You run from one meeting to the next, eat lunch while on a conference call, and send emails late at night.
I get it. You're busy. But is all that action actually helping you grow?
Get this, you don't have to feel busy to be productive. In fact, I have found that when I move at a slower pace, I actually get more done. All that wasted energy I felt when I ran around feeling like my head was chopped off is now channeled into tasks that are intentional and truly productive.
Here is how to stop being busy--and start being productive.
1. Build tunnel vision on what you need to execute.
What is the one thing you can do to move the needle forward? I will help you out here and say answering email or attending meetings are pretty much never that one thing. Yes, these are required, but what you really need to do is focus on executing your one top priority. Until then, everything else is secondary.
As you head into the new week, get very clear on the one thing you need to accomplish and put it at the top of your Monday schedule. If it doesn't happen by the close of Monday, move it to Tuesday, and so on. The point here is to be intentional about completing what needs to get done.
2. Establish a granular calendar.
Set up your calendar so every moment of your day is planned out--and include scheduled breaks. This isn't simply scheduling meetings. Get very specific on all aspects of your life. I have time blocks on my calendar to take a walk at 11:30 a.m. every day, a reminder on my phone to text my mom each week, and a monthly meeting to review my personal finances. It's the little things that distract you from staying on track overall, but once they are scheduled you don't have to think about them.
When you have a highly established calendar you are freed from the concern of "remembering to get your hair cut." The time block pops up on your calendar, you do it, and then move on.
Color code each aspect of life on your calendar. That way, when you look at it you will quickly see which areas of your life are dominating your time. From here, you can cut out what isn't directly driving your goals forward and create a more productive space for completing effective tasks.
3. Take moments to pause.
If you don't pause, you will miss the magic unfolding. Being an entrepreneur is a wild ride, and you need to take moments to acknowledge what is happening all around you. Not only will you be more appreciative of the journey, you will move more intentionally.
When you pause, you are better equipped to notice more and take deliberate action going forward. This will, in turn, help you move faster and get more done. Instead of unpredictably reacting to requests and ideas, move consciously and steadily to win the long race. Start off by pausing every morning and every night to be present in the moment. Slowly build this habit to a few times during the day. You will quickly notice when you are energized, inspired, and working on things that really matter.
Resist the trend of appearing busy, and start establishing a productive lifestyle.