Knowing Yourself Is One of The Most Difficult Things to Do

It’s A Critical Component in Being Productive

This past week I listened to Michael Hyatt’s, Lead to Win podcast, “3 Actions to Beat Your Biggest Distractions”. The actions were: 1st – build a wall against interruptions, 2nd -put a leash on distractions and 3rd – increase your frustration tolerance. They spoke about how easily we can be distracted, especially nowadays with the bombardment of information.

Most of the things they discussed were great solutions. Some of them, however, were not what I would have done.

Each of us has been designed differently by plan. To be the most productive version of ourselves we need to take time to intentionally figure out what that plan is.

Ultimately it comes down to knowing…

  • WHO we are
  • WHY we do the things we do
  • WHAT we need to be able to accomplish those things
  • WHEN do those things need to be done
  • WHERE do we need to go to achieve those things?
  • HOW do all the pieces fit together

Being our most productive selves is no one’s responsibility but our own.

They talked about interruptions and distractions as different things. For me they really are one in the same. (This reminds me of last week’s post.) If I’m distracted, I’m being interrupted and conversely if I’m interrupted, I’m being distracted. Believe me I know, because I’m interrupted and distracted a lot. Let’s just call it disruptions.

The point here is, regardless of what you call it, you need to know what things disrupt you and how to best deal with them. You can predetermine what those things are and implement systems to handle them ahead of time. It will take some trial and error to figure it out, but you are the one who can do this for yourself. I know that if I get on a social media site that I will spend more time than planned so I’m careful about when and how often I do it.

One of the things that is hard for me is the constant battle between my desire to serve people well and the need to stay focused on what I’m working on. If I’m in the middle of preparing a proposal and the phone rings or a text message comes in and I don’t respond I feel bad. On the other hand, if I stop what I’m doing to respond I’m losing my concentration and dragging out getting the proposal done.

Every situation is different, the key to unlocking productivity is to think about it and be prepared before it happens. In each instance which is more important? If it’s the proposal and I can’t control myself to not respond, then turn the phone off. If it’s a call that I’ve been waiting for all day then I should take it.

The important thing to remember is that it’s up to me. I can choose.

There’s no easy fix. No one size fits all. If you are still alive then you can do something to improve your productivity. The key is to know yourself. This requires asking questions, trying different things and never giving up.

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