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You Too Can Be Productive!

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You Too Can Be Productive!

Silvia Pencak

Almost on a daily basis I meet people who ask me, “How do you get so much done? What am I missing?” We all have a desire to get more done in less time so that we can enjoy more time doing what we love.

I wish I had a magic formula that you can say and things will turn around, but instead, I have three tips to help you shift your current perspective and take a step in the right direction. If this sounds right to you, this article will be a wake up call you need in order to get more done. 

Tip #1: Know Yourself

Way too many times people give in to “proven” strategies that only take them away from their unique abilities. We think that if it works for somebody else, it must work for us. Let me burst your bubble. It’s a lie!

We all take action differently. Some of us are driven by beating the clock, creating amazing results on short deadlines, while others need longer deadlines. Where someone needs to have all the information before making a decision and taking a step, others jump into a project and solve problems on the go. Knowing who you are and how you take action is crucial for you to avoid stress and focus your energy well.

Tip #2: Act Before You Think

I find it interesting that when you google “Act before you think”, images, articles and notes that come up advice you to “Think before you act.” Being a rule breaker, this strategy is super appealing to me. I’ve originally learned it from Kathy Kolbe, the brain behind Kolbe Index. My favorite part is that it works.

This is not meant in a foolish way, where you do something stupid. Let me explain.

We all have instinctive energy that helps us resolve the problems or create solutions in line with our natural strenghts and abilities. There is something that needs to happen before you give it another thought. Your instinct will naturally take you there. You either need to collect more information, brainstorm the ideas, put things into context or tinker with materials available. We need to learn how to listen to our instincts and use this energy effectively.

You still need to run your decisions through the reason (THINK part), but that’s the topic for another discussion. As Kathy Kolbe said, “It takes more than knowing your talents to increase your effectiveness. You also have to target your use of them.” In other words, it’s not enough to know how you function the best. You must put it in action. Listen to your instincts, decide to act on your gut feeling and refuse to get distracted by the voices in your head.

Tip #3: Reclaim Your Focus

As a busy entrepreneur, mom and wife, I have a lot on my plate. A look at all the tasks that are screaming for my attention on a daily basis would give a light hearted person a heart attack. Yet, I refuse to get stuck in overwhelm. I evaluate my tasks regularly, sorting them into these areas:

Productivity Time Decisions

Tasks in fields 1 and 3 need to get done now. Tasks in field 1 should be done by you, tasks in field 3 should be delegated to someone else.

In order for the task to move to the NOW area, it has to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Sustainability – it helps you sustain what is. These tasks help you maintain what is. They put bread on your table and gas in your tank. Question this task answers is… Is it necessary to do it now?
  • Growth – it helps you achieve your next goal. These tasks help you up-level what is and take it to the next level. This task answers to… Does it help me achieve my current goal faster?
  • Importance – it helps you live your values. These tasks cover all the decisions and promises you’ve made, everything that might not belong into the above two categories, but you are either passionate about doing them (helping a friend with the move) or foolish to promise and now you need to stick to your word because you are a person of integrity. This task answers the question… Is it important to do it now?

Everything else goes into fields 2 and 4. These will serve you as a Holding Tank where you will keep storing ideas until it’s time to act on them. You will notice that many tasks will never move up from the LATER field. Simply because even though they’re great ideas, they don’t move you forward in the desired direction. Be ok with that. Focus on what is important, what helps you support what is and what moves you forward.

Silvia Pencak Silvia Pencak is KolbeTM Certified Consultant as well as John Maxwell Certified Coach, Trainer and Speaker. She is sought after expert highly recommended by many businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals around the globe!  When working with her clients, she focuses on helping them discover their unique strengths, identify and achieve goals and strategically implement necessary systems in order to maximize their performance. Connect with Silvia at