One goal I strive for is to be productive as possible. Since I still go to high school and usually get home after 5 pm, I must utilize any extra time that I have in the most efficient way possible. This has naturally led me to make certain decisions about what I pursue with my extra time and what I choose to ignore.
Some of the decisions I made were difficult. A long time ago, giving up my Yugioh Blog was a difficult decision. I had been updating it consistently for over two years. I gave up on that blog so I could devote more time to this one back when on a good day, this blog would have gotten 10 visitors.
The Yugioh Blog I gave up was getting anywhere from 200-500 visitors per day. At the time, it was a difficult decision, but in the long-term, my productivity skyrocketed.
Since that decision, I have probably written over 1 million words for this blog, and I have dozens of my own products. Each year, my productivity has increased.
Recently, my productivity got challenged again. I have been losing more time that I would have used in the evening to work on my business. I have even less time than I had before.
The funny thing is that I felt more productive at this time than during any other preceding time. Why with less time would I feel so much more productive?
The answer is that you take a deeper look at where your time is getting spent. You take a deeper look at when you can actually do your work. You ask yourself what work matters the most to you.
An earlier challenge to my productivity resulted in me hiring people to schedule my tweets and grow my social media audiences by following my instructions. Those two activities used to take a large percentage of my time.
I outsourced both of them in one giant swoop.
During the most recent challenge to my productivity, I looked for other parts of my business that could be outsourced. Before this new challenge arose, I would have never thought of outsourcing these parts of my business.
Now not only does outsourcing make sense, but it results in me being more productive than ever before.
What I have learned about productivity is that once you have a strong enough foundation, you must find obstacles that get in the way of your productivity.
I will say that again because it’s most likely contradictory to all other advice you have received to date. To increase your productivity, you must find obstacles that get in the way of your productivity.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you may have heard me talk about a few things about my journey.
Maybe you’ve heard me talk about my junior year of high school. I had a lot of work that year, and even though I had less time for my business, I was surprisingly more productive from the business standpoint during my junior year than I was in my sophomore year.
Maybe you’ve heard me say that when I started running cross country in high school and getting home much later in the day than I was accustomed that I thought my business would sink. At the end of my cross country season, my business looked more like “We have lift off” than “Abandon ship.”
If you do not challenge your productivity, then you have no reason to become more productive. You will forever be satisfied with your level of productivity even when you know it’s not your best.
If you believe you are being productive to the best of your abilities, you’re not. No matter how productive I become, I will never believe that I am being productive to the best of my abilities.
The logic behind this quote parallels with a belief held by Navy Seals that if you feel like you are done for the count, then in reality you are only 40% done.
We’re talking about people who go through more physical activity than most of us can barely begin to imagine. And when they feel like they’ve had enough, they know that they are only 40% done.
That’s how I look at my productivity. Every time I feel like I am about to break, I realize that I am only 40% done. Even if I feel as if I am breaking more, I am still only 40% done.
Basically, I never feel more than 40% done. This mindset makes me feel as if I still have a lot left within me.
Anytime a challenge interferes with my productivity, I find a way around that challenge. Productivity in this sense is no longer work. Productivity has now become a game.
Very similar to navigating Pac-Man away from the ghosts (and then chasing after them).
Yes, the lessons we learn from video games apply to real-life. I used to play video games every day, but then I decided to give them up.
A particular challenge to my productivity took up so much of my time that I was forced (important: self-forced) to give up video games. At first, I was skeptical. I had so much fun playing these games. Video games were my main form of downtime.
But again, this decision in the long-term gave me more time to play on the piano. And the amount of time I spent playing on the piano actually allowed my business to grow.
The next time something challenges your productivity, look at the challenge for exactly what it is. All challenges you endure simply allow you to become better off than you were before.
I didn’t become more productive when everything was going my way. When life threw my challenges, I brushed through those challenges and emerged as a more productive individual.
Surprisingly, when I lose time to work on my business, that’s when I become more productive.
The best part about most challenges is that they are temporary. Once those challenges vanish, you keep the lessons you learned. You know how to be more productive.
Eventually you may get more time back in your schedule. Then you get to become more productive with that additional time.
Productivity is a game with its own set of challenges. To win the game, you must rise above every challenge and look at every challenge as an opportunity for growth.
What are your thoughts about productivity as a game? Do you have any tips for us to boost our productivity? How do you deal with challenges? Sound off in the comments section below.