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Drop Bad Habits & Improve Your Mindset [Double Your Productivity: Part 2]

Of course you want to be productive. It’s a basic human desire that you’ve been nursing over the years.

A life of mediocrity, peaking only on Wednesday afternoons does not appeal to you.

You are an entrepreneur.

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You want more.

You want to create, you want to learn, you want to grow.

The key is maintaining focus and steering clear of alluring distractions. You need metaphorical blinders.

Please don’t make us put literal blinders on you… Because you would look like this. And no one would talk to you.

Please don’t make us put literal blinders on you… Because you would look like this. And no one would talk to you.

Before we start, what do I need to know about productivity?”

This is probably the opposite of what you wanted to hear, but the pieces that comprise productivity are matched in gravity only by the very pieces that comprise its opposite.

Productivity flourishes when you know what to do.

But it’s also just as important to know what habits can hinder it.

Don’t worry, though. We’ll get into all the specifics here. For each point, we’ll tell you what measures to take, and which to avoid at all costs.

Social Media: The Venus flytrap of the internet age

It’s not your fault. Everything on the internet is so frickin’ clickable these days.

Tricksters are lined up around the block competing for your valuable online attention.

From targeted underwear ads to the useless political ramblings of your uncle that your family no longer speaks to, these social networks have a way of sucking in the minds of well-meaning scrollers and spitting them out hours later with nothing at all to show for it.

I know you logged onto Facebook to make a post from your business page and engage your customers, but wouldn’t you like to know all about the ten most extravagant celebrity vacations??

I know you logged onto Facebook to make a post from your business page and engage your customers, but wouldn’t you like to know all about the ten most extravagant celebrity vacations??

That, friends, is a total trap.

Please do not fall for that.

You don’t need any of that so-called “knowledge.”

You need to stay focused on the task at hand instead of stumbling backwards down the dark rabbit hole of the deep web.

“So what am I supposed do about it?”

You can start by housing each project that you’re working on in its own tab.

Out of sight, out of mind. The less distractions that are in your field of vision, the better.

This will keep that all-too-enticing Twitter icon on your home page from catching your eye, eventually curbing your curiosity about what your high school sweetheart is doing for the holidays this year.

In addition, did you know that you have the power to mute notifications from social apps?

Of course you did. Don’t plead ignorance. Exercise that power to keep your phone from playing a chime every time some stranger on Facebook invites you to play Candy Crush.

You could also try limiting your time on social media.

Does that sound extreme to you?

Then you might have a problem. Whenever you catch yourself scrolling mindlessly like a zombie, close out of the window immediately.

If none of that works, you can always take the cold turkey approach and delete all of those distracting apps from your phone and desktop so that you can elude the temptation with greater ease.

Multitasking: Productivity’s impostor

“Surely I’m being productive. I am constantly doing five things at once, and I never have a spare second to take a break, take a leak, or even take a breath in between tasks.”

Oh no! It looks like you’ve fallen for the illusion that entraps motivated and driven people across the globe.

Please know this, memorize this, and get it tattooed across your forehead if you have to:

Being busy is not necessarily being productive.

Being wholly occupied comes with an air of immediate satisfaction, but don’t get it confused with a sense of accomplishment. The latter reward comes from focus and the completion of top-notch work.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none”? You could either give a sliver of your attention to a handful of things simultaneously, or zero in on a single task and devote your very livelihood to it.

Making such an effort to juggle multiple projects at once can fatally dilute the quality of your output, which will devalue both your work and your brand itself.

Would you rather smack a couple bunts that result in a succession of quick outs or a bat-shattering over-the-fence home run?

So what am I supposed do about it?”

Concentrate.

If you really give 110% of your care, focus, heart, blood, sweat, tears, effort, and mental juice to one task, don’t you think you’d nail it?

It might help you to make a specific goal the central focus of your day. Accomplishing one thing at a time gives you a deep feeling of fulfillment and finality.

This will prevent your work day from feeling monotonous. You won’t be caught up in the same general thing every day, but instead, smaller, more incremental and totally surmountable tasks.

No more weeks blending together into one grueling blur! Hoo-rah.

Looking for a way to increase stamina, focus, morale, and all-around fuel for your productivity fire?

Miniature victories like this along the way will serve as checkpoints, like water stations for marathon runners. Drink up!

Taking Breaks: Ahhh… Sweet, sweet, addictive relief

We’ve already talked about how “busy-ness” can be a true hindrance in the workplace by a) fooling you into thinking you’re being hyper-productive and b) gradually wearing you down and eroding your will like waves against a cliff.

This slow grinding stokes the insatiable urge inside of you to take time away from your desk and do something else – anything else – to get your head straight again.

Whether it’s a quick episode of Stranger Things on Netflix or a spring break banger at Panama City Beach, your reasoning behind wanting the reprieve is normally uniform.

Know this, though: Too much of a good thing can be terrible.

Cake is great, but how would you feel if you ate an entire double-decker in 30 minutes flat?

There is an uncomfortable truth regarding time off that many people refuse to acknowledge: When you’re working for yourself (as many of you are), every minute you spend away from your business is costing you something.

It could be progress, or it could be paper money, but someone is paying for that vacation, literally or figuratively.

On top of that, keep in mind that returning to your desk after a nice, cleansing bender can be difficult. Your week off could very well bleed into and taint the productivity of your first few days back in the office.

Remember how hard it was to pay attention in school on the first day back from summer break? It takes quite a bit of adjustment to realign yourself to a schedule and tune your brain to the right frequency in order to regain that focus.

40 hours a week of whatever the heck this guy is doing looks a lot more appealing than sitting in a stuffy office.

40 hours a week of whatever the heck this guy is doing looks a lot more appealing than sitting in a stuffy office.

So what am I supposed do about it?”

If you really want to nip the issue in the bud, you should do your best to avoid being needlessly busy at all costs. This is the number one cause of that impulse to break from the schedule and give yourself another holiday.

Breaking up your workday into chunks can cure that monotonous drone that drives many hardworking geniuses to the brink of insanity.

However, this is not to say that taking breaks is objectively bad. It is important to put things down and clear your mind every once in a while, especially when you get stuck or hit a creative roadblock.

Taking breaks allows you to remove yourself for a moment, zoom out, reassess, and come back to the project feeling refreshed, inspired, and ready to kick some serious booty. Sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary to step away.

This concept, like many others, revolves around balance. Make every effort to space things out and learn to read signs of exhaustion before they worsen. This should keep that urge to steal out the window and haul tail to the coast at bay.

When you need a break, take it. Just don’t let it become a guilty pleasure that consumes your drive whole!

Prioritization: Separating the lucrative from the useless

A habit, albeit a hopeful one, that winds up holding many entrepreneurs back is saying “yes” to every single opportunity that knocks at your door.

Developing discernment and the ability to say “no” is more valuable than you know.

Poor prioritization can lead to multitasking, as discussed earlier, which results in a massive decline in productivity. Instead, you’ll want to handle the most important things first and work your way down the list from there.

So what am I supposed do about it?”

Some things will align with your goals, while others just plain miss the mark. Trust your entrepreneurial gut instinct.

When in doubt, trace it all back to your mission.

When still in doubt, go with what you know you can immediately receive an ROI on. (This isn’t necessarily applicable across the board, so that’s where your intuition will come in handy.)

When still in doubt after that, ask yourself the following questions:

…Do I enjoy this?
…Will this make money?
…Will this bring in new revenue?
…Will this help maintain current revenue?
…Is it essential?
…Is this the greatest contribution I can be making right now?
…Is there a better use of my time?
…Will our clients love this?

Your Competition: Stop staring at them, it’s creepy

Unfortunately, this isn’t solely an issue that entrepreneurs struggle with. Habitually, from the day you were born, you’ve been comparing yourself to others.

Although it can be very useful as far as learning and gauging where you are in the lineup, it is dangerously easy to get tangled up in the act and lose yourself in the process.

Everyone has their own cocktail of factors that works perfectly for them. You might have a friend that wakes up at 4 am every day and runs 15 miles. Sounds insane, right? But it’s his recipe for productivity, not yours.

Focusing on the competition won’t get you ahead. If your eyes are on your neighbor rather than on your own performance and the road ahead of you, the odds of you tripping and falling are 10x greater.

PLEASE watch where you’re going. There is a tree 3 feet in front of you, but you won’t see it unless you face forward.

PLEASE watch where you’re going. There is a tree 3 feet in front of you, but you won’t see it unless you face forward.

What your competitor is doing might work for them, but the trap is assuming that it would work for your brand as well. We can’t stress enough how unique each venture is. There are countless variable that effect things like this.

So what am I supposed do about it?”

Be that uncatchable, enviable competition!

Don’t give anyone else that power, because YOU deserve it.

Listening to other people is one of the most useful ways to grow, and rooting around the web for resources can be an incredible help when you’re looking to learn.

However, adopting their exact structure or method might not jive with you, which could discourage you.

Take the time to experiment and tailor something that is expressly effective for your personality type, your level of energy, and your work style.

Preferences and comfort are huge when you’re looking to increase productivity, so jump through the trial and error hoops until you find the perfect mixture that complements the nature of your work and your goals.

Finally, measure your success against your own performance in terms of progress.

As soon as you use another entity for your benchmark, you lose sight of yourself and get caught up in the rat race. Improve upon your own work, not theirs!

Failure: The building block of success

Let’s get one thing out of the way right out the dang gate: Sometimes, things suck.

You lost the deal, you dropped the ball, you burnt your toast. We’re not saying that bad things don’t happen.

What we are saying is that perspective has everything to do with the nature of your reality.

See if you can apply a positive attitude to the trial you’re going through. What lesson can you learn from this?

Wow. Did we really just hit you with a cheesy motivational photo? Yep. That just happened.

Wow. Did we really just hit you with a cheesy motivational photo? Yep. That just happened.

Even the worst, most miserable and embarrassing failure imaginable can be transformed into a life-changing lesson or opportunity that arms you for success in the future. Smells like alchemy, sounds like wizardry, but it’s all real – and very, very effective.

Don’t get sidetracked and waste buckets of time kicking your own butt for messing up. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Nobody said it won’t sting a bit, though.

So what am I supposed do about it?”

Be the boss that you are and follow these simple steps when faced with a failure:

1) Accept the circumstances that you are in
2) Let go and forgive the culprit behind your misfortune (yourself if necessary)
3) Start digging for opportunities in the rubble
4) Give thanks for the lessons that you’ve learned and apply them in the future

Resilience is the cornerstone of a good entrepreneur.

Someone fails every five seconds doing exactly what you’re trying to do, so don’t sweat that part. It’s all about being able to bounce back with more vigor and know-how than ever!

The sooner you start failing, the sooner you start learning. Talk to any successful entrepreneur and you’ll find out just how essential failure is to the journey.

Navigate your way to productivity by avoiding pitfalls.

Now that you can identify these tricky traps, it will be much easier to stay on the straight and narrow.

Keep those blinders on!

Read the next part of this series:

Tricks And Hacks To Keep Your Goals On Track [Double Your Productivity: Part 3]

Block out distractions, maintain focus, and keep that gaze trained on the prize.

Apply these tips and the rest of the GSD* e-book tips and watch your productivity double before your very eyes.


Get The Entire Double Your Productivity - Get Sh*t E-Book NOW!

 

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