I really hope you’re enjoying this series so far.
Today, I want to shift into productivity.
Most people think it’s about having fancy planners, apps, and other software in order to “manage time.”
But as a bestselling author and speaker Stephen Covey said:
“Time management is a misnomer. The challenge is to manage ourselves.”
This means that the key to becoming super productive is not another “system” or another planner filled with calendars, to-do- lists and more.
Instead, it’s about working on yourself.
For starters, one of the keys to entrepreneurial productivity is making a very important mindset shift. That is to shift from a cause and effect approach –– which most of us formed in the job world where if we show up and do our work, we get a paycheck no matter what happens.
This mindset is basically “Do work = get paid.”
But if you want to become far more productive and achieve great success in business, you’ve got to change that mindset. Instead of focusing on “work = get paid”, you want to focus on results.
That’s how you get more productivity, and how you get more done, and see more success in your life.
For example, when I was growing my real estate business, I quickly learned I didn’t get paid for simply having a rental property. I would only get paid when I found a tenant to rent my property. That was the result and that’s what I got paid for.
Once you’ve got that down, then you shift your focus again to creating value… and then you refine that further and only spend your energy on the thing that makes the MOST possible value.
This is radically different from the “working for a paycheck” mindset. We are all good at creating “busy work” and making it seem like we are working.
What I’m talking about here is playing a bigger game. One where you take responsibility and are focused on creating massive results and massive value, as measured by your clients and customers.
The 2 Kinds Of Activities You Can Do As An Entrepreneur
Another aspect of entrepreneurial productivity comes down to the actual kinds of activities you work on.
When it’s all said and done, there are just two types of activities you can focus your time, energy and attention on:
- Low-dollar, low-value activities
- High-dollar, high-value activities
Let me explain…
Low-dollar and low-value activities are exactly that. They are the small tasks that need to get done but don’t provide much value to the world. What’s more, they can easily be “outsourced” to someone else for a low-dollar per hour rate.
Some examples would be simple errands, buying office supplies, doing laundry, meal prep, going to the grocery store, etc.
Yes, these things are important and they need to get done. But they don’t add much value to your customers and clients.
High-dollar and high-value activities are exactly what they sound like. These are the actions that move the needle forward in your business. They create massive value for people. Examples of this can be activities that only you can do – and if outsourced, would cost you a lot of money on a per-hour basis
Things like creating new products, creating a marketing campaign, shooting content videos, making strategic partnerships, and more.
These are simply higher-level tasks that when done, and done often, really make a huge difference in how successful you and your business become.
To use my real estate business as an example again, I can either spend my time mowing lawns, which is a low-value activity and won’t actually grow my business. Or I can spend my time on high-value activities such as negotiating for a new property to invest in.
Each of these activities will produce radically different results. When I first got started, I did everything myself. As my business started to grow, I hired a landscaping company to handle things like lawn mowing.
Of course, when you’re first getting started, you may not be able to outsource as many of the low-dollar value tasks as you’d like. But keep it in the back of your mind that you need to get those tasks off of YOUR “to do” list and pay someone to do them for you. Because the trade-off is huge. If you can pay someone $10 – $15 an hour to do those tasks, you can focus on tasks that create $100, $200, or even $500 or more per hour.
How To Make Productivity Automatic
Now, one of the challenges you’re going to run into is actually doing the stuff you know you need to be working on.
As humans, we love to play the “I need to remember to… “ game. Or another popular variation, “I got to remember to do that tomorrow/later this week.”
Of course, even though we tell ourselves these things, we never end up doing what needs to get done. And be saying “we will” at some future point, we let ourselves off the hook.
This is why in order to take control of ourselves and only do the things that create results and tons of value, we have to make productivity automatic.
So what’s the solution?
You’ve got to create powerful rituals.
Since we’re already creatures of habit, creating a ritual automatically steers you in the direction you want to go. Sure, it may take a lot of energy in the beginning to create this ritual, but once you’ve got it “installed,” it takes very little energy to keep it going.
So for example, maybe one of your rituals could be that every day at 10 am, you work on your marketing for 1 hour. Or maybe it’s walking into your office right after lunch, setting a timer for 30 minutes and creating new content.
Whatever it is, try and do it earlier in the day, at the same time. That’s because earlier in the day you have more “will power.”
If you can follow this ritual daily, for 30 days, then it will be “installed” and you won’t have to TRY to do the thing anymore. It’ll be on autopilot.
And once it is, you can move on to the next habit you want to develop.
So there you have it.
This is what it really takes to have entrepreneurial productivity. It’s ruthless focus on the things that create value and produce results. The more you can focus on that, you’ll find you have greater and more success.
In the next article in this series, I’m going to reveal how a bamboo plant holds a powerful secret to business success. It’s a game-changer, for sure. So stay tuned!
– James Mel