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4 thieves of productivity

As I work with leaders across my state of Kentucky, I am always asking leaders if they could change one thing in their leadership or life what would it be. Almost always I hear "I wish I was more productive". I began giving that answer some serious thought, why is productivity such a big deal? We all have the same amount of time in a day, do these leaders want more time? or Is there something or someone robbing their effectiveness as a leader thus robbing their productivity. After some serious thought I've concluded that their are at least 4 thieves to productivity. Now, there are probably more, but these may also be categories that fit other thieves.

1. The Inability to say "No" It's one thing to be distracted when you're trying to focus, it's another entirely to be hijacked before you even get started on a project. Someone once told me that if you don't plan your day someone else will plan it for you. There is an opportunity cost to everything we say yes to. If I say yes to this, then I am saying no to something else. SO if we are to be more productive in our day and energies we have to say yes to the right things and learn to say no to the not so important thing. The more things you do the less successful you are at any one of them. You can't please everyone, so don't try. In fact when you try, the one person you absolutely won't please is yourself.

2. The Fear of Chaos: One of the greatest thieves of productivity is the unwillingness to allow for chaos or the lack of creativity in dealing with it. It's inevitable, just when you think you are being productive chaos will happen and derail your work. The real question is how do you manage chaos when it comes, Do you fall apart? or are you level headed about the new challenge? You must guard your planning and thought process time because something is always ready to interfere to make you less productive. Highly productive people do not fear chaos, they have learned to deal with it, and trust that their process and protocols are in order.

3. Poor health habits: Personal energy mismanagement is a silent thief of productivity. I learned this recently with some health issues regarding acid reflux. I would have horrible pains that could last for days. I finally broke down and went to specialist about my condition. Ultimately I have been making poor health choices in my diet, and with drinking "fizzy" sodas that I was becoming less productive than I should have been. After several dietary changes and more exercise, I have new level of productiveness that I haven't had in a while.

Author Gary Keller suggest that highly productive people have an energy plan.

1. Meditate and pray for spiritual energy

2. Eat right and exercise and sleep sufficiently for physical energy.

3. Hug, Kiss, and laugh with loved ones for emotional energy.

4. Set goals and plans for mental energy

5 Time Block your most important thing for business energy.

4. Your environment doesn't support your goals: Early in my ministry I counseled a mom who was going back to work, and her family was not thrilled about it, but told her they would support her as long as nothing in the home changed. Meal's, carpooling, anything that touched their world couldn't be disrupted. The mom agreed but shortly realized that she cut a bad deal. Her environment didn't support her goals.

Your environment must be supportive or it will rob you. The people around you may be more important than you think. So surround yourself with the right people, where they can lift you up and support your goal.

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