Productivity Hacks Which Just Aren’t True

Motivation, Productivity

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Many productivity gurus will try and sell you on a series of quick fixes to boost your output, and, by extension, make you feel much better about yourself and your business life. Articles, videos and podcasts of this nature can be very motivational. They can lead you to set out on a course of action almost guaranteed to bring overnight success. Yeah. Right.

However, the expectation of a panacea is often at odds with any tangible results. Whilst there are occasions when adjusting your focus and adopting “better” habits can most certainly be extremely beneficial, but this isn’t always necessarily the case.

If you set aside the necessary discipline to take up the sort of advice which is dished out astonishingly freely, there are of course occasions when your results will be extremely rewarding. But this most certainly isn’t always the case.

In my experience, based on working with hundreds of people over a very long time, there are four possible outcomes:

1. New habits and practices are adopted and maintained and you find yourself suddenly much more productive and your ventures thrive.

2. New habits and practices are adopted and maintained, but the results are not as noticeable as you would hoped, in fact your productivity improvement is negligible. But you do feel good about having better mechanisms to run your life and business.

3. New habits and practices are adopted, but are not maintained and over time you slip back into your previous ways. You may or may not have seen much in the way of improved results during this time, although it is less likely that you will have seen good results otherwise you would have been more motivated to maintain your new ways of living and working.

4. New habits and practices are adopted, but are dropped almost as soon as they are started and there is no opportunity for results to manifest themselves. For many people this is a good description of things such as New Year’s resolutions.

No none of this is to say that examining methods of improving your productivity cannot make huge differences to anything you are trying to achieve. It most certainly can, and I can cite countless examples of this sort of thing bringing immense benefits to people who have been able to implement them effectively.

But that is the key to it all: they must be implemented “effectively”. They need to be feasible, achievable, they need to take account of pressures and commitments which are immovable. It’s no good deciding to visit the gym for an hour every single morning if you have to do a school run as well.

So I’m going to be sharing a series of Notes examining some misconceptions which I have encountered working with business owners. Looking at how to adopt productive traits, how to maintain them, how to avoid pitfalls and most importantly how to question the myths which are perpetrated by many content creators with little personal experience of running a small business, its pressures (and rewards).

Here’s a quick list of topics which the next series of Notes will cover. You will notice they sound like the sort of feelgood rubbish which influencers splash about on Twitter and Instagram on garish bright backgrounds. You’re not wrong!

 

  • Copy the habits of highly successful people
  • Maximize every moment of your day
  • Set big goals
  • Optimize your productivity apps and systems
  • Use rewards
  • Willpower is finite
  • Visualize achieving your goal
  • Stay busy
  • An uncompromising regimen will keep you productive

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