Tired of having to do more each day with even less time? Can you imagine if your day felt comfortable, calming and fulfilling? Instead of to-do lists, calendaring galore and constant daily check-offs, there is another way that will save you time, save you sanity and save your life. Instead of a one-stop solution to productivity, why not customize productivity to who you are and what you want out of life?
Once you read self-improvement expert, Erin Falconer’s latest book, “How to Get Sh*t Done”, you’ll breathe a big sign of relief. This book is a wake-up call and a life-changing approach to how you get through your days. Instead of jam-packing your life with obligations and unwanted commitments, this book will empower you to turn your life inside out and get what’s most important to you, done.
Instead of checking off to-do items, the book presents a system to help you figure out who you are and what you want out of life. It’s not systems and methods that are preventing you from being productive, Falconer claims, but simply not knowing yourself and what you want.
Here are the 9 things Erin says you need to understand to shift your perspective to not only do more but to do more with purpose and meaning:
1. Understand your personality
Get honest about who you are, how you live your life and the unique quirks about yourself. She presents a list of questions in the early chapters to help you understand what drives you, what tires you and what makes you feel most alive. What brings you happiness? What doesn’t? What makes you feel awesome? What makes you want to quit? To be productive is to know your self and your unique personality. It’s to ask the big questions in life so you can determine what it is that you actually want to do.
2. Start living your life without judgment
Falconer points out that much of our habits and behaviors are influenced by what others think about us. We create this busy life because we are supposed to act and perform a certain way. There are voices and pressures in your own mind, for women more than men, that create ambivalence and uncertainty. You no longer know what you want because you can’t hear yourself. You are pressured by society, friends and family to do more.
“You may feel like the most productive person ever, but without a purpose, you’re just busy.” – Erin Falconer
3. Listen to yourself
You have the answers and you know best. When you consider other perspectives and opinions, you drown out your own. You can’t see the forest from the trees and become more confused. Stay the course and listen to yourself no matter how small that initial whisper is of self-knowledge and wisdom. Use mindfulness in your everyday life for more clarity and direction on what it is you want out of your life.
4. Be present
Mindfulness is the key to knowing what you’re thinking and what you want. It’s about cutting out the noise in your head, silencing the many people who try to influence you and getting the right stuff done. As Falconer shares in this wisdom-bomb, “to change your life, you must remain present in your life.” This allows you to focus on each moment, being aware of what you’re doing and staying the course.
5. Stop yes-sing your life away
You’re likely to do things for other people, especially as a woman, because you want to be a good person and please others. You take on responsibilities, obligations and do things you feel you have to do out of the need to make everyone happy and comfortable. Stop doing tasks that your heart isn’t into and use the magic “no” word more. Be intentional with your choices and what you choose to take on.
6. Stop should-ing your life away
“Should-ing ourselves is a major energy drain, as it compels us to split focus. We’re forcing our minds to be in two places at once,” Falconer writes. When you do those things you feel like you should do, you are not doing what you want to do and not being fully present to the task you don’t want to do. Start noticing all those should-do tasks in your life and begin eliminating those. Do more of what you want and less of what you should.
7. Focus on three things at a time
Life’s too short to do what you have no interest or time for. Falconer suggests you focus on three things and only three things at a time. Limit your goals to what you want most out of life right now. Create a goal for your career, for your personal growth and for your relationship growth. Move towards the goals that feel right to you and matches your values in life. Refer to Chapter 5 of “How to Get Shit Done” for strategies to narrow your focus and get super clear on the goals you want to pursue in life.
“How is it possible to attain happiness, fulfillment, and a sense that we’ve been truly productive in our lives if we haven’t even asked the most fundamental questions of ourselves? Who are you? What gives you energy — like, real energy? Who makes you happy? And of course, what do you really want?” – Erin Falconer
8. Outsource your life
No, not your entire life. Start outsourcing the work and tasks that you don’t want to do, that are counter-productive and not very fulfilling to you. There is no shame and absolutely no gain to you for handing off tasks to others who can do it better, faster and with more enthusiasm. Determine the costs versus benefit of situations and tasks to determine if outsourcing makes sense in this instance. “Do you make up the amount of money spent in time, found energy or productive minutes?”
9. Structure your day
While much of “How to Get Shit Done” is about refocusing and re-prioritizing your life to fit your values, the last parts of the book help you use your time better to fulfill those things that are important to you. The later chapters of the book help you set intentional mornings so you start the day the right way. Falconer also suggests starting your day with the top priorities and to do the big-ticket items first. Other tips include avoiding emails early in the day, avoiding people who distract you and ending each day by listing your goals for the next day.
To learn more about this new way of getting productive, pick up “How to Get Shit Done” today. Yes, you’ll be more productive but you’ll more likely be more purposeful.
What is your favorite book on success? Comment below!
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