In April of last year, I had planned to ramp up my content creation and really position myself for a huge launch of my very first course ever, but I wasn’t in the right headspace for it. I had been struggling to get anything meaningful accomplished in my business because the pandemic had shut down my daughter’s school. I became a stay at home mom overnight. And I was struggling majorly.
Luckily my business coach at the time took notice of this and rather than pushing me to work harder and hustle more, suggested a doing-detox. On a day-to-day basis, I had lost focus on why productivity mattered to me. Can you relate to that?
By cultivating the right mindset about productivity, I was able to increase my output and truly impact my success. And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this episode, how to create the mindset of a productivity powerhouse.
- Why mindset is so important, what it is but more importantly what it isn’t
- Understanding why changing your mindset may be hard and the three things that may hold you back as you begin to do this work
- The difference between busy and productive
- The exercise you can employ today to help you define what productivity means to you and why it matters
Rather skim before you listen? ⬇️
In April of last year, I had planned to ramp up my content creation and position myself for a really big launch, my first course ever. That sounds great, but I wasn’t in the right headspace for it.
I had been struggling to get anything meaningful accomplished in my business because the pandemic shut down my toddler’s school in March.
Given that my husband’s and my mom’s work schedule was more demanding than ever given that they were deemed essential, I became a Stay-At-Home-Mom overnight.
I tried staying up later & later, working during naps, and disappearing once another adult got home to hang out with Nora to get the work done, but I was struggling majorly.
Luckily, my business coach took notice of this and rather than pushing me to work harder, she suggested a Doing Detox, where I basically stopped “doing” for three weeks. I didn’t neglect clients or my responsibilities, but I put new projects on hold.
While this break was needed on a logistics level (aka me resting a bit), it was so much deeper than that as well.
On a day-to-day basis, I had lost focus on why productivity mattered to me, why I was ticking the boxes or crossing off ALL. THE. THINGS.
And if I’m being honest, I was seeking external validation every single day in everything that I did, through likes on my posts, engagement with my live trainings, increases in metrics, client testimonials, and generally just a pat on the back from those in my everyday life.
Really, I was misusing “productivity” & ended up burnt out as a result.
Can you relate?
But I did realize something very important in that really hard season: it is possible to become ultimately productive without burning out.
By cultivating the right mindset about productivity, I was able to majorly increase my output & truly impact my success.
Productivity is often misunderstood as getting more done. A productive person is seen as an ultimate creation or get-it-done machine, but that has led to this broken idea of what it means to be productive.
If you’ve spent any time in the online entrepreneurial or personal growth space, you are probably groaning and grumbling at the idea of mindset. It’s become a bit of a trendy buzz word over the past several years and therefore lost some of it’s meaning.
Mindset is simply the way you think about things, your established attitudes about something.
But your mindset isn’t just about what is in your head.
Brooke Castillo has an amazing framework called CTFAR. It stands for Circumstances, Thoughts, Feelings, Actions, Results.
The idea behind it is that circumstances that we have no control of lead to thoughts, feelings, actions, and results.
BUT we do have 100% control over our thoughts so, in essence, we then have control over our feelings, actions, & results.
So your mindset isn’t just about your thoughts. The right mindset can affect your actions & results too, even if the circumstances are out of your control.
So many women that I work with and engage with online have shared similar sentiments— “I’m at the mercy of my kids and partner and clients. I don’t have any control over my day, week, calendar, etc.”
But Brooke’s model contradicts that. There is nothing on your calendar or to-do list that we haven’t allowed to be there.
Once you can take ownership of your schedule, your thoughts, and your productivity, you can up level majorly because you recognize the impact your intentionality can have.
I’m not going to pretend that undoing all those intrusive thoughts & negativity surrounding your productivity are going to be easy to reprogram. But it’s possible.
Understanding why it may be hard and what may hold you back as you begin to do this work can be helpful.
The first thing that may get in your way is years of programming. This sounds a little woo and maybe even a bit Pavlovian, but it’s true.
In American society, busy is better.
We think if we work hard and life is a struggle, we are better, more self-righteous when we win cause “we earned it” and when we lose, ‘it’s justified.”
Especially as women, we are told and raised to serve, which means that we tie our worth to our output and what we do for others. This gives us the idea that doing is more valuable than being.
In the age of Pinterest-perfect, unlimited information at our fingertips, and 24/7 communication, the standards for success are set impossibly high.
And the danger of this hustle mentality paired with this programming is that if you stop doing, you stop hustling, you lose value.
I’ll be the first to admit that for the longest time, my worth was directly tied to my output.
How much I got done on a daily basis.
And if I wasn’t creating something in my business, I had to clean the house, or vacuum out the car, or do a workout— all working towards some goals. Always actively taking action to move forward.
I could never just be and truly relax. Even on vacations I would read books, or try to “do” something always.
But I now longer subscribe to that definition of productivity.
Here’s the truth. Busy does not mean you are being productive.
Just because you got a lot done in a given day doesn’t mean you were necessarily productive. Likewise, just because you only worked two hours in a day doesn’t mean that you weren’t productive.
Busy is having lots to do. Productivity is sustainably moving you toward your goals.
Busy focuses on quantity, a higher fraction of time spent over time available. Productivity focuses on effectiveness of the time spent. It’s more about quality.
Sometimes productivity looks like cranking out blog posts and other times it looks like intentionally resting and recharging. They are both equally important when it comes to true productivity.
Sustainable productivity means that you are able to move towards your goals faster and easier because you are consistent.
Productivity is a practice, not a one time destination.
If you are busy, sprinting toward the finish line, you are going to run out of steam much faster than if you moved forward strategically, resting and recharging when it made sense.
The final thing that may get in your way is legacy.
Our time is limited. And not just on any given day or week. You only have so much time on this earth.
So you may want to try to get the absolute most done everyday to leave something for future generations.
To be celebrated long after you’re gone.
I get it. We want to be remembered.
But creating isn’t the only way to leave a legacy.
Enjoying and savoring the time you have here, showing up well for those that you love, and really living all lead to being remembered too.
Are you onboard and ready to reprogram your mindset around your productivity?
Here is a quick tip for you:
Answer this question:
Why do you want to be productive?
Don’t stop with your first answer, keep going. Ask yourself “so what?” until you get to the root of it all.
For example, if you say “you want to get more done in a day.” Why do you want to get more done in a day?
Do you want to feel more accomplished, like you didn’t waste your time?
Do you want to be more secure financially?
Do you want to spend more quality time with your kids where you are present and patient?
Keep going until you get to the bottom of it.
Your answers to this question can give you tons of insight into how you see productivity. And then you can decide how best to move forward.
How do you want to redefine productivity for you?
Do you need to do a Doing Detox too?
Do you need to add certain affirmations to your morning routine?
Do you need to add in the CTFAR framework that I mentioned earlier as a regular practice to keep from driving yourself crazy?
Do you need to re-evaluate your to-do list and what you are prioritizing?
At the end of the day, your productivity isn’t a magic power that you do or don’t have. It’s a carefully curated practice that you get to leverage to help you make the most of your limited time and resources. You have really big dreams and goals, and I want you to get the absolute most out of your time and energy to get to those dreams and goals faster and easier.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode:
Go back and do the journal exercise about how you currently define productivity. Then move forward in a way to really cultivate productivity as a practice.