Becoming the Most Productive YOU Ever

Productivity: Make it Happen

Contrary to the opinion of many, productivity is not a function of speed. It’s all about results.

Making 20 sales calls in an hour is working fast. But if you make a bad impression on 20 good prospects, the hour was unproductive.  (Cold calling is rarely productive, by the way. At least for most of us.)

Entrepreneurial people live in what Dan Sullivan calls the “results economy,” not the “time and effort economy. Working harder, faster, and taking fewer breaks may seem like a more productive way of living. That’s not necessarily the case. In the end, the value you produce is what matters.

All things are not equal. Knocking out 90% of the tasks on your checklist may be unproductive…if you’re doing it to avoid the handful of things that will have the biggest impact.

Now, I’ve never claimed to be the world’s leading authority on productivity. But as an obsessed freelance copywriter with 4 kids and a gorgeous wife who deserves my attention, I have to maintain a degree of focus. Not just activity, but money-in-the-bank results.

My more productive days have distinctive characteristics that my unproductive ones. When I’m “on,” here’s what’s usually happening:

  • I get into motion. Inertia kills many people and projects at the starting block. It drains our reservoirs of enthusiasm and energy. Getting going is tough! Sometimes it makes sense to make the first step ridiculously easy to take. Get the forward momentum started and accelerate from there. Don’t overthink!
    • Once momentum is working for you instead of against, you might be surprised how productive you can be. A little step forward, a mini-victory can go a long way.
    • As a writer, this is HUGE. Don’t stare at a blank page for too long. Start writing. Your thoughts will clear up before you know it. Then go back and edit.
  • I prioritize in advance. I decide what results I need to accomplish and plan activities accordingly.
  • I prepare in advance. The work starts before you start working. You wipe out a lot of dilly-dally if you come fully prepared.
  • I set deadlines. Without them, I’m practically dead in the water.
  • I use methods already proven to work instead of reinventing the wheel every time out.
  • I schedule my day, slotting my high-priority action items into times when my energy levels and focus are likely to be high – that’s usually evening for me – and my time will be uninterrupted.

The Other Part of Productivity

You have go beyond affecting your own mental and work habits. You’ve gotta produce an effect on other people.

How do you avoid doing all the right things only to fall flat when dealing with customers?

Go after the right prospects. Vegans don’t buy steaks.

Who wants what you sell? Who’s most likely to buy in the near future? Who has the ability to say “yes”? Who is already inclined to do business with you?

Strengthen the messaging. There’s a reason good copywriters and salespeople make a lot of money. Communicating persuasively multiplies productivity. I’ve seen conversion rates rise 400% and more simply by rearranging some words.

If you’re going to make sales calls or send emails, you might as well close some deals.

Use leverage. Make your intelligent efforts stretch even farther. Productivity levers include

  • authority
  • relationships with your existing customers
  • strategic alliances
  • expanding from one-to-one to one-to-many
  • repurposing existing materials.

A Word About State Management

I’ve found that I’m most productive when I’m excited about what I’m working on. Creativity emerges more effortlessly when I’m confident in my abilities and knowledge.

Negativity and disagreement put me into a funk.

You have to figure out ways to get yourself pumped up and confident that you’re going to knock it out of the ballpark.

*Update May 2017*

Here’s the recording of a livestreamed video I shot for my Facebook group. It’s about writing faster. Because… you know…I’m a writer (and there’s a good chance you are, too):

 


One last thing.

I wanted to share this cool infographic. Salesforce Canada did some research to uncover “Simple tips to Becoming the Most Productive Salesperson Ever.” One of their reps reached out to me and asked to share it.

Good stuff for you to think about.

salesperson productivity

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailtwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Productivity Hacks – Hanging Out with Carey Green

Productivity Hacks

The early bird catches the worm, as the old proverb says.

Sometimes I think that’s a rather destructive piece of advice.

Earlier this month, I shared a few of my most useful productivity tips with Carey Green. We were talking about my contribution to his new book Entrepreneur Mind Hacks Part 1. The dual volume series is a compilation of tips from some of the brightest entrepreneurial thinkers in the game today (like Seth Godin and Cal Newport), as well as powerful insights from thinkers of the past (like Winston Churchill).

Somehow I sneaked into the roster.

During this interview, Carey and I talk about:

  • why “early to bed and early to rise” isn’t always best
  • one of the many business lessons I extracted from sermons of an itinerant 18th century preacher
  • generosity versus greed in business
  • why humans need to stop treating their brains and bodies like machines during the workweek
  • how two different Schwartzes (Gene and Tony) forever altered the way I set up my schedule — their advice will revolutionize your productivity if you listen and apply
  • step-by-step instructions to discover your unique rhythms
  • how God made you different — and what you need to do to make the most of that fact.

We also got into copywriting and marketing a little bit. I talked about how important persuasive copy is, but there are two things that have far more impact on the punching power of your sales messages. Most decent copywriters are aware of this. That doesn’t mean they’ll talk about it in public.

Carey was a great host. He’s also a top-notch businessman and MAN. The world could use more like him.

Get more details about Entrepreneur Mind Hacks books. Book 1 addresses productivity and creativity. (That’s the one I contributed to.) Book 2 dives into connections and success.

If you’re in business or thinking about going into business, pick em up. You’ll definitely learn something.

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailtwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail