Do you want to achieve more in less time? Then you are like most of my Executive Coaching clients: successful managers who still feel they stay behind their full potential despite working around the clock. They think they could achieve even more if they were less distracted during the day-to-day business.
Famous blogger Yaro Starak published a great post on this topic: “How To Remain Productive When You Feel Like Giving Up”
Yaro gives valuable insights and one key messages is that success is to a great deal based on the “ability to force yourself to be productive when you don’t feel like it.”
Although I admire people with such output-oriented attitudes, I have a slightly different view.
There is no doubt that persistence is at the heart of truly successful business people and entrepreneurs. However, it is most important that you find out how you are most productive. And this does not contradict with the idea of persistence as a key of success.
Become Your Personal Best
One of the biggest mistakes many people make is to listen to other people’s advice without listening to themselves. They copy behavior of role models not taking into account their own personal strengths and preferences. Then they blindly follow that advice – and get frustrated because they don’t succeed that way.
You may look at these ‘achievers’ in awe and what happens next is you get discouraged because you know this idea of forcing you to produce output on a bad day will never work out for you. In worst case you feel like a failure and you give up. “I cannot be like this,” you say, and the world will never hear about the great ideas you have just buried.
I want to encourage you to build on your strengths and find your personal style: figure out when you are at your best!
Maybe you are one of these people who look unproductive on the outside at times, but lots of things are going on inside. You are constantly thinking, developing ideas… in silence. The environment does not take note of that.
Your best ideas are not developed at your office desk, but during a day on the beach, while running on the treadmill, or simply when taking a shower.
Some of this ‘breeding ideas’ almost takes place on an unconscious level. Then suddenly, you get things done in an outburst of energy. And as long as this works for you, there is nothing wrong with that. By no means are you less successful than your super-productive counterparts.
As a very successful business owner and friend of mine once said: “It’s not procrastination, I call it incubation.”
In essence: listen to yourself and distinguish between truly unproductive patterns (e.g. a NEED to overcome procrastination) and a more inconsistent but still highly productive working styles (e.g. working in bursts of energy, interrupted with periods of apparently unproductive times).
Moreover, define what you really want to achieve. Do you strive to achieve more to pursue your most important goals in life? Or are you just running after a bunch of carrots of extrinsic motivation? I have met a couple of ‘highly successful and productive’ people who lived very unhappy lives…
Get where you want to be tips:
1. Define what you really want to achieve to experience fulfillment in life. Stop running after the goals of other people.
2. Persistence is definitely the key to success. If forcing yourself to be productive when you don’t feel like it does not work out for you, check if you are a procrastinator or an incubator: procrastinators get distracted and don’t get the necessary things done. Incubators need to breed ideas internally, and then become highly productive in bursts of energy.
Gerrit Pelzer is a Leadership Advisor & Executive Coach who helps leaders create better results through people. If you would like a personal consultation (without any obligations) on how you can achieve your goals, please contact him now:
phone: +66-2 107 2025