Winning the Productivity Game

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I was on the phone with a new client the other day and he asked how I get so much done. Follow that up with a consult where someone else asked a similar question about productivity tips. It reminded me of an article I wrote for our Get It Done Right Community print newsletter and I’m sharing it below in case you’d like some productivity tips.

Excerpt from August 2015 GIDR Print Newsletter: The Productivity Game

While on the phone with a colleague recently, she said, “I don’t get how you can be so freakishly productive.”


That put me off a bit until she followed up with “You get more done in a week than most people I know do in twice that time.”

Buttering up helped. 😉

Then she said, “Seriously, can you walk me through your thought processes, especially since you lost Buddy (my Lhasa Apso and constant companion) and I expected you to vanish for a bit.”

I did and thought it may be helpful information for you.

First and foremost, I did vanish for a bit after Buddy passed. I had to get out of the house and so Jerry and I took off to New Hampshire for a couple days: one day in a beautiful B&B that we haven’t been to in years and another day camping.

Only agreement we had was that I bring no work. And I didn’t.

That said, social media posts went up, the rest of my team handled emails and calls and the business remained open while we practiced self care.

Next up. . .my daily thought processes.

First, I’m an odd mixture of impatient and a recovering perfectionist. It can be frustrating.

I want things done, done quickly and done perfectly. It’s an impossible combination and so I strive for excellence with a healthy dose of “good is good enough as long as ‘good’ is not bad”.

The age-old question. . .Would I be okay with my name on it in front of everyone I’ve ever known and loved. Would I be proud?

If “yes”, time to quiet the perfectionist voice and release the thing.

If “no”, back to work.

Second are boundaries. I have strong boundaries, except when I don’t (make sense?).

For example, if I’m writing, I update my Team Instant Messenger system so they know it and don’t interrupt unless the house is on fire.

Jerry, who works in the same house, knows that he’s on “dog duty” for any ins/outs that may be needed.

It only takes a “got a quick second” for me to go from inspired, creative writing to frustrated “trying to get back into the right mindset” where it’s better for me to switch tasks altogether.

Third, I know my goals and how each of my daily activities contributes (or doesn’t) to the accomplishment of each goal. If I can’t track an activity to a goal, there needs to be an ROI (return on investment) that makes sense.

Fourth, each day before shutting down the office, I list my priorities for the next day – not just “list”, but go into a sentence or two of detail about what I want to accomplish. It’s a practice I first learned about from Dan Kennedy. Result? While I’m making dinner, going about my evening, sleeping, etc., my subconscious is already at work on those items.

Fifth, I take time off in a way that suits me, not “old employee” ways. For example, I enjoy working early on Saturday or Sunday mornings. So I do. Long ago in another life, I started taking Wednesdays off and realized that I like that midweek break, so now I typically take a few hours/half-day off on Wednesdays.

Sixth, I do my best to learn from my experiences. If something doesn’t work, I try something else and am not afraid (most of the time!) to fail.

Long ago, I started a “Success Notebook” – in hardcopy and in a folder in my email. The Success Notebook includes things I’ve succeeded at, “thank you’s” received, tokens of “big wins” over the years (letter from former President Clinton thanking me for a project, slip of adding machine tape after solving an issue with the Federal budget when others couldn’t, a dollar bill symbolic of when my biz broke $100,000 and a screenshot from my old Constant Contact account showing a list size of 82 people when it happened, my 5K “runner’s bib” from the first race I completed. . .).

The purpose of this Notebook is to remind me that yes, I may fail. . .of course, I may succeed as well and that fear of failure is no reason not to try. Over the years I’ve failed many things and survived all of them.

It’s my hope that this list is helpful to you in upping your productivity and achieving your goals.

In full and unwavering support of you,

Sandy 🙂

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