7 Easy Steps to Soulful Productivity
Imagine the biggest dream you want to achieve this year.What would you say is helping it? What is hindering it? Turning ideas...
Imagine the biggest dream you want to achieve this year.
What would you say is helping it?
What is hindering it?
Turning ideas into action isn’t easy. Life is full of fences, speed bumps, detours, and – sometimes – even barbed wire! You didn’t sign up for this – right?! You know those distractions that keep you from getting your work done, finishing that DIY project, or pursuing your dreams (maybe a business)? Well they won’t go away on their own. They require focus, persistence and guidance. I know, because I’ve been there many times.
We live in a world where everything is rushed. How do we slow down and do the opposite? How to we give things the time they deserve?
We all *know* this is true, yet somehow the old you will pop up (like that phone bill you forgot to pay), and make you feel guilty if you’re not doing the “fast-paced, mass-consumption, exhaust-yourself-more, rest-less, business-as-usual” lifestyle.
What if I told you I had 7 tried-and-true ways of putting your time and energy into the *right* things, and not more things? There’s so much information out there! Endless courses, blogs, advice and recommendations, but which ones reflect who you are and what you want to achieve? Which ones even work!?
I might not have the perfect answer (that doesn’t exist, anyway), but I do have the experience as a professional coach, and Soulful Productivity Expert to tell you that my clients come to me feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and overworked, and then leave feeling less distracted, more calm, productive and with better tools. I help them focus on what REALLY matters in their lives.
When you have a laundry list of to-dos it gets overwhelming – where do you even start!? Trust me I was there, and I did a lot of trial and error to find tools, tips and tricks that actually work to get you off the hamster wheel of productivity! I left the corporate world to pursue a more soulfully productive way of living – I followed my true voice because it grew too loud, too frustrated and – honestly – too exhausted.
What I hear from clients is this: how do I start, where do I start, how do I focus on the right things AND eliminate distractions, and boundaries – how do I say “no”!? Together with the most important self-esteem and self-worth topics, as well as just not having enough time.
The truth is: you have to clear time to make time
There’s no other way around this. If you want to prioritize yourself AND improve your well-being through the things you want to achieve (the ones that are more meaningful and joyful that is) – you *must* clear space so you can invest in yourself. You are an important investment – who else is there but you! This is what I know to work. It helped me on my journey, and I know it helps so my clients too.
7 Easy Steps to Soulful Productivity
Get crystal clear on what’s really important to you, and eliminate, as much as possible, everything else.
You have to gain clarity. Just because ignorance is bliss, doesn’t mean you don’t know better. Getting clear on the difference between busywork and essential work is vital. You have a list of all the things you must do, but which of those are *absolutely* a priority? Which ones are just fun, new, silly or misaligned with your bigger dreams – are they time fillers, distractions, things just to keep you busy?
Focus on eliminating some things on the list. If you are still thinking about them a few weeks from now, then return to them, but if you forget them – then you know you made a good decision.
Keep track of what you’re spending your time on, and how well that’s working to get you closer to your dreams.
While gaining clarity is key, (and this takes time), now you have to prioritize further. You might have tried it a few times, but you feel you haven’t made any significant progress. You didn’t know where to start, or you started and fell off track (you probably don’t even remember what happened to that project you were so in love with). Getting everything done is the status quo – we’re told and taught to finish everything, I mean are we all using calculus in our present day lives? We then grow up and still do a lot of unnecessary things just to keep busy, or do it because we’re supposed to. This is where doing the *right* thing matters.
Track your time spent on your phone through tracking apps. After a week, reflect on the outcomes. Did you achieve something? Give yourself a one-week goal, like starting a website, or researching social media platforms – finish it, and decide how it makes you feel. Was it useful, necessary? Will it lead to a dream? Did it create a chain towards what you truly desire, or did it leave you kind of meh? Focus on a priority you have been putting off, make a list of the subtasks and set some deadlines. Debrief with yourself after.
Manage what comes into your workday, instead of reacting to it.
Let’s get knee deep in mud about your distractions. As you work through clarity, prioritizing and wrestling with your distractions, you will notice that some unimportant things will naturally fall off your list. However, there will be unnecessary tasks that still remain just out of habit, or because you’re still distracted (hello bad habits and IG live stories). This is where your reflection becomes key.
Habits can take 21 days up to 66 days to make or break (depending on the research study you read). You have to be willing to recognize distractions and put new systems in place or adjust your environment to support your higher aspirations. Whether that’s social media restrictions, self-care, taking on fewer responsibilities professionally or personally – adjust accordingly.
DECIDE where you draw the line, and affirm your boundaries to others (and yourself).
There’s no soulful productivity without focus on boundaries. Did you notice there’s a lot of fine-tuning happening? There’s no singular answer to evolving as humans from distraction and overwhelm to soulful productivity. When was the last time you said “no”? Where do you draw the line? How do you prioritize if you feel (whether real or perceived) that you *must* say yes all the time? Hint: as women we’ve also been socially conditioned to be selfless and caregivers to others before ourselves).
Your awareness of where your boundaries work and don’t work is the first step. Along the journey of boundary setting, you might notice that some people won’t like you saying “no” to them – they’re the ones who probably need your boundaries the most. Stay firm.
Take time off from work – whenever you feel you need it (and even just because).
Ensure you take a deserving break. Focusing so hard on becoming productive (not just in a work sense, but in a soulful sense that I embrace and teach) we must balance it with our inner being and needs. We cannot be eternally the work output we produce. We’re also compassionate and caring humans who need to socialize, enjoy life and take part in the pleasures of the world – create a balance of break and work, so that work doesn’t break you.
Get rid of physical and digital clutter.
All the steps above are helping us to pare down what comes at us on a daily basis. Now it’s time to minimize the physical and digital spaces surrounding us. It’s time to air the blankets, clear out space and donate or recycle anything we no longer use. There’s a huge trend towards minimalism. Now I cannot live with only 12 articles of clothing alone, but I know that I thrive on mental and spiritual minimalism by clarifying, prioritizing, eliminating distractions and creating boundaries. Minimalism for you will be different than for me. However, the principles are the same – you get to choose what serves you and your values. What doesn’t serve you today (or even in the past year) is clutter. You can also move to physical clutter, Marie Kondo your place, physical and digital clutter are a huge source of our distractions as well.
Working for things that distract us from our goals and dreams is something we must come to terms with so that we can move beyond them and reclaim the power of time and productivity. Less is more, working smarter not harder, and moving into flow from chaos is a holistic lifestyle and attitude beyond our work.
Become aware of your daily habits, and change the ones that don’t serve you or your work.
soulful Productivity is a deliberate choice that happens over time. There are challenges and wrong turns along the road… But in the end it all comes down to our daily choices. What you repeatedly do becomes your life. The same is true for your productivity.
There might have been a nagging voice at the back of your head that brought you here. (I know that voice too, believe me!) You were lost, distracted, and didn’t know where to start. You know there’s more to who you are, and who you want to be. Soulful Productivity is the magickal alchemy where you get to transform the parts into a healthier whole – as you define it. While you might stumble and struggle, you will rise up again. While there are (and always will be) a lot of distractions and work, there will be a lot more breakthroughs and joys. As long as you keep with the practice.
If you want more information and practical advice on each of the steps above, sign up for my Free Soulful Productivity Challenge by clicking here. 7 Steps in 7 Days – that will change the way you work forever!