Ignoring These 3 Things Will Undermine Your Productivity Every Time

The core success hurdles confronting new entrepreneurs, and how to overcome them. By Desiree’ Stapleton  January 18, 2022

Have you ever taken the time to think dimensionally about, say, what the real cause was of you falling off that New Year’s resolution, or failing to hit another goal? Many will say that they lost motivation, that it was too hard or that they simply forgot about it, but in my experience, there were other factors at play. As a Forbes “Next 1000”-nominated master level life coach, as well as an author and speaker, I help women address those causes so that they hit more of their goals. In the course of this work, I’ve found that there are foundational life circumstances and approaches that make success and productivity possible, and I’ve narrowed them down to a precious few.

1. Your inner circle

How often have you heard the sayings “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”, “Birds of a feather flock together” and “You’ll be the average of the five people closest to you”? There’s a good reason why these aphorisms are so commonly tossed around: our surroundings, including those we associate with, are a large factor in our success. So, take inventory of the people around you: Are they responding to your success dreams with indifference or disdain, or are they providing support and encouragement? This doesn’t necessarily have to be a dramatic and exclusionary judgment: Sometimes, it’s not that people are trying to keep you from flourishing, they just may not have the mind for our best interests. But in any case, it’s vital to take note of their approaches.

The hard truth is that close proximity to people who are not on the same ambition level is a productivity obstacle. Staying the same is easy, and relaxing and taking it easy… is easy, but making changes and sticking to them is difficult. It’s a lot easier to stay on track when you are surrounded by people who have adopted a kindred lifestyle. And if you are forming such a group from scratch, seeking out mentorship and support groups helps enormously.

No one wants to minimize or exclude people who they care about just because they don’t have the same vision, and shrinking or adjusting an inner circle isn’t easy, but building success means weaving into our lives and careers people who are great for our futures, not just our pasts.

Related: What to Do When People Don’t Understand Your Big Dreams

2. Habits

I’ve found that a good definition of habits is “things that we do on a daily basis that are automated” — and more specifically that they’re tendencies and practices often hard to change or give up. Biting your nails when you’re nervous, lashing out when you feel confronted, and coming home from work and heading straight to the shower all fit into the category. We all sport some that are doing good, as well as others that might be actively hindering productivity.

So, consider habits you might put in place to hit your goals, as well as those you need to stop to live a more dynamic and prosperous life. Could you, say, make a habit of sitting down and writing three pages of a new book each day, or are you more likely to succumb to the distractions of laundry that needs to be done, social media, or simply needless worry? Take inventory, as you would in business accounting: What could you replace these negative habits with?

Related: 3 Steps to Get Your Personal and Professional Life Back on Track

3. Mindset

Our view of and approach to living is built of experiences and beliefs. Some beliefs we choose, others seem ingrained, but all of them can be adapted… harnessed for the greater good. For example, the principle “Success has to be hard” may sound profound, but it’s also not entirely true, and neither are blanket statements like “I’m not good at _________” or “People like me don’t get to _________”. Take a second and think of all the negative things you tell yourself when it’s time to be productive, or even simply optimistic, and train yourself to change them.

Going back to the “writing three pages a day” example. Would you approach that task with excitement, or are you more likely to regard it as a chore — an overwhelming goal as opposed to a series of manageable tasks with a true payoff at the end (even if it’s simply the feeling of completion accomplishment)? In many ways, that choice is entirely up to you.

One great pathway to generating a new mindset is consuming content that inspires action. That could be watching motivational and inspirational videos, listening to productivity audiobooks or podcasts that simply make you feel great… anything that invites you into the world you’re trying to be more productive in.

What things out there can help you develop a better approach? Where can you turn in order to enhance your ability to perform?

What’s hindering your productivity?

Related: 11 Mindset Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

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