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I already know what you're thinking. You're thinking I'm going to give you some planning tip, scheduling tactic, or organizational strategy to help you find more productivity in your day.
In the eloquent words of The Grinch... WRONGOOOOOO!
Now if we've met before, you know type A organization turns me on. File folders? Oh yeah. Notebooks? That's the stuff. Day planners? Give em to me.
But I'm not going to talk to you about all those sexy tools and gadgets.
Why? Because YOU KNOW to put in the calendar what you want to see in your life.
YOU KNOW to break down your bigger projects into more manageable action steps.
And if you read my last blog post, YOU KNOW how to manage distractions!
So if you know all that, why aren't you DOING the thing??
It's not because you need an "expert" to tell you for the millionth time not to multitask.
No, you need help getting your mind right, because that's the absolute number one way to be successful with your productivity goals (or any goal for that matter).
Now if you aren't following the above sage guidance, your mindset probably falls into one of the following 3 categories...
It'll just take more time out of my day to do all that planning, time I definitely don't have.
I'm just not "that type" of person, I don't do organization well.
or my favorite
I don't like to plan out my days to a T, I'd rather be more spontaneous and creative than pigeonholed by commitments.
Hon. That's all fine and dandy if you're laissez faire about reaching your goals and if you're fine with taking twice as long to reach them, if you reach them at all.
But if you actually want to start that business, if you actually want to rock a bikini this summer, if you actually want to stay on top of your work so you can stop spending your days stressed to the nines, you're going to need to change your mentality about what "being more productive" is.
Does planning out your days take some time? Absolutely. But the amount of time it will gain you back is enormous in comparison.
How many times do you spend 10-15 minutes hemming and hawing about what task should come next?
How often do you spend 2 hours on a project that should have taken 30 minutes, because you didn't set the expectation ahead of time of how long you would allocate to it?
How many times do you check your phone throughout the day and get sucked into the vortex because you haven't designated certain hours to responding to texts and emails?
Does planning take time? Yeah, about 5-10 minutes of it. But you could be saving yourself hours every day by sucking it up and doing it.
Ok, it's fair to say I came out of the womb loving organization. My room was always spotless, I always made my bed, notebooks have been my favorite gift since I was 5, and the idea of not having a day planner makes me want to vomit.
You may not be a psycho planner like me. In fact, you may be as far on the opposite side of the spectrum as possible.
But I promise you, organization, like any other quality you need to succeed in this life, is learnable.
You CAN become an organized, productive person even if it wasn't set in your genes like it was in mine.
And like anything else, it takes baby steps, practice, consistency, and a growth-oriented mindset.
A fixed mindset is this: "I've never been good at organizing, I don't know how to be productive, it's just not in the cards for me so why bother trying?"
A growth mindset is this: "It isn't my strong suit, but I know I can learn to be more focused, productive, and organized if I give it a fair shot. I've figured out how to do other things in my life, I've mastered other skills that at one time seemed difficult. There's always a way, and I'm going to find the way that works for me."
See the difference?
So stop begrudging organization because it doesn't come naturally to you and get in the game of figuring out how to make small changes that work for you. It will take trial and error, it will take time, but you are more than capable of doing it.
Okay my "I like to be spontaneous" friend. I'm sorry, but that's a load of crap. Seriously.
I get that you want to be free as a bird, do what you want when you want, and only act when inspiration strikes. But that's not how success works.
Not unless you are one of the gifted few who exists in a nearly perpetual state of inspiration and can fly on its wings at any given moment.
But for us mere mortals, we have to find some way to take action, to build consistency in our schedule, and to command productivity from our life. And yes, that requires a touch of structure.
It doesn't mean you have to go get a 9-5. It doesn't mean you have to stifle your creativity. Quite the contrary. By working some structure into your day, you open up more time to do the creative work you love. You also train yourself to "turn on" the creativity and inspiration at will.
Do you think every blog post I write just comes to me on the wings of inspiration and shoots through my fingers with the grace and beauty of a Shakespeare sonnet?
HA!! Half the time writing these blog posts is a freaking SLOG! The words don't come out right, I stumble from sentence to sentence, and I always lose my words right as I'm about to type them on my keyboard.
But it's in my schedule to write the posts. And then I force myself to sit down and do it. Inspired or not. Motivated or not. And you know what? I'm a better writer for it.
So get it out of your head that productivity is so hard, or that it's only for certain personality types, or that it takes some special trick that you haven't heard yet.
You know how to do the thing, SO DO THE THING. Unleash your productivity and finally see the freedom it buys you.
And you know I'm your accountability buddy, so do me a favor and comment below with ONE THING you're going to do differently this week to be more productive. You've got this.