Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It’s certainly not for everyone and people’s reasons for pursuing their own line of work run the gamut. But regardless of our big WHY—that north star that keeps us going—it’s easy to fall out of routine and sink into ruts from time to time. And when that happens, it can really feel like you’re spinning your wheels no matter how hard you’re working to climb out of it.
Establishing routines and rituals require a little experimenting and a lot of discipline and patience. And everyone attributes their productivity to something. Between meditation, daily affirmations, cold showers, working out— it can be hard to stick with something long enough to figure out what’s right for you. Everybody is different and not everything is meant to be sustainable for everyone. What works for one person might mean nothing to someone else.
I have tried to make many rituals stick over the years. Some of them were good for awhile. Others I just couldn’t connect with. No matter how long of a chance I gave them, they felt forced. While there are certain daily habits I have kept around, the changes that have had the most profound effect on my productivity have been holistic “tweaks.” And perhaps more than anything, these “life tweaks” have aligned my business goals with the kind of lifestyle I’m aiming for more than anything else.
6 Ways To Improve Productivity At Work And Live Your Best Life
1. Start doing.
When I started my first business, I was so keen on learning everything as fast as I could, that I never learned any one thing really well. I suffered from shiny object syndrome. My inbox was inundated with offers of selling the “exact formula” for a six-figure business. I was joining webinars left and right. I always felt the need to sign up for this course and that course. I didn’t know what to focus on but I was willing to do whatever it took to grow my business. And it wasn’t until later that I realized all this “doing” was a waste because I lacked focus. I was consuming way more than I was creating.
As entrepreneurs, we tend to suffer from too much information and lack of implementation. This happens because before you can master and execute one thing, you’re already onto learning about something else.
How to fix this: Focus on one thing at a time. Learn it until you know it so well, you can teach an 8-year-old how to do it. Then DO IT. Stop overanalyzing and implement your learnings. Measure your results. Once you have that in place, move onto the next thing on your list. With a little bit of prioritization, you’ll find that there is time to learn it all.
Want more? Read this article by Ben Foley. He explains why most advice is bullshit, how to avoid suffering from course and webinar FOMO, and offers a system that will help you decrease overwhelm in your entrepreneurial life. Also, this.
2. Get back in alignment.
One piece of advice that really changed things for me is to stop living incongruently. If you have big, Level 10 goals but are half-assing your daily efforts with Level 6 habits, you are living incongruently. Remember, your input really does determine your output. Your mindset, action, and habits must align with the kinds of accomplishments and results you want.
How to fix this: Be honest with yourself. If you feel like you haven’t been making the kind of progress you envisioned lately, see if you can identify why that may be happening. Are you according to your core values? Find where you’re out of alignment in your operations, marketing, product, and mindset and then determine what you will do to get back to living congruently.
Want more? Check out these productivity tips that changed this guy’s life. Sometimes all it takes is a new action plan to yield greater results.
3. Find your circle of influence.
Have you ever heard of the law of averages? It’s the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes. When it comes to relationships, those we spend the most time with actually have the greatest influence on us (whether we like it or not). From the way we think to our self-esteem to the choices we make. We’re actually more affected by our surroundings than we think. If you hang around a bunch of Debbie Downers all the time, that’s surely enough to affect your outlook and you’d probably be somewhat of a bummer yourself. If you surround yourself with very judgmental people, you’ll probably feel quick to judge others who live differently than you more times than not. This is because your circle of influence will somehow always rub off on you.
How to fix this: If you want to make $500k, then ask yourself why is everyone around you making $60k? Find the people who are living the kind of life you envision for yourself. Once you find them, get them in your life. Surround yourself with those kinds of people. Because after some time associating with them, their mindset, habits, perspective, work ethic – it will all greatly influence you and change the way you approach your own goals and outcome.
4. Adjust your lifestyle.
Start emulating the kind of life you want to be living. If you can feel it, you can do it. Redecorate your apartment or workspace. If you’re able to, invest in tech or gear that will greatly benefit your business in the long run. Oftentimes, people have to feel good to be motivated. If you can feel yourself living the life you want, that emotion you attach to it will drive you to work hard enough to finally reach it one day.
How to fix this: Have you been holding out on upgrading certain parts of your business or brand? Whether it’s physical parts like your workspace or technology or less tangible pieces like branding or photography. If it’s a true priority and you have the budget to do so (but haven’t bit the bullet yet), it’s time to know your worth. Treat yourself and your business like you’ve already made it and you’ll take yourself one step closer to the life you were meant to live.
Want more? Read You Are Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero, author of cult favorite You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. Her approach might not be for everyone but I enjoyed her writing and she was able to finally make stick many pieces of advice and thought processes I had come across but perhaps wasn’t fully sold on. Needless to say, I was after that book. Once I was able to sell myself on this new perspective, I started seeing the results I wanted to see. If you’re not ready to start a new a book, get going with this list of Sincero’s 10 mental tricks to achieve your own kind of wealth.
5. Find your WHY.
But don’t stop there. Clearly define it. If you really truly know your reasons for WHY you want to be your own boss, want a certain lifestyle, want to travel the world, etc., you’ll always want to keep working for it. You never lose sight of it and you won’t stop until you get there. Reasons come first, results come second.
How to fix this: Ask yourself, what are my top 5 reasons for changing the next 6 months of my life? Write these down and keep them somewhere visible so you see them every day. I have mine as my desktop wallpaper on my laptop but you can use post-its on your mirror, computer monitor, phone wallpaper…anywhere that makes it easy for you to always keep your goals in sight.
Want more? Read Peter Voogd’s book Six Months To Six Figures. The title is a bit of a misnomer because it talks about so much more than that. After reading it, I chucked any 5-year and 10-year plans I was still clinging onto and shifted my mindset completely. Voogd also has a class on Creative Live where he talks more about finding your why that I highly recommend (create an account here and get $15 off).
6. Recognize that the limit does not exist.
Limiting beliefs are the worst. And we all have them. Even those people who have seemingly perfect lives and seem to have everything together. It doesn’t matter how you were raised or what kind of life you lived before, we’ve all had experiences that have shaped the way we view ourselves – what we think deserve, what we think we’re capable of doing. These limitations, however, aren’t real. We’ve subconsciously put them in place and have conditioned ourselves to abide by them whenever they creep up in various situations in life. Whether you realize it or not, we all have conscious and unconscious beliefs about ourselves that either drive us forward or hold us back from our potential to have and live the best life possible. Rid yourself of limiting beliefs. Take away your limitations.
How to fix this // Want more? Read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I highly recommend it for anyone, entrepreneur or not.
It’s hard to sustain results consistently unless you have the right systems in place as well as the right mindset. Keeping your goals in sight so you see them daily is one of the most effective ways to keep momentum moving forward. People like talking about finding success all the time, but few take action and do the work required. So make it your goal to be actionable so you can keep momentum up past a week or two.
Do you have any other killer productivity tips? Share them with us by leaving a comment below!