Scratchpad welcomed Success Strategist/Coach Lanette Pottle to its headquarters to talk about the power of productivity. Lanette has over 18 years experience in human resources, and has witnessed firsthand the role productivity plays in creating a successful business. She is also the founder of Positivity Lady Enterprises as well as Washington County Women In Business: Rising Tide Network. She is a co-author of the Amazon International Best-Seller, Success University for Women in Leadership.
The tools and tricks she has acquired throughout her extensive business experience have been instrumental to her career, and have even become “apart of [her] survival strategy.” Here are the most valuable pieces of wisdom she shared with our entrepreneurs on how to make the most of their time and resources:
How to add to productivity:
Purpose fuels productivity. Focus on the purpose behind each task you are doing, as opposed to only looking at the motions needed to complete it. This could be as simple as the rush of purpose before completing a stack of tasks in preparation of a day off, or recognizing and focusing on the future benefit of the finished product.
Avoid the traps that detract from your ability to work effectively. One of the most common struggles faced by women entrepreneurs is perfectionism; wanting to achieve a vision or goal just as originally pictured, only settling for the best. What many do not realize is that this is an avoidance technique disguised as thoroughness, and is takes away from your valuable time. “Perfectionists” fear being seen as foolish or incompetent, and obsess over the most trivial aspects of any project. There is no such thing as perfect, and reaching for an unattainable goal will only lead to disappointment and frustration. Once you recognize these patterns, it is easier to shift your behavior for the better.
Procrastination is another product of avoidance and fear. There are many reasons why someone would put a project on the backburner despite impending deadlines, from a simple lack of interest to feeling like you do not know enough to complete the project. However, it is important to recognize these habits, and face the underlying reason they are being ignored.
Productivity is much more than simple time management. Lanette coins this a “bandaid hack,” and believes that trying to maximize our time to address an endless amount of tasks is simply a shallow fix to bigger problems. There is a much deeper level to consider, that “when we manage our decisions, we don’t have to worry about managing our time.”
The much more difficult step to take than finding the time to complete all of your tasks is deciding what is most important, and worthy of a limited time frame of a busy, up-and-coming entrepreneur. Importance can be measured through deciding what makes you happy, and if the long-term satisfaction derived from finishing a task is worth the effort put into it. Lanette suggests making a list of emotional adjectives that you hope to embody in the long-run and crafting your to-do list in line with these personal goals. For example, if you want to feel confident, accomplished, satisfied, and fulfilled, set your agendas and choose tasks that align with these goals. Too often entrepreneurs spend countless hours striving after ideal standards set within their businesses, but not enough reaching for ones in their personal lives.
Yet another trap entrepreneurs often face is thinking in terms of “I should.” Basing your decisions on what you should do evokes guilt and an inevitable downward spiral, detracting from productivity. Healthy decision making is about narrowing the broad range of all the “shoulds” people have in their daily lives to what is truly important and worthwhile. In American culture, people consider being overworked as a badge of honor, missing out on the things that actually matter. In reality, overbooking yourself can be used as a tactic to avoid things in your personal life, and is especially appealing the more introverted you are. When changing this habit, a couple important questions to ask yourself are:
Is this in line with my personal goals? If it does not benefit you in the long-run, there is no reason to make time for it.
Why is it easier to hold yourself accountable when other people are counting on you as opposed to when you’re just counting on yourself? This is especially common in women, and though not exclusively feminine, we take great pride in being relied on. Not all commitments are written in stone.
Events + Response = Outcomes (E+R=O):
This equation relates both to productivity and life in general. The outcome of every event is more than just the event itself, it is how you respond to it. Though we are not always in control of the things that happen to us, can control how we react to them. Life is full of twists and turns, and there will always be an something unexpected on the road ahead. Lanette equates this to a spiral staircase where you start at the bottom, knowing nothing. As you start climbing and feeling more confident, you turn a corner and reach a landing. This is a comfortable place where you know what to expect. But just when you think you have got it together, you turn the corner of the staircase and have to start climbing again, you are still being challenged, and it’s forcing you to develop a new skill set. How you respond when you turn that corner determines the outcome, and if you can conquer that flight.
Learn more about Lanette here