You’re Busy but Are You Productive

youvegotmailA friend of mine has a magnet on her refrigerator that says “Got it all done, died anyway”. Every time I read it I wonder what’s the point in getting it all done? Perhaps the better question is what’s the “it” and what would happen if you didn’t get it all done?

Being busy getting it all done doesn’t mean you’re being productive. So often busy work has little to do with the things that need to be done. Being busy can be a seductive way to avoid what you don’t want to do. Of course, at some level you know that already and I’m saying nothing new but what are you doing about it?

It’s probably safe to say that e-mail is the biggest productivity drainer for most of us. Email is non-productive because it’s endless and time consuming. Actually, consider this: most e-mails are no more than a convenient way of organizing other people’s needs. In other words, most emails are usually about someone else wanting you to do something for them – buy, sign up, attend etc.

Looking at e-mail as a way to avoid doing things you don’t particularly want to do is self-defeating. But what really gets me is allowing yourself to be interrupted and stopping something productive you’re working on. Here you are focused (finally) on this one project, this surge of energy you’re experiencing and “ding” your friend, colleague, partner chimes in. You’re concentration, momentum and focus is broken.

It’s hard to stay on purpose when you allow for these interruptions. It’s no surprise that at the end of the day you might feel just a little bit more discouraged not having accomplished what you were hoping for.

How can you become more productive and ultimately enjoy more profit and freedom?.

Making a commitment to break a persistent habit (like this e-mail thing) requires more than saying I will only look at my e-mail twice a day or some other e-mail management idea you’ve gotten from someone who promises it will work for you too. It’s not sustainable, you’ll break that promise to yourself within a few weeks. You need to make a commitment within the larger context of WHY. Are you crystal clear about what you want in your life and your business because if you are and you start each day feeling the fire in your belly to move you towards your purpose and vision then you will have no room to be distracted by the “ding” of an e-mail.

The way to build a business that makes a healthy profit is to create the structure and the systems to generate the revenue. This includes an e-mail management system – not someone else’s system they claim works for them, but one that works for you.

However, if it’s not connected to your heart, your purpose and your vision you will find yourself depleted by the unending distractions and unable to sustain the momentum.

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