From years of wasting time
I’ve been able to pump out x2 books, 653 articles and an MSc alongside full-time work, a job move and a house move over the last 2.5 years by changing a few simple things.
Primarily by avoiding things that suck my time and drain my energy.
Here are the things I now religiously avoid.
1. Unplanned planned time
I try to write for 2 hours in the morning.
If I wake up, grab a coffee and sit down to a blank page I can guarantee my output is less. It’ll be way less. Uncertainty turns to stress, turns to procrastination, turns to self-loathing.
That’s how it goes.
Over and over. It wasn’t until I noticed this pattern I thought about changing things. Now I need an outline to work off. It’s the only way I can function properly in the morning.
Every day starts with an outline from the night before and a few thoughts about what I need to write about. It’ll be some notes, pictures, and links.
2. Jumping from project to project
This is the biggest one by far for me. I spent hours and hours thinking about a zillion different business ideas.
Blogs, seeing on Etsy, eBay, and courses. Everything I came across went on a mental list for me to think about. It destroyed my productivity.
Putting your eggs in one basket, if it’s your side hustle. Especially if it’s your first go around, is the best bet.
Because you don’t have to spend any time wondering if this is what you should be focused on, if you need to change ideas, if you should shift your thinking.
It leaves no room for procrastinating thoughts.
3. Half-hearting it
If you want to be unproductive the easiest way to do that is to fake productivity.
This is where you ‘try’ to write an article, start a business, build ads etc. but you don’t really try. You know you’re giving it 50% and that’s probably because you’re scared that you will fail so mentally at least can say you weren’t really trying.
The best and quietest way to fool yourself into productivity is half-hearting it.
If you want to be productive, you need (NEED) to go all in. Try. I mean really try.
Watch the YouTube videos, scrutinize everything, try to get better, work hard, accept criticism, and build to be better. Really have a go.
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4. Not getting outside
If you want to double your productivity add a walk into your routine.
I have dogs so I’m out three times a day but even one outing will make a difference. Getting out in nature allows your mind to breathe. It lets ideas find other ideas.
All in all, it’s good for the soul.
Going outside three times a day easily doubles my productivity.
5. Thinking that you need to be 100% all of the time
I hate to think of the number of dreams that have died because people thought they hate to be all or nothing.
There is this image online that you must work like a robot. Up at 5 am, you know the drill. But that could not be further from the truth for most online creators.
I bet your favourite creator has duvet days. I bet they’ve pressed snooze in their life. I bet they procrastinate. I bet they set goals they don’t reach.
Creating online is not about perfection, rather it’s a messy dance. It’s hard. It’s hard to show up every day when the views are down and the comments are mean. Creators know that.
They know they don’t have to be 100% every day.
6. Trivial matters
Some people will hate this one, but that’s fine, can’t please everyone.
I avoid trivial matters like the plague. If I misspell something, if I miss an email, if I change my mind or if forget. I don’t worry about it.
I’m not a detail person, never have been.
I’m an 80% gal. If I hit 80% I’m happy.
Articles go out all the time that are 80%. My newsletter is the same.
I’m not striving for perfection. If it’s going to take up a large amount of time for very little reward, I’m not concerned with it. Simple.
CONTRIBUTED BY Eve Arnold
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