I tried so many different ways to increase my productivity to no avail. I was determined to find the one system that could help me do more in a time where I had less. I tried and failed so many times that I felt like I was the “test dummy” for what didn’t work.
My motivation was there in the beginning of every new system I tried. However, when I saw no progress, I would just tell myself that the next system will be better. I kept finding myself in the same tailspin over and over.
I was getting more frustrated and losing patience. I couldn’t understand it. I was working hard but at the end of the day, I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. My to-do list was just as long and my Inbox still had over 100 emails.
One day when I was helping my youngest son with his homework, I found myself snapping at him extremely quickly because he wouldn’t understand the problem quickly enough. He looked at me first with shock, then said, “sorry mommy.”. He was sorry? He somehow felt like he disappointed me. That he let me down. I realized that something had to change. My attempt at becoming more productive was putting me out of balance with my life.
I read a lot of books and listened to a few podcasts on the subject. What I came to realize is that I needed to forget about the type of system itself and change my approach to the whole thing.
I needed to:
- Stop focusing on completing my to-do list and think instead about what I was putting on my to-do list.
- Take time to step back and see where I was investing my time and energy.
- Plan my day intentionally.
- Think about my values and determine which habits needed to change immediately.
Once I started focusing on what was truly important and which habits I needed to develop, there was a shift in my mindset. It wasn’t about the latest tips, tools or systems that I used. It was that shift in my mindset that made “ALL” the difference.
It was how I treated “time” in itself that counted. I began to realize that how I chose to spend my time was up to me. Increasing my productivity wasn’t about getting things done quickly, but about getting the “right” things done when they should be.
I no longer let urgency but importance drive my life. I now let my values drive my planning process, in order to ensure that I am achieving my highest priorities. I chose a planning system, not because it was the most popular but because it fit with my style.
The day came early in 2016 where my new mindset would be put to the test. The company I worked for went through a restructuring and several positions were cut. This restructuring resulted in adding 10 more stores to my 13 store district, an increase of 70%.
Although, it was an initial shock, I found myself adapting pretty quickly. With the new habits that I had developed, I was able to adjust quickly to my new alignment without losing productivity.
Three weeks after the change, I was speaking to a few of my colleagues about our new work schedule. We were sharing our best practices and vision for the upcoming year. What I can say was the biggest difference between what I felt and what they felt, was my lack of feeling overwhelmed.
I remember leaving the meeting that day feeling confident that I finally chose a system that worked for me.
This learning process is what motivated me to write the e-book that I am currently working on. Depending on when you are reading this, the book may already be out and you can find it in my Resources Tab. If not, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss out on its release. I am hoping that the process of sharing what I learned might benefit others as well.
Do you have a productivity tip to share? Is there a particular topic that you would like covered in my e-book?