We know productive isn’t the same as busy… but what is it, exactly?
Being busy is everybody’s excuse for not doing something…
I’m too busy for writing that novel or taking a vacation or spending time with my kids or starting my business or cleaning my house.
Everybody is busy, but not everybody is successful. And only a few people are truly productive (and you’ll notice that they are almost ALL successful).
Busy and productive are not the same. So what does productive look like?
There are 3 qualities that define true productivity
Quality 1: Producing in abundance.
This is about being prolific. It’s more important than ever. The methods of distribution have changed so much that we can now, at almost no cost, get our stuff out there to the whole entire world.
(Did you really get that? Did you understand it? Do you realize what that means? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?)
Back in ye olden days of yore, before distribution became instantaneous, we had lots of waiting periods.
We produced. We waited on some distribution process. We mulled over our next work. We waited again for some other part of distribution. We mulled some more.
We had time between production and distribution. We don’t have that time anymore. You can still take it, if you want… but why?
You can produce a work, have it distributed in a matter of days, or hours, and have people ready and waiting for your next work in just a few more days or hours.
Being prolific is an important quality of true productivity. The successful doers of the world know that there’s not a 100% success rate. You have to do more – much, much more – than what you want to see succeed.
Some of your work is going to flop.
Give yourself even a 50% success rate, and you’ll see why you have to be prolific in order to be productive.
Quit thinking in terms of scarcity, too. That myth of the one-work genius, or the need to wait on inspiration? That’s for the amateurs. Become a professional in your creative work.
Learn how to discipline yourself and set up systems that make being productive easy. Structure your life for production, not consumption. Make producing your hobby. You’ll save money, and make more money, and probably be healthier…
Quality 2: Producing something effective.
It’s the right message said in the right way and getting to the right people. How do you know?
Mainly trial and error. (That’s why you want to produce in abundance, see? Because you’re mostly figuring it out as you go along.)
Be individual, not an imitation. Be creative. You’re valuable when you have something worth saying and you say it well. Say what you mean. Don’t pander. Don’t be washed out. Be bold. Be wrong sometimes. It’s okay.
You’re not supposed to be perfect, but being passionate is a good idea.
Passion is effective. Boldness is effective. Adding more fluff to the pile of fluff is not effective. Adding more noise to the roar of the world is not effective.
You know your work is effective when you start hearing about it from other people.
You know your work is effective when it starts doing things that you never imagined for it.
Quality 3: Producing something that gets results.
When people act as a result of what you do, and in those actions they see results, you are being truly productive.
I know this is not always easy or even possible to measure. But it helps to have it in your head, as a mental standard if nothing else. If you can see the potential for your work to help people change, grow, become better, succeed, then you’re on the way.
If your work makes them want to buy more if it, share it, talk about it, join your club, be in your tribe, then it’s getting results.
If your work inspires action, then it’s getting results.
Don’t let busy keep you from productive
When you write your to-do list, what work on there qualifies as truly productive?
What are you doing in abundance, that is effective, and that gets results? Focus on that work. Let the rest fall away.
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