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What you can learn from my 6 weeks of Super Productivity

by Alison Bradford

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Recently, I set myself a 6 week Super Productivity challenge.

This meant 6 weeks of putting in less hours in my business, whilst still growing it and, importantly, keep my marketing pipeline flowing.

Why? Because I wanted to spend more time with my family over the 6 weeks – after all, they are the reason I run my own business now and stepped off the ‘corporate robot’ treadmill over 3 years ago.

So, how did I get on? Could I really manage to work only a third of my usual hours and still grow my business? Here’s what I learnt:

The first 3 weeks went really well – then the next 3 were much harder!

I’ve signed up new clients and have still been marketing my workshops and group programmes. But I do feel a little on the back foot right now as I try and get everything done that got left over the 6weeks, and my workshop has been much slower at filling up than usual – let’s hope that picks up now I’m back in full mode!

Super Productivity is not possible 100% of the time

Sorry to break this to you, but I think it’s just too intense to be totally productive all of the time. We all need time to restore our energy and take a break, and if we deny this, we end up in a slump. This is what happened to me in week 4 – I’d been super focused until then, but then I found myself saying things like this to myself ‘I’ve been so good I deserve to slack off a bit’. Lots of procrastination in week 4!

But the flip side to this is that Super Productivity is possible in short bursts. Try it.

I’ve proven Parkinson’s Law time and time again

Parkinson’s Law simply states that a task will take as long you allow it. It demonstrates the importance of setting deadlines. This really works for me!

When I had less time in the first 3 weeks, I seemed to get more done. When it all went wrong in week 4, I actually had more time to work that week.

It’s like voices in your head saying, ‘it’s okay you’ve got more time this week. Relax a little. Go check Facebook. Get distracted reading something online. Pop and get a nice coffee. Go spend half a day shopping for a birthday cake instead of writing that sales letter. You can do all the important stuff later in the week’

Have you heard that voice too? Time to become aware of it and, instead of slowing down and thinking you can pick it back up later, get the important stuff done and then slow down and mess about. That’s your reward, right?

Office Day’s are brilliant!

For me, an ‘office day’ is a day where I’m not going anywhere to see anyone, and am just in the office mainly working ON my business, with a little working IN it too. Think about 80/20 split.

These are a great way to catch up, and get stuff done, without interruptions! One thing – rule for office day is no email or social media, unless it’s deliberately scheduled in. For me, I try and set 15 mins at the start of the day, 15 mins in the middle, and 15 mins at the end for email and social media.

These are definitely being put in my diary for the rest of the year, and I suggest you do the same.

Mindset is half of the battle

If you wake up each morning thinking, and therefore believing, that you don’t have enough time to get everything done, then you won’t have. You’ll also be starting the day on the back foot, feeling rushed and panicked.

If you wake up each morning thinking ‘I have all the time I need today’, then it puts you in much better place to be more productive and achieve more.

Try it – next time you start thinking you don’t have enough time, turn it round to start believing you have all the time you need. Because you really do! We all have the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it’s all about the choices we make each day of how we use them.

You will never be able to cram 7 days work into 5 – either you work 7 days, or you start looking at the choices you’re making to reduce the work down to 5 days worth.

You are doing stuff right now that is not making any difference to your output

This is the tricky one to figure out – what can you stop doing without it making any difference to your output? I like to think I was already pretty tight on this, but there are still things I’m doing (but didn’t do so much of over the summer) which I know don’t make much, if any difference.

For me, most of this comes under the headlines of emails and social media. Time spent reading and browsing stuff, too much time spent watching people do ice bucket challenges, and really – if I don’t see another ice bucket challenge again, IT WILL MAKE NO DIFFERENCE TO MY BUSINESS. Keep that stuff out of business time.

What are you doing right now, that if you stopped, would make little or no difference to the output of your business?

So they’re the top lessons I’ve learnt from my 6 week Super Productivity challenge that I’ll be taking forward in my business. Which ones resonate with you? Leave me a comment to let me know.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.

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