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A Simple Productivity Hack

A Simple Productivity Hack

How to Stay Focused on What Matters to Get the Results You Want

Identifying as productive may be the thing thwarting your ability to the things that matter done.

Why?

Well let me ask you this:

What does the word productive make you think about?

Think about it for a minute. I’ll wait.

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*

*

*

If what came to mind was anything having to do with “more,” you’re not alone.

Getting more done. Taking more things on. Checking more things off your list.

Despite our cultural brainwashing to the contrary, doing more things does not inherently guarantee better results.

A Simple Productivity Hack

In fact, if you’re focused on doing more things in order to live up to your identity or aspirational identity as productive, you may very well be hindering your results.

Pretend that a toddler (yours or someone else’s) has dug up one of your garden beds and deposited a mound of soil in the middle of your patio.

You’d prefer that mound not be sitting in the middle of your smoky-blue slate pavers, so you decide to use your garden house with a multi-spray setting head to move it.

First you try the fine-mist setting on the spray nozzle– you’ll have water coming out of more holes but in a less-focused way. You realize quickly that diffusing your water power that way doesn’t move the dirt. Now you just have a wet mound.

Then you realize that focusing that same amount of water through just the very center of the spray nozzle using the power-spray setting will get the job done a lot more effectively.

2 minutes of blasting and the dirt mound is gone.

Fine mist vs. power spray.

Where in your life or business are you on the fine-mist setting, watering your soggy mound?

(Maybe it’s trying too many strategies to get your business off the ground all at the same time so that you’re not able to devote the time, energy, or attention to one or two and get the traction you really want.)

Where in your life or business could you switch to power spray?

The problem with identifying as productive (or aspiring to productivity) is that it has a tendency to distract us into thinking that the more we do, the more productive we are.

But the truth of the matter is that the more we do of what matters, not only are we happier, we also have a tendency to get the results we’re after with less friction.

And if you want to call that productive, fine by me.

Next time you sit down to plan your week, your day, your month, or your year, pretend you’re the spray nozzle on a hose and choose your setting wisely.

Now, tell me: How are you going to switch from fine mist to power spray in your life and/or business? Give me the specifics in the comments so I can cheer you on!

  • Meryn Sibel says:

    Kate! This post really relaxed my brows today… While I’ve let go of “trying to be productive” I’ve truly been plagued by the desire to “want to do all the things” when it comes to starting my business.

    There are a lot of things that I want to tackle all at once because I’m super passionate! But since there’s only *one* of me (and not a bunch of sad, misty versions of me), I’d rather put my effort full force in *one* direction at a time in order to *actually* complete something.

    There’s nothing like feeling super passionate about something only to find out that I’ve half-assed *everything* and now there’s a bunch of shit stuck to the floor. (I mean, who wants MORE to do after all that half-assery? Nobody, because they want it DONE.)

    What’s most satisfying to me is “DOING the thing with focus & attention until it’s complete, then moving on.”

    Personally, I’m going to complete ONE blog post today. Instead of trying to make polymer clay busts, organizing my craft dresser, working on B·School Fun Sheets, sending memes to my neighbors, and fussing about not getting my dog to the park *before* our designated play-time…

    I mean, what’s the point of all that unnecessary stress? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Thanks for the reminder to just power spray the ONE thing, and calling it productivity at its finest.

    Cheers,
    Meryn

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