The day is young and you have big plans.
Today, you’re going to be productive. You’re going to make the world your biatch.
By lunch, you realize that things have been a little delayed. But, you’ve still got a shot. So, after lunch, you’re really going to buckle down. This time you mean it.
Except, by the end of the day, you’re feeling a little disappointed in yourself. Because, once again…
… you worked all day and yet don’t feel like anything of substance really got accomplished.
What the heck happened? Why does that seem to happen so often?
You ARE working, of course. You’re answering emails, dealing with phone calls. You might have even done some social networking. Hmm?
But, you feel like a feather in a breeze you didn’t make. The weird thing is, the stuff you were doing during the day isn’t exactly unimportant… but yet STILL, you don’t feel as if you made any real forward progress on much of anything.
The Reason Why
Having been through this way too many times, I can tell you EXACTLY what the reason why is.
It is because you can’t actually NAME your product. Or you simply haven’t.
See, every task that you embark on has an end product. Something is supposed to exist or be in a different state when that task is done. That outcome needs to be clearly stated.
When you can’t state it, then you engage in busy-work. You’re working but getting nothing done.
What is the actual PRODUCT of your job or position?
I doubt that the end product of your job is to simply act as a conduit for emails. If you’re hired to do something, then that position has SOMETHING that it is supposed to produce. If you can clearly identify and name what that is, then it becomes the orientation point for everything you do all day.
If you don’t have a regular job and are managing your own day, the same applies. What is the end product of your business? What is the outcome that you’re producing in the lives of others?
And bringing it down to a task-by-task basis, it works the same way.
Is the task clearly stated? What’s the outcome of it being done? Name it.
My most productive days are when I go into the office knowing full-well what product I want to be DONE before I leave for the day. When that outcome is clear to me, then I can fully focus on that and it gets done.
My least productive days are when I go into the office just… to work. I’m “going to work”. I don’t really know what I’m going to accomplish that day. I haven’t stated my product. I just… go to work and serve some time. And more often than not, it is THOSE days where I get to the end of it feeling like I didn’t really make much forward headway on anything of substance.
A stated product of “2 blog posts done and ready to publish” is much better than “I’m working on my blog.”
One is a noun. A stated and clear outcome.
The other is a verb. It is just action with no orientation.
Get clear on your product and name it. Then you’ll get things done.
If you agree with this post, please take a moment to share it on Twitter and Facebook. Hell, G+, too, if you’re feeling extra nice. 😉
Also, if productivity is something you struggle with, I created a course called Time Master Formula which may be just what you need. Also, I’m about to do a new module inside The Academy on productivity hacks ESPECIALLY for online business owners. If you want to participate in that, join The Academy today.