Every Friday, the Verizon #VZWBuzz Lifestyle Blogger group hosts a constantly trending tweetchat managed by TheOnlineMom. This week the tweetchat topic is “How to Be More Productive.”
In the description of the chat it states, “Innovative apps, faster networks, and a range of useful accessories are turning our smartphones and tablets into essential work and planning tools. Whether we are scheduling appointments, organizing the family finances, or editing a presentation, our mobile devices can help us become more organized and productive!”
With that being said, it led me to wonder a few things:
- What does it mean to be productive?
- Aside from finding the right app, how does one foster the skill set to become more productive?
- What is the true value in being productive?
- Why do people procrastinate?
What Does It Mean to be Productive
Some people would conjure that being productive means to produce more, to do more, to accomplish more. However, I think its a little deeper than that.
To be a great photographer isn’t about finding a way to take 100 shots in one hour. To me, being a great photographer would mean learning to shoot the best, most powerful 10 shots a client will later buy in one hour. Not only will they buy it, they will upgrade their package and purchase the print book too.
To be a great sales director isn’t about finding a way to send 500 emails a week to new possible clients as oppose to the 200 you’re currently doing. It would be about finding the way to target your leads and have a signed contract for 3 of those 200 with an annual fee of $15,000 each paid in full.
Do you see where I’m going with this? To me, the scale of being productive isn’t just in producing more and churning out more content. Maybe an archaic, factory-like understanding of the word means that. If your machine makes 100 computers in a day, of course you want to figure out how to make 200 computers in a day. If that machine can produce more, you will produce more profit and reach more clients. But we are not machines. We are humans and therefore, to be productive isn’t about doing more, its moreso about finding ways to generate, create, enhance or bring forth. Did you know the word produce come from the Latin word producere. Pro meaning “forward” and ducuere meaning “lead.” To FORWARD LEAD by generating, creating, enhancing or bringing forth.
Therefore, to be productive means to exert the necessary and directed energy needed for maximum impact in creating or enhancing experiences, goods or services.
What areas of your life are you looking to be more productive in?
I thought about my own life and I’m always interested in being more productive in the following roles:
- Entrepreneur/Boutique Business Owner
- Lover/Siren Dater
- Pole Dancer / Sensual Movement Artist
- Event Planner/Workshop Leader
How do you foster the skill set to be more productive?
If being productive is all about exerting only the necessary and directed energy for maximum impact in creating or enhancing, this means there must be some skill set that allows for that kind of dynamic and powerful living. I could download an app like Asana for project management or Hootsuite for social media management but those apps are useless without human character traits and a certain skill set that allow for you to be productive. How many apps have you downloaded from someone’s list and you never opened it? How many people have suggested you use Hootsuite and you do but still your business has only 100 facebook likes and no one has downloaded your ebook from that marketing tweet you sent?
So what’s the formula for the skill set of productive people aside from 5 great apps?
This is my own concocted formula. There are no scientific findings on this. This is my own Wild, Magical approach to productivity. People always ask me if I sleep. People are always shocked that in addition to my boutique business, I actually have a full time job. People are surprised by the amount of writing that I do…considering I write for my blog and write or edit a number of others. So when I tried to think of WHY I GET THINGS DONE those words came to mind. HOW I GET THINGS DONE, can be found in my blog post, “25 Project Management Apps, Tips and Links.”
Why do I get things done? Its because of curiosity, drive, creativity, focus and clarity. If you lack those skill sets, you are going to have to work twice as hard to produce 1/10th of what I do, if you can even muster that. Or perhaps you have the budget to pay someone to think and create for you. Or you have found another way…which means you’re creative and innovative, thus prolific.
If you want to produce “more” in the sense that you’re only using the necessary energy for maximum impact in creating or enhancing, you need to be a curious person. Being a curious person will lead you to asking questions and engaging in ways you never would have thought of. Even if everything you know is absolutely true and the ONLY and BEST way to exist in the world is what you know, still…just for five minutes be curious enough to question everything you know and how everything works. By calling into question and just wondering what was going on regarding a few archaic ways my old job handled travel for executives through their assistants, it lead to a company-wide policy change and standard operating procedure that not only increased productivity, it decreased travel spend, and fostered more dynamic team work. It all happened with me just wondering…just being curious about why the system was the way it was. I didn’t have all the answers. I didn’t know where my questions would lead. But, I wondered out loud and it changed everything.
You can be curious, but you should know that if you don’t have any drive, nothing is going to happen. Drive is a bit different than willpower. And lately I hear willpower isn’t enough for productivity.
I’ll say no more.
Creativity is also key. You can be curious and you can have a vigorous drive, but if your mind isn’t fostering innovative ideas, you are not creating or enhancing experiences…as I use to define the second half of “PRODUCTIVITY.” How can you be more creativity? Well engage in creative play and seek inspiration. Try downloading Artsy. It’s “the art world in your pocket.” Download Tayasui and doodle. Download Directr and make a movie that visually tells the story of your everyday life just because. (Don’t panic. Storyboards and a shot list are provided and their company blog offers insight.) Why am I suggesting art apps and video apps and a sketching app versus Asana, Evernote and Dropbox? Because if your mind is boring, grey and bland and uninspiring with a dose of absolutely no forethought or imagination, EVERNOTE is not going to help you exert the necessary energy that has the maximum impact for creating or enhancing any area of your life.
If you are, for instance a cupcake baker. We’ll call them GlitterCakes for shits and giggles. Okay, so you download asana to track your to do list and your assistant’s to do list. And you download dropbox to be the go to place to hold your branding documents, approved social media images and client forms. And you also have hootsuite with 10 status updates scheduled to go to twitter, google+ and facebook all about your latest GlitterCakes sale, pretty food porn and inspiring quotes. And yet, your bank account has $50 left, your rent is due, you have no new leads and the last hit you got on your website shopping cart was a virus.
Do you see where I’m going? A productivity app will only get you so far. To be productive, meaning as a business owner…you want more customers and more sales and probably more brand loyalty and social currency…just downloading a cool and useful app won’t help, by itself. You need to get real curious about the world. You need to have some drive to try a few things. You need to get real creative even if it sounds silly or ridiculous. And then you need to use focus and clarity to determine what the sweet spot for using the necessary energy for maximum impact in enhancing your GlitterCake bakery will be.
So in addition to finding some productivity apps, go find apps, books, links, videos and things that engage curiosity, creativity, drive, focus and clarity too. When your mind is one of the most fascinating places that exist in the world, you create a powerful galaxy. A center for innovation. A thriving business with a list of 10 amazing things that are going to take you to the next level versus a list of 100 things and 60 pinned board that amount to nothing.
What is the true value in being productive?
Well I guess I just answered that. The true value in being productive is that you thrive. That whole, “the struggle is real” thing. No. I reject that. yes hard work is HARD. But why struggle when you can thrive? Why struggle when your business or your family or your interest can thrive? Have you ever asked yourself how can I be more productive in my marriage and my friendships? Meaning how can I invest the necessary energy that will have a maximum impact for creating beauty between me and this person or enhancing the experiences we share? Again, hootshuite ain’t gon solve that shit. (I LOVE HOOTSUITE AND USE IT EVERYDAY!) You have to get real curious about your relationship with your self, with others, with your work and with your passion. You have to have the drive to want it to thrive. Do you see where I’m going? Want to produce more…then be a more fascinating and prolific person!!!
Why do people procrastinate?
I asked that question when thinking about “how to be more productive” because that seems to be where people feel they falter. They have 5 videos to edit and instead they check facebook or twitter. They have to cook dinner and instead they watch another episode of Scandal on Hulu. They have to write a business plan and instead they create five new pinterest boards for their personal style and their future daughter’s bedroom.
My tip for that. Turn your “guilty pleasures” into usable energy for the rest of your life. If you just CAN NOT get enough of Scandal…pass the point of enjoying it and moreso to the point that its taking away from other things that you do, find a way to incorporate Scandal into your life. One friend of mine, a former allergen free baker, created a Scandal inspired popcorn. The flavor, Red Wine and Caramel aka CRACK that I could never have enough of. How can you take your “guilty pleasures” and use them to drive productivity in your life.
I love facebook. But I use all the groups I’m in as a way to see what people are talking about to help me create more social media content. Oh, tons of beginning pole dancers keep asking basic questions and I love staying on facebook reading them. Let me copy those questions, put together a panel and host an On Air Hangout with Pole Teachers, a Pole Studio Owner, a Pole Competitor and more. You see what I did there?
So why do people procrastinate? I’m sure there are many theories. Most of it being you’d rather indulge in whatever pleases you than do the thing you HAVE to do. Yeah, so either make your life more geared towards your indulgences. Find ways to use your indulgences towards other areas of your life. Pay people to do the things you don’t want to do. Automate them. Simplify them. Or get a taskrabbit.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE
Learning to prioritize will be key.
Learning to manage your time will be key. Meaning I write draft blog posts on the train. I read a new chapter in a book on personal development while waiting to see the dentist. If I have five minutes there is something I can do…even if its simply meditate. If I have 30 minutes there is something I can do.
Learning to say no will be key. You can’t produce more epic shit if you’re saying yes to everything. Know your values and your focus. Be real clear on what that is. That will help you know what to engage with and what not to engage with.
Learning to work backwards will be key. That implies deadlines and who wants to commit to that when its so big and scary? That’s fine. Go suck your thumb. Or pick a date…which you can later change…but for now pick a date for the completion of your latest project and slowly work backwards planning each step of the process.
Tips on My Productive Life
- Blogger – The point is to produce great content that gets shared
- Here are a few tips on producing content for your blog
- Go back to your life values or brand words – Sensuality, Creativity, Expression, Power are four of my main ones. Forget the fluff and junk and create content that speaks to one of those four words. If it has nothing to do with your brand or your value don’t waste your time writing about it. BUT get creative and find unique ways to talk about things that wouldn’t readily apply and find unfamiliar ways to talk about the same topics you already write about.
- Think about what your friends ask you, what anonymous people write you about and what you know or feel are the three biggest problems your audience face. What’s the first thing on their mind every day. What keeps them awake at night? Create content that deals with those issues. Or create content that deals with what keeps you up at night.
- To make it shareable use CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to make the best title possible. Then use CoSchedule to assist in the social sharing of your content. Use Canva to make graphics specific to your top two social media platforms. And then see what happens when you consistently create the content of your brand, use tools to ensure the content makes sense and use consistency to ensure the content gets out there.
- Here are a few tips on producing content for your blog
I mentioned a few other areas of my life and coming soon, I’ll write about how I live a productive life in each in its own mini series.
- Entrepreneur – The main point would be to secure new business, keep producing amazing products & services, and make money
- Lover/ Siren Dater – The main point would be to engage with amazing men, develop intimacy, build powerful connections, and have hot sex.
- Traveler – The main point would be to see the world in a limited amount of time.
- Pole dancer – The main point would be to learn, advance, have fun and feel sexy.
- Photographer – The main point would be to shoot more clients, edit and sale.
- Event Planner/Workshop Leader – The main point would be to produce more dynamic events, sell out and create awesome experiences.
I’ll be walking you through how I exert the necessary energy for the maximum impact in creating or enhancing each of these areas of my life in the coming weeks. I may also feature other areas of my life too. We shall see. Be that as it may, this is a #VZWBuzz inspired post, so lets recap on what tech I highlighted.
Articles I Like
*Disclaimer – I’m a Verizon #VZWBuzz Lifestyle Blogger. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own because otherwise what would be the point? I was inspired to write this post because of the upcoming tweetchat on “How to Be More Productive.” I hope you tune in and participate. They are giving away prizes.
CHECK OUT MY OTHER VZWBuzz Posts such as How Technology Makes Dating Awesome and How to Date a Football Fanatic and Can I Vlog On My Nokia Lumia Icon and And If You See No Light, Let It Shine From Within and 3 Awesome Uses for Bose Sound MiniLink and Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE and Jawbone Up | Tips on Wellness, Fitness & Health and My Day At Twitter