As you know, even if you’ve never had to explain the meaning of it to others, efficiency is the ability to achieve your goals in the minimum amount of time with as little effort as possible.
And you might have learnt that setting goals is a part of it and tracking your progress with some metrics is another. You can also add time management and planning to that. If you Google “productivity” a ton of other tips will come up, you might have found that some of them are useful.
So let’s say your goal is earning X a month. You set a deadline, you make a plan, you start tracking your weekly progress and perhaps you even manage to reach your monthly revenue goal, but boy if it is stressing and tough. And the next month it is even more difficult to meet the deadline. And every time you think of this self imposed goal, anxiety kicks in. Does that sound somehow familiar? Good, keep reading then, we’ll try to break it down and make it easier together.
Why do you think it is so difficult?
There might be several reasons:
- The goal you’ve set was “to earn X a month”, not “to earn X a month with EASE”, there’s a big difference;
- There might have been some variables you didn’t consider, like timing, human factor, missing resources, marketing efforts and so on;
- You might have thought that it would take you less time (and that’s okay if only you acknowledge that and either find what is slowing you down or reorganize to match your timeframe);
- You might have underestimated the negative effects of inner conflicts and limiting thoughts (more on them here);
- You might have set a goal and a deadline without working out a proper plan that made you feel you are actually going to achieve it without too much effort, in the first place;
- There might have been problems you were already aware of that you didn’t know how to solve and you relied on luck, an anxiety triggering variable that you cannot control properly;
- You might have focused on the goal alone, not considering that you should have reduced the allocated timeframe because life is made of other things as well… you know, like going to the grocery store, taking a shower, sleeping, your mind needing a break from time to time, your family and friends requiring attention…
- It might be too important and too precious to allow yourself achieve it “just like that”;
- feel free to add other bullet points to the list.
The list could go on. You could track down every single mistake you make and solve it, however it could be time-consuming and if there’s a core misconception in your mindset in the first place, it’s very likely that you will end up generating even more problems.
There is another way. One simple thing you can do to bypass all these eventual mistakes (although I would always recommend you to work on them, learn more, invest in yourself, your training and your personal development).
What is the best way to be more productive?
Focus on ORGANIZING.
Organizing doesn’t mean making a list of things you need to do within a timeframe.
It is about asking yourself one simple question:
How can you make it easier to do something? How can you hardwire it into your mind and make it a habit you don’t even need to think about that will require as little of your time, discipline and attention as possible?
Making a “to do list” could be a part of the process, however, if you don’t analyze what is slowing you down and don’t ask yourself how you can make it more natural and automate processes, it’s very likely that there will always be more time and effort involved than you’d feel happy with.
Analyze. Break it down. Prioritize (more on optimized planning here). Automate. Delegate. Collaborate. Keep asking yourself what else you can do to re-organize and make it easier and dedicate more time to other things you’d really want to do. This is one of those goals that will give you the right energy level to keep going with less anxiety and more excitement. Try it out yourself.