Is Being Productive a Skill?
Sep 15, 2022
First, I'd like to answer a question: what makes a day productive? The question has actually been asked a couple of times. I will give you my own example of what a productive workday looks like for me. Here goes:
- Wake up at 5:30 am
- Morning routine
- Getting the kids off
- Work 9-3 broken into time blocks
- Reset Routine
- Kids activities/Dinner
Let’s get back to the original question - is productivity a skill?
The answer is yes, but I think it's actually a set of skills, and I'd like to share with you some tips on each. There is more information about them that I can give you. If you want to delve deeper into any given skill, you have that choice as well.
- Problem Solving: Going back to my ideal day, there's a lot of room for problems to pop up. As I was recording this video, the tech wasn't working on my phone. I was having trouble with the audio. One quick tip on how to become a better problem solver is to just identify the problem clearly. In my case today, I didn't have the proper equipment. The problem was identified and I ordered the parts I needed to record better audio in the future.
- Communication Skills: These come into play through our lives within our work and with our loved ones. The quick fix to uplevel your communication skills inside your business is to create SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). For repetitive tasks that you're handing off, eliminating the problem of communication will help. I'll give you an example of when this went wrong for me. My VA accidentally sent out an email about the productivity style quiz to my whole email list rather than the two or three people who took the quiz that day. I explained in a loom video how to avoid that because I knew that was a potential mistake. The fact that she didn't have an SOP with instructions to refer back to is likely the reason why that didn't happen.
- Prioritization Skills: I have talked about how to prioritize on repeat, and I do believe this is something that you need to personalize. Prioritizing is done in many different ways. You can read more about prioritizing here. I use Eisenhower's matrix, which you might have encountered before. You're putting things into different quadrants. You're also making sure you're not always only working on what's urgent, but also making time for what's important to keep your big dreams alive.
- Creating Systems: Systems I recommend everybody have regardless if you're a housewife or you're the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company, a calendaring system, a note-taking system, a project management system, and a task list. there are a million different varieties. That's why I've created the productivity style quiz. Pay attention to what you're doing and maybe your systems are already working for you. Could it be tweaked if it's not? Maybe there's a better system out there for you if you can't. That's a good reason to take the quiz.
- Decision-Making Skills: Often times when we're making decisions on how how to spend our time it's a problem of competing priorities. Let me give you an example. My son has Friday off this week. I can choose to spend the day with him or I can choose to work. The thing that I fall back on again and again and again and I'd love for you to consider is creating a roadmap for life. I teach about this in The Life After Busy Bootcamp. It’s a roadmap for what roles you play, what values are important to you, and what other buckets are important to you in your life. If you have competing priorities, and you have the clarity of the roadmap, it really makes that decision-making process that much easier.
- Managing Distractions: Last week, I posted on how to focus with lots of interruptions in detail. The one I will share today because it is the one that I use the most is managing distractions on my iPhone. I use the focus feature because it is highly customizable to the way you work. It can turn itself on automatically and really filter through disruptions.
- Stress Management: To me, this falls under the umbrella of mental health. You guys know, that mental health is a cause that rings near and dear to my heart. All of us experience stress. You need to manage it on a daily basis because if you get to the point as an entrepreneur that you are just so stressed out because of everything you have on your plate, the stress is going to play a toll on your productivity but more importantly on your health. Pay attention to the signals that your body is giving you when you are feeling like you're running in a million different directions. If you really are having a hard time focusing maybe it's time to hit pause and take a break.
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