Making time count is about holistic productivity: the way I show up at work, with my colleagues, my friends and my loved ones. The way I show up in my community. And the way I show up with myself as is my book Get Productive!
Many people I meet can be blinded by their goals that take the form of achievements, tangibles and clear outputs. People that set these sorts of goals miss out on goals that are truly nourishing. A few examples of such goals might include:
- to complete a project,
- write a policy,
- win a client,
- get a job
- to win
- to look good at all cost.
These goals are all concerned with the ‘what’ but not the how which, in my view and experience, is far more enlivening, satisfying and long-term sustaining.
I too used to set goals like these. I was trying to get things done only to find myself stressed, busy and ultimately drained. I would feel like I was barely coping and at times drowning and even in the moments of triumphs my mind was always on the next thing on my to-do list. Focusing on such goals often made me feel like I was always sailing against the wind instead of catching it in my sails to propel me forward. It took work! It took energy and far more than I felt it should.
And so I began to reflect on this way of being productive. A question began to nag at me from the back of my mind inspired by books on spirituality, mindfulness and happiness research as well as supporting transformational leadership which is something I spend a great deal of my time doing with others and within myself.
I began to interrogate my goals with questions. What will I feel like when I achieve these goals? Will life feel rich or poor, fulfilling or empty? The answers were not satisfying.
So I adopted a new meaning for productivity which allowed me to write my first book. A book that helps people get things done but which seriously considers results in reference to the what and the how. A book and a practical process that goes deeper and helps those that read it come up with lasting solutions.
What does this mean? A goal of completing a project now becomes: To complete a project and end with a sense of real collaboration with my colleagues. To get things done now becomes: To be productive at one key task that moves me forward while being loving to all those in my life. To kick ass becomes: To play full out with courage and passion so that I fully engage with others and inspire them to fully engage with the world around them.
Goals that are set in context of others are far more powerful. Strangely, what I found and continue to find is that setting such goals, breathes strong wind into my sails. People seem to be able to help my cause and goals are easier to achieve. Sure, there is still much work to be done on many fronts but the journey towards the goals is an enjoyable one. It leaves me smiling and celebrating each step along the way instead of tired and empty on arrival. So here are a handful of tips to help you boost your overall productivity, get things done and be happy.
- Tell all the people that matter to you that you love them or how much they matter. They do need to hear it! It’s sappy and you might think you’re no longer a kid but the best adults are still kids at heart. Most people desire assurance and those that don’t are either loners or too emotionally empty to notice that connections matter. Remind them they matter to you! The best bit is, with today’s technology this takes a few minutes or seconds. Quality time is not linked with duration. It’s the short phone call telling someone you love them or a text that says I really appreciate you. You know what I mean. Our best friends do this already. Don’t cheat the most important people in your life from this way of connecting. You are cheating yourself from deep connection with them.
- Identify one or two tasks that will really move you forward in your career, project, business and focus just on that. Make the outcome clear in your mind and then take necessary actions to make that happen. If needed, break it down into smaller tasks and pace yourself through it. For me, today, that involved going over to my local Waterstones bookshop to inquire whether they would stock my new book Get productive! I offered to do a short, practical seminar for people in my area, as I love and feel proud of being part of this community.
- Help others do their job and allow them to help you. Many people find asking for help hard. They worry they will be judged as not capable or that they will burden others with their needs. And yet, asking for help is the best way to develop capability by learning from people that might be better than you in a specific area. Allow helpful people to be generous with you. Return in kind to them and/or others. We derive the greatest pleasure from loving and demonstrating our emotions and there’s nothing as lovely as working together with other people to advance our goals and aspirations. For me this means learning and connecting with people that inspire me and who help my thinking move forward and achieve my goals and whom I can assist in theirs.
- Make time for you! Yes, small, short acts of kindness and self love are key to balance the producer of all these wonderful results. Strangely enough if you do steps 1, 2 and 3 you will be experiencing more love and support that you previously though was possible and taking concrete action towards your goals. This is guaranteed to make you feel good about yourself which, in turn, will help you be kind to yourself.
You can pre-order Get Productive! on Amazon now. The book is full of simple yet effective exercises to help you balance, improve relationships, find your calling and make a difference with powerful results. It’s not a deep book. On the contrary! It is a very simple book as simplicity carries lots of power. Follow the four steps above and see the powerful changes that begin to show up in your life. And for excerpts and exercises from the book check out the Free Stuff section.