In today’s fast-paced world, the race to become more productive is like a never-ending marathon. We’ve all been there, drowning in a sea of tasks, emails, and Zoom meetings. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics dropped a bombshell – productivity took a nosedive, plummeting by 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Yep, you read that right! The most significant drop since the ’80s!
This decrease in productivity resulted from an increase in output by 5.3 percent, driven by a 10.7 percent increase in hours worked. This was the most significant quarterly decline in the measure since the second quarter of 1981. It’s like trying to win the marathon by sprinting in the wrong direction!
Why is Productivity Important in Consulting?
When productivity takes a nosedive in the consulting world, it’s not just a little hiccup. Let’s break it down:
From the Client’s Viewpoint:
Decreased productivity shrinks the pool of leads and viable contracts. If clients are significantly impacted financially, it can introduce an additional barrier to securing consulting services. With fewer potential clients, the market becomes more competitive and requires more effort and resources to stand out and win business.
On a Personal Level:
Now, let’s talk about you. Reduced productivity slams the brakes on your growth and expansion plans. It can limit the time, resources, and energy available to take on new clients, establish a new offering, market effectively, and so much more.
Productivity is All About Mindset
Let’s face it: we all want to hack the productivity code so we can do more in less time. We’ve scoured the web to find the latest tips, hacks, and tricks, yet we still find ourselves in a never-ending battle against the clock.
What gives? Well, my friend, the answer isn’t just a one-liner or a quick tip away. It’s a whole mindset shift… a “productive mindset” shift.
Now, you might be thinking, “Hold up, what on earth is a ‘productive mindset’?”
Fair question! Think of it as your secret weapon to achieve tremendous success.
A productive mindset is a way of thinking that supports accomplishing goals and high-priority tasks. It is a determination to get the absolute most out of the time that we have been given.
This mindset involves a deeper understanding of how vision, confidence, clarity, and focus impact your ability to get things done. You must leverage each of these characteristics properly to tackle challenging tasks and reach significant goals.
What Does it Take to Develop a Productive Mindset?
Imagine planning a trip to an unknown destination, and all you’ve got is a vague idea of where it might be. No map, no GPS, just you and your instincts.
Sounds like an adventure, right?
But let’s be real, even if you eventually reach your destination, it will take you longer than it should, and you might end up feeling like you’ve been through the wringer. That’s what tackling productivity without a clear vision is like.
Establishing a productivity mindset begins with creating your vision. Your vision is like the master plan, the GPS coordinates, the guiding star of your productivity journey. It helps you determine HOW you will achieve your goals. Your vision is your roadmap.
Confidence (or lack thereof) is a dream killer. It’s one of the easiest ways to stop productivity in its tracks. Most people don’t recognize confidence’s impact on the ability to accomplish more in their lives.
Think about it – your productivity takes a nosedive when you doubt yourself. Confidence isn’t just a nice to have; it’s a requirement to propel you forward, especially in the consulting space. Without it, you’re stuck in a cycle of second-guessing, over-prepping, procrastinating, and dodging tasks. These subconscious thoughts and actions interfere with your response and movement.
Confidence is the key to efficient, effective action. Without this confidence, insecurity and uncertainty will eventually drain your time and energy. The belief that you can accomplish a task increases the efficiency and efficacy of your actions.
Clarity and Focus
Once you establish your vision and the confidence to pursue this vision intensely, you need to develop clarity surrounding your goals. Doing so helps you combat distractions and deterrents that will inherently appear.
When things seem foggy and unclear, it is easy to shift your focus to what appears shiny and bright at the time. But this shift in your attention prevents you from remaining focused on what is needed to pursue your goals. It’s exciting and intriguing, but rarely does it align with what you are trying to accomplish, and before you know it, it can completely throw you off track.
Clarity and focus help you dodge distractions and curveballs that life throws your way (even with things that seem like excellent opportunities). And let’s face it, distractions are everywhere! But focus allows you to remain productive despite the distraction.
If achieving greater productivity seems impossible, don’t worry, for it is indeed attainable.
You Can Cultivate Enhanced Productivity.
It is something that can be developed by creating an environment where your goals align seamlessly with your actions. Having a productive mindset alone is insufficient; you need supportive structures. This is where the development of productive habits takes center stage.
These are the habits and daily rituals that optimize your performance—the morning routines that set a tone of focus and determination, the systems that streamline your workflow, and the consistent practices that chip away at your goals bit by bit. In essence, productive habits are the tools that transform your mindset into tangible achievements.
The beauty of this symbiotic relationship is that each element reinforces the other. A productive mindset propels you towards creating and nurturing productive habits, and those habits, in turn, bolster your mindset by demonstrating the power of your actions. It’s a perpetual cycle of self-improvement and accomplishment that can unlock countless rewards.