Erin Falconer – the online sensation from PicktheBrain.com, isn’t living the life her parents had planned for her.
Mom and dad intended their smart and talented daughter to become an attorney. After acing the LSAT in preparation for law school, however, Erin heard a different call; to become a writer. With the boldness possessed only by those with true passion, Erin packed up and moved to L.A. The roller coaster ride to the top began!
Now, Erin Falconer looks back over an uber-successful career as a blogging mogul and considers how she got where she is. The result? A new book called How to Get Sh*t Done: Why Women Need to Stop Doing Everything so They Can Achieve Anything. I’ve known Erin in the online space for some time now. It was a personal milestone for me when Pick the Brain published my guest post and since then, we’ve kept in touch.
So it’s was with great pleasure that I read How to Get Sh*t Done (it’s good for men, too). Consider seven of the best productivity concepts offered in Erin Falconer’s new book!.
1. Create Your Own Definition of Productivity
You know what productivity means to most people, but what does it mean to you? Erin points out there is more to productivity than the technical definition of the word. By unclogging the term, you find a way to fit into your life, so you feel a sense of accomplishment from what you do. Applying someone else’s definition of productivity sets you up to fail.
2. Figure Out Who You Are
This is the first “P” is what Erin calls POP — personality, opportunity and productivity. You can’t know what you want without knowing who you are first. It’s a pretty simple concept. If you try to set goals without understanding why they matter to you, you spend your time looking to satisfy everyone else without feeling the fulfillment that comes with success. Self-reflection is an important part of meeting your goals.
3. What are the Roadblocks?
You can’t really assess your opportunities without knowing what might keep you from them. Erin defines roadblocks are those things in life that you can’t control. Some women are single moms and that comes with roadblocks because those kids got to eat. Maybe you take care of an elderly parent, that’s just part of your reality. Figuring out what the roadblocks are helps you develop realistic goals.
4. Focus on the Open Road
No matter what the roadblocks, every person has some opportunities they can leverage . That single mom has time in the evening after the kids are fed and in bed to work towards a better future for her family. Find ways to get the things you need to do in your life in without giving up what’s important like me-time and family.
5. Learn the Power of Taking a Break
Improving productivity can make you susceptible to burn out. Erin discusses the power of taking a constructive break to give your brain a rest. You just spent 15 minutes watching the neighbor water his yard. Is this time wasted? Not at all, as long as you remain in control of how you spent that time. Studies show that taking a break doesn’t mean your brain shuts down. Some of your best ideas will come when you step away for a minute.
6. Learn to Recognize the Clues
Too often, ego and a sense of worth are driven by the need for acknowledgement from others. Getting an atta boy isn’t the only way you know things are going well, according to Erin. How about feeling like you have a sense of purpose? Maybe you are happy in your work for the first time ever? Doesn’t that mean anything? Finding clues beyond what other people think will improve your ability to stay focused on the work and be productive.
7. Understand the Difference Between Busy and Productive
Spinning your wheels day after day is hardly the path to success. You need to understand you are the boss of your time and how you use it. Setting goals that matter to you and finding ways to accomplish them is the very definition of productivity. It has nothing to do with staying busy with meaningless tasks. You could type sentence after sentence without every really saying anything important.
The same is true for most tasks you do every day, especially if you don’t know why you do them. Break it down and see why you something matters. What does it accomplish? Do you spend an hour in front of the mirror applying makeup because you want to impress yourself? No, that’s to conform to other people’s idea of what you should do. Focus on what makes a difference to you and build productive tasks that help you accomplish it.
This really just scratches the surface of what is an informative and funny look at getting more done with your life from a woman that has accomplished a lot in hers despite a rocky start. How to Get Sh*t Done provides exercises and advice on how to be productive in a way that fulfills your idea of success.