3 Steps to Building Sustainable Productivity

As Yoda, the Jedi Master says, “Try not, do.”

We constantly see people trying out new things. We give things a try because we are not quite sold on the end result or the product yet. We don’t want to commit because we are typically afraid of failure; failure in the product or sometimes even failure within ourselves. Have you ever been there? We tend to get our toes wet when we could be taking the leap, fully submerging into the opportunity. Here are three steps to consider once you are done trying to building sustainable productivity in your life and have decided that now is the time!

Step one: Create an image of how productive you want to be.

First, start by creating a clarified vision of how productive you want to be. Always begin with the end in mind. This will not only motivate you, but give you the necessary momentum to get started. Be sure to write down exact times, what time you want to start working, end working, and when you want to take breaks each day. Make a note of how much time you want to be thinking, planning and developing ideas. Keep tab of what you will be managing, delegating and coordinating. Most importantly, jot down what you will be doing whether it is calling people, handling e-mail or social media or reading and reviewing materials. Allotting time for these things will hold you accountable to the productive reality you are set out to create.

We believe sustainable change starts from the inside. This means we are literally shaping our thoughts, expectations, and behaviors. As Gandhi said, “We must be the change we wish to see.” What is the change you want to see? What is your vision of yourself as an effective, efficient, and balanced leader? Does your vision include time to relax or exercise? An empty inbox or clean desk? What end do you have in mind?

Step two: Decide on one new habit to practice for an entire week.

Once you have created your clarified vision, consider focusing on one area of your productivity for the next 5 days. Airplane pilots are responsible for leading people “from here to there.” They start at one airport and land safely at another by having a clear objective (a flight plan) and the tools to keep them on course. Pilots monitor the airplane’s position: which way it is leaning and which way it is headed. This is called the attitude of the plane. When pilots learn that they are flying off course, they do not get upset, overwhelmed, or stressed out. Instead, they correct their course by adjusting their attitude. Another word for attitude is “perspective”. Similarly, your attitude or perspective towards change is decisive.

Create your own flight plan. Write the direction to take you toward where you want to be by the end of next week. Adjust your attitude by scripting the thoughts you want to have. Become your own change.

Step three: “Report out” to a colleague or mentor at the end of your experiment.

At the end of your week, focus on your success. It is easy to linger on all that was not accomplished. Instead, be willing to acknowledge your success. This does not mean you need to boast with pride. This simply means it is okay to live fully into your accomplishments. Find time to share about your week with a mentor or friend. Share your plan with them. Talk about the high and low points, but more importantly, let them celebrate with you. Do not forboid  joy by wasting your time together talking about all the things you didn’t accomplish. Instead, take those things and work them into your next plan!

Building up your sustainable productivity and transforming your vision into reality will always come down to what you are willing to do, over and over again.


Start crafting your own flight plan today! Comment below what direction your plan will be taking you this week!

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