saying (like an affirmation) that brings the mind back to a productive forward-moving engine instead of getting caught in the sludge of negative thinking.
A productive mind is a positive mind.
My current mantra is “I’m getting better every day.” Sure, there are plenty of things I’m terrible at. I can write that list all day if I choose to. But by telling myself that I’m getting better every day, I can address my suckiness (is that a word?) and move on.
I look at progress like I do training for a marathon. Before I ran my first 26.2 mile marathon, running just one mile was nearly impossible. Then, after steady progress and training, I ran the Philadelphia Marathon and then even went on to run four more miles just because. Hey, I wanted to see the Rocky Balboa statue and snag a selfie!
I’m feeling really productive this week. What about you? I’d love to learn from you and how you become more productive.