What images does that word conjure up in your always-busy mind?
A powerful business figure yelling out orders?
A frazzled corporate manager pulling 16 hour days?
A single parent/solopreneur slaving away at their side hustle all weekend?
Is that what being “productive” really is?
I used to think those destructive visions of “busyness” were the modern workforce’s definition of “productivity”, that was, until at age twenty-seven, I collapsed with searing chest pains, a numb left arm, and inability to breath.
Thankfully, that stress-induced episode became the catalyst for change within my own career and today, I define “productivity” in a much more balanced and healthy way.
While many of us spend the majority of our waking hours work, work doesn’t have to take over our life.
Starting a business or running a side hustle is supposed to provide you more freedom, not leave you feeling enslaved to your startup!
Building a digital presence and social following shouldn’t require 24/7 connectivity + hours billed to your therapist!
Successful entrepreneurship – however you define it – should make your life better, not destroy it.
Lots of Hours Doesn’t = Productivity
There’s as popular internet quote (don’t you just love those?) that states: “Being your own boss is great – you get to choose which 18 hours a day you work.”
Well I have good news for you – contrary to popular (and unsourced) internet meme’s, you don’t have to work 18 hours to be productive.
A common misconception amidst the entrepreneurial community is that we’re all in a race – a race to make the most money, to hit the Forbes Under 30 list, and to build the biggest house. If those things are important to you, more power to ya – but they don’t have to be, and even if they are goals, sacrifice of your health, sanity, or even life is not a requirement to achieving those goals.
While we are all limited to 24 hours a day, plus the responsibilities of daily living (eating, sleeping, etc.), we all get to decide – for ourselves – how we use those 24 hours.
I know, I know, you’ve heard that before…well so had I, but it didn’t show.
I ran my career like a NASCAR driver at the Daytona 500, just going round and round in circles, trying to pass all the other “people” but not actually going anywhere, because, well, I was confined to a track.
Instead of driving pedal to the metal around in circles, I could have just moved my car over onto a balmy Florida highway, consulted my GPS, driven the speed limit, and arrived at the sugar sanded beach.
NASCAR race vs. day at the beach – big difference.
Given that I didn’t want to be a professional race car driver, like my supposed seventh cousin (probably) twice removed Richard Petty (note: he does NOT claim my side of the family), and I’d much rather spend my Sunday chillaxing at the beach, spinning my wheels on the track of psycho fueled stress didn’t really make sense.
So, I made some changes – including my mindset – and I got real about what I really wanted vs. what “productive” or “successful” business people should do, and in true writer fashion, I jotted down my journey in a little eBook called The Entrepreneur’s Productivity Hacker (includes a daily planner).
I became a job crafter (don’t you just love that world?) and revamped my business and my schedule in a way that drove my butt to the beach, both literally and figuratively.
I identified my destination, navigated the best way to get there, and made the journey as stress-free as possible.
And you know what?
I don’t have chest pains anymore. I found an extra TEN hours in my “packed” week. I enrolled in another grad program, started training for the Pike’s Peak Summit, AND actually…are you ready for this?…ENJOYED my work (including Monday’s) for the first time in forever.
It’s interactive format will help identify individual productivity goals and challenges, optimize your workday to fit YOUR schedule, and provide you with the tools – like a Daily Planner – to turn your day job into your dream job.
It’s my hope that you glean some solid productivity strategies from this eBook and not find yourself laying on the cold hard ground, gasping for air, and wondering what the point of it all was.
“She Died Trying” is not an acceptable epitaph for any of us talented business babes.