“You don’t want to take initiate or responsibility, so you check your incoming mail, your Twitter stream, and your blog comments. Surely, there’s something to play off of, something to get angry about, some meeting to go to. I know someone who goes to forty conferences a year and never seems to actually produce anything.” — Seth Godin
I’ve been going over this blurb numerous times per hour for the last few weeks it feels like. Whenever I find myself wasting time, I quickly bring this out to remind myself what I’m doing wrong. I simply waste too much time.
Here’s the story on my struggle to get work done…
I moved out away from town with my cousins to get more done and to push myself.
I recently rented out my condo and now have it as a rental property. I was staying with my parents for a bit and my room is still actually setup. It worked out well at home because I’m the oldest brother so I do everything. I take my brothers to soccer practise, train with my youngest brother, do chores around the house, and help out as much as possible. It’s fun and all, but I don’t want to be 24 and living at home. I got too comfortable. I wanted to switch things up.
I decided to move out with my two cousins as of September. I have the whole basement in this townhouse for myself. I now pay rent and have more monthly expenses. I took a leave of absence from my part-time job. I wanted to push myself. I felt that moving out was the best way to do this. I was becoming far too complacent.
While I’ve enjoyed the freedom, I quickly realized that more time doesn’t equate to more work being done. This frustrated me. I just wasn’t getting enough work done.
Perhaps my exceptations were unrealistic for what I could accomplish in a given day. Perhaps I set the bar too high. The point is that I thought I could get tons more done in a day. This wasn’t the case.
What did I do to overcome my lack of productivity? I did what anyone would do. I cracked open my copy of The 4-Hour Workweek and started looking over my notes.
I checked out one of the stickies and it brought me to a few excellent points.
I now ask myself two questions whenever I’m feeling down or not on top of things.
It’s a nice slap across the face when you ask yourself this question while searching up random videos on YouTube or reading other blogs.
I also can be pretty guilty of delaying starting work. I’ll start killing time by working on worthless tasks or by going on long missions (and unnecessary) missions for food.
Now when I find myself working on something, I think about how satisfied I would be if this were to be the only thing I accomplished all day. Sometimes I’m happy. Other times, I close the window or drop whatever I’m doing to do something that actually means something.
I’ve been notorious for this my whole life. I randomly create things to do so that I don’t feel bad about neglecting my main responsibility. I go on Twitter or check my email, hoping to find something to do. I’m just being lazy. I know that I need to focus on real work.
I highly suggest that you ask yourself this question in your everyday life once in a while. Are you doing something important or are you just finding excuses to feel busy?
We could discuss productivity forever. There are so many topics and angles to cover. I just wanted to share two important questions that I ask myself. Now I want to hear from you.
Have you been struggling with productivity recently? How have you pounded through a plateau?
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