You wake up one morning and receive a call that you’ve won $500,000! All you need to do is drive eight hours to claim your prize. You jump in your car, enter the address into your GPS and off you go.
An hour into your drive, your stomach begins to growl. You notice a flashing sign in the distance that says, “World famous pizza – turn left”. A minute later, your washer fluid indicator light begins to flash and your phone beeps, notifying you that you have 10 new Snapchat messages. Eyes back on the road now, you begin to notice various street signs luring you to the casino up ahead, the designer clothing sale down the road and wouldn’t you know it, a “This way to the beach” sign straight ahead! All you need to do is remain focused on the prize, but it seems that everywhere you look, there are things trying to take you off your path.
We are surrounded by distractions every day and while some people are able to stay productive despite them, others – not so much.
It’s easy to let distractive activities take up valuable hours from our day and steer us off course. But to be successful, you need to take action and find a way to manage them, especially in our technology-driven world where we are constantly bombarded with a zillion distractions every minute.
So how do successful people do it? There is certainly no shortage on Google for productivity tips. Tips like blocking out distractions, getting up earlier or outsourcing chores. I’m not sure about you, but the last time I attempted to block out incoming calls, screaming kids and constant emails, I wasn’t exactly productive. I’m a believer in keeping it simple. Too many directions and I am bound to end up lost.
Here are three simple tips to help you stay the course:
1) Stay in the driver’s seat
Distractions are not going anywhere. When you are in the driver’s seat, you are in control. Use this control to manage the time you spend on certain activities, rather than letting the activities control you. Identifying which activities are productive and purposeful in your business will help you to avoid the ones that aren’t.
Set time limits when on social media. If you’re on Facebook to stay connected to your sphere of influence, then carve out time at the beginning or end of your day to do so. But be sure you are sticking to task. Last time I checked, Candy Crush was not a lead generation tool.
2) Keep your eyes on the road
You know where you want to go and what you need to achieve every day – or at least you should. Set goals and targets for your week. Check in with yourself every day to be sure you are staying focused.
I once heard the phrase “stay close to the cash” and I believe it is an accurate measure to determine productivity. Whether it’s connecting with a past client, engaging in lead generation or following up with a current prospect, if the activity involves business development, do it. If it doesn’t, don’t. (Or at least wait until you’ve accomplished your goals for the day.)
3) Have a full tank of gas
Before you set out on your day, be sure you have everything you need to stay productive. Did you exercise? Eat right? Sleep enough? Have you mentally prepared for the day? Being prepared is key to being productive! If you aren’t taking care of your mind and body, don’t expect it to take care of you. In fact, you might as well start scheduling sick days and making room for headaches and body pains.
There are many roadmaps to success. The best ones are the ones you stick to. What actions will you take today to get you back on the road to where you want to be?