I mostly work with high achievers and high performers. I like it that way because I definitely feel like I belong to that tribe. Actually, to be very honest, we are a family of high achievers, even our two year old daughter is starting to mirror that, and we love it that way! However, it took us a while to really understand how to be able to fulfill that part of our personality, and also be able to be a family in the traditional sense of the word. What emerged after many years of operating that way and at that level, is that the “quality vs. quantity” rule was the most essential guide that helped us keep the engine running at that high of a pace, and the one thing that complements that is a productivity strategy and plan.
Your productivity is absolutely key to how much you can achieve, while also living a life full of joy and freedom. Because, after all, productivity, joy and freedom are so intimately connected that one can only exist with the other.
From my experience there are 4 crucial steps to have your productivity completely dialed in:
1. Setting an intention
2. The 2 Ps : Passion and/or Purpose
4. Execution Plan
Let’s take these one at a time, shall we?
1. Setting your intention is THE most important and crucial first step of productivity. By setting your intention everyday, you are setting up your day by aligning your mind and your body with your aim to live your day according to all the other 3 steps that come afterwards. By setting your intention I don’t mean that you should just have a thought in the morning about how your day will go. This actually is a very purposeful and dedicated time in your morning routine ( hope you have one of these, and if not that’s a topic on its own) where you sit still and free yourself of all thoughts and feelings, and carefully think about how you would like your day to go, and what version of yourself you would like to present to the world and to your self. Visualization really helps here too, where you close your eyes and imagine how your day is going, and also picture how you are going about your day, and how you are feeling and behaving. You can also be as precise as imagining your schedule for the day and in each particular occurrence picture yourself coming out with the best possible outcome. The best time to set your intention is after a morning meditation, just when you are finished, and your mind is clear and joyful.
2. If you do a little bit of research into the topic of passion and purpose you will see that mostly, people are divided in two camps. One camp thinks passion is more important, and the other thinks purpose is. Honestly, in my opinion, I think that if you can live a life or career that combines both, you are hitting the jack pot! That’s not to say that if you have one or the other you are not doing very well for yourself. The way I look at it, passion and purpose are almost on the opposite sides of the scale. One is subjective and the other is objective, and to me there is no right or wrong. In my practice, I don’t believe that there is a one size fits all solution. To some people, living a life full of passion works for them, and it’s what makes them feel joy, freedom and fulfillment. To others it’s purpose, and the most important thing is to find what works for the individual and take it from there.
3. I’d bet there’s no one that would argue this point, as a sound body and mind are critical for us to be productive. It is very important that while we push ourselves hard, we incorporate strategies to refill the cup as we empty it throughout the day.
4. All of the above will not be effective and even possible without a really well thought and prepared plan of action. I am an avid proponent of utilizing technology to help throughout the day, and if we are to keep up with the requirements of our careers and life during the day we have to keep ourselves up to date with the tech out there that can help us to do so. There are so many apps out there that can help you keep your schedules and tasks updated. I run a few businesses and I know that having everything organized and planned is crucial for getting through the day and not get overwhelmed. Other than the obvious, which is that organizing your day is important for productivity, I find that being very protective over my schedule and task management actually helps me with one very important thing that I needed to develop for myself, which is setting my boundaries. When I have these boundaries within my scheduled day, I find that I have less distractions that make me stray from what needs to be done during the day. Another added benefit, is that it helps me clear my mind at the end of the day so that I don’t have a million thoughts flying through my head at the end of the work day. All my tasks and to do lists are noted and I have offloaded them from my mind into whatever app I am using (contact me if you would like to know what apps I use). The result is a peaceful mind at night, much better quality time with my family and loved ones, and a much better quality of sleep (which is so important as it will enable you to get up the next day and repeat!).
As I’ve mentioned above, this is usually a generalized approach to productivity, and at the end of the day every single one of my clients is different. High performers usually have all of these 4 things in check, or at least most of them, so the only thing we usually do is take a deep dive and I coach them on how to tweak a few things to help them perform at an even higher level.