This is going to be a pretty quick post, but I think it’s really important, so stick with me.
For many of us, productivity is often something we (unproductively) attach to our self-worth. We perfectionists (definitely including me) associate our value with how much we accomplish within an arbitrary time frame.
But the problem is… humans are absolutely terrible at acknowledging their own accomplishments. We always focus on the things we didn’t do, instead of appreciating the hard work we did do.
And Imposter Syndrome makes it painfully challenging to even accept recognition from others who tell us we did a great job. Usually we say to ourselves:
“That was just a fluke”
“I don’t deserve this… I’m just tricking people”
Or my once-upon-a-time personal mantra: “They’re just being nice”
None of the above is true, of course. If you heard someone else talking that way about themselves, you’d intervene against the self-deprecating noise going on in their head right away.
But back to productivity and the one thing you newbie entrepreneurs really need to know…
Productivity looks different for everyone
There’s no one-size-fits-all productivity hack that will suddenly turn you into a blazing machine that never doubts themselves.
As someone who goes gaga over productivity and organization (thank you high-functioning anxiety)… I can assure you that I’ve tried absolutely every trend I’ve come across.
And the most important thing I learned is that:
Just because someone is most productive getting up at 5AM (for example), doesn’t mean I have to do that to be productive
Mindset shift: prioritizing productivity over busy
Most of us had 9-5 jobs before starting our own businesses. That experience indoctrinated us into basing productivity on how many hours we work.
But honestly, that’s bass-ackwards. If you keep equating quantity over quality, you’ll drive yourself insane.
Most of us only have about 3-4 hours (at best) of “good brain” time per day. What that means is: we’ve got 3-4 hours to invest in “deep work” before our tanks run low. Past that point, we risk the quality of our work diminishing.
You can read more about this phenomena on the SocalDigital blog: “The Average Worker Is Only Productive 3 Hours Per Day”
(and there are tons of other references you can check out just by using good ole’ Google)
You have to measure your productivity differently as an entrepreneur. You can’t beat yourself up if your finish your work earlier on some days than others. Trust me, if you protect those precious 2-4 hours of “good brain” time, you’ll be stunned at what you accomplish.
In other words, measure quality over quantity.
Find productivity habits that fit around your life
One of the reasons we hated our day jobs and started our own businesses… was because we HATED trying to fit into boxes that weren’t meant for us.
Don’t do that to yourself. Be the boss you wish you had. Feel free to test out all of the productivity tips and techniques you can find, but if they’re adding to your anxiety instead of relieving it, then it ISN’T actually productive.
You 100% will figure this all out, so don’t worry
We all feel super overwhelmed at the seemingly insurmountable mountain that starting a business feels like. But I promise that you will find your way as long as you stay on the path that leads you toward what makes your heart happy.
We are ALL stumbling around like drunk aardvarks in the dark. But the nice part is that even the most successful of us bumbling aardvarks are still right there with us in the dark (and making it up as they go along.)
Just do your best.
I promise it’s enough.
PS: check out my free blogging template if you wanna start a blog (which you should) for your business.