What makes productive people so productive? It’s not that they get extra time to play with. In the end, we all have 24 hours in one day. Productive people don’t stop the clock. They push through it.
Productive people push through the clock by acquiring a strong mindset that sets them up for success. Your mindset makes or breaks you. If your mindset is breaking you, then you must do everything in your power to shift that mindset.
The mindset is critical. One fact about productive people is that they all share common beliefs that guide their productivity. These are the core beliefs, the beliefs that are required for productivity.
#1: Dreaming Big Is Better Than Dreaming Small
Every week, I give myself a new series of goals. I mark my progress by using tallies and checkmarks. This is the concept of the weekly scorecard.
I have kept all of my scorecards since March 2014. While it’s cool to see the stack of scorecards I have kept over the years, I also get to learn from my past scorecards.
I learn from my past scorecards to see what I can do to boost my productivity. I recently looked back at all of my scorecards to celebrate the beginning of 2016.
The shocking news: I almost NEVER accomplished everything I said I would accomplish on a single scorecard.
I usually accomplish about 70% of what I say I will accomplish on the scorecard.
Does that make me unproductive? No! I’ve written so many blog posts about productivity that I can’t possibly say I’m unproductive 🙂
But beyond that reasoning, I set a very high standard for myself with my scorecards.
In one week, I was able to write six blog posts that were just as lengthy as this one. But I didn’t accomplish my goal of writing 10 blog posts that week.
I wanted to create four training courses in one week. I only created two training courses.
Would you feel productive if you could write six 1,000+ word blog posts and create two training courses in the same week (each course was about an hour of video content that had to be planned out)?
I didn’t. I felt like I didn’t accomplish everything that I set out to do. The fact that I only scheduled five blog posts instead of the 10 I wanted to schedule that week didn’t make me feel any better.
College applications got a big percentage of my time during that week, but even then, I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be.
I did other things as well during that week for my business, but that’s not important.
What is important is that I set the bar so high that sometimes I don’t accomplish everything that I say I will.
If I came into the week with the goal of writing three blog posts, scheduling a blog post, and creating only one training course, then I would have gotten a perfect score on my scorecard.
I would prefer the scorecard in which I only accomplished 70% of my goals, but I was giving myself goals such as writing 10 blog posts, scheduling 10 blog posts, and creating four training courses.
Small goals produce small results. Big goals allow you to get big results.
#2: Being Busy Does Not Mean You Are Productive
This is a big one. Being busy does not mean being productive. Let that sink in.
For a long time, I was somewhat productive, but I was very busy. I was busy studying for the SAT, scheduling tweets, and growing my social media audience.
I was productive when I was writing my blog posts, sending email blasts, interacting with my audience, and completing videos.
The busywork was necessary. I needed to study for the SAT or else I wouldn’t get a good score. Scheduling tweets and growing my social media audience are two important parts of my business.
But then I crafted my ideal day.
I asked myself if I could outsource every part of my business, what would I still want to do.
Not much of the work I did made the list. Only writing content, doing videos, and interacting with my audience. That meant everything else should get outsourced.
I took my final SAT a few months ago and outsourced social media growth and scheduling the social media posts.
Now I am outsourcing more parts of my business so every day becomes the ideal day. Anything that does not fit within my ideal day is busywork that takes me away from what I really want to do.
Deep. Let’s move onto the next core belief.
#3: The Vision Must Be Accompanied By A Series Of Micro-Visions
I have so many visions that I could write a book listing my visions. Just like everyone else, I have the grand vision.
To some people, that grand vision can be found in the New Year’s resolutions. To other people, it’s the vision they have for themselves many years down the road.
I have one of those types of visions, and all productive people have that type of vision. However, productive people also have micro-visions.
Don’t stop at New Year’s resolutions. Ask yourself how you will get closer to accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions, quarter by quarter.
For my vision for the year, I will always break the work into four quarters. I calculate what type of work must be accomplished each quarter.
Since all goals start out as hypothetical (they may happen, but they haven’t happened yet), I only go deep into how I will accomplish my first quarter goals.
I plan it all out, week by week. Weekly scorecards reinforce my goals for the quarter. I always give myself less time than I have so I know I will accomplish what I set out to do.
All of these visions that lead up to the grand vision are what I like to call micro-visions. All of the micro-visions lead up to the grand vision.
Micro-visions have closer deadlines which gives you less time to do certain work. Having less time will encourage you to take more action.
Sometimes, I will even assign myself four day scorecards just so I have a shorter timeframe to get everything done. The shorter timeframe makes me hustle harder, and as a result, be more productive.
#4: There Is No Stopping
Productive people never stop. They do take small breaks to restore their productivity, but they never stop.
Every day presents a new achievement. Whether that achievement is as small as writing a blog post or as large as accomplishing the goal you’ve been wanting to accomplish for an entire year, productive people achieve something new every day.
The importance of not stopping is the fact that to not stop means putting in the work every single day. Putting in the work every single day turns that work into an effortless habit.
I used to struggle to write these types of blog posts. Now the ideas and content flow easily into the document that I type them in.
The most productive people turn productivity into a habit by working on it every day. If productivity could not become a habit, then no one would be productive.
The moment you turn productivity into a habit is the moment you will become super productive. You just need to be productive for 66 days straight, and then it becomes a habit.
Then you are productive by nature because that’s the type of person who you have become. So no stopping.
Daymond John would describe this as the need to keep swimming. In the acronym S.H.A.R.K., the “K” stands for “Keep Swimming.” You must continue putting in the work to get even better results.
The moment a shark in the ocean stops swimming, it dies. Don’t stop swimming.
Productivity is not a gift granted to a few lucky people. It isn’t something you are born with. For a long time, I was very unproductive. I had to learn productivity and continue honing my skill in that area every day.
It’s something I continue doing to this day. I still read books and articles all about productivity because I want to be one of the most productive people in the world.
These core beliefs are where the magic happens. Once you turn these core beliefs into your lifestyle, you will see a big boost in your productivity. The only way to keep the increased productivity is by working on it every day.
Which of these core beliefs do you believe is the most important? Did any of them challenge the way you think of working? What are your tips for boosting productivity? Sound off in the comments section below.