My Experience with a Productivity Coach and the Difference Between What’s “URGENT” and What’s Truly “Important”

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 6.52.48 PMOver the past 3 and 1/2 years, I’ve embarked on a journey to “carve my own path”. I left the 9-to-5 lifestyle, and became an entrepeneur. I had several reasons:

  1. Freedom: I wanted to be free to choose my own schedule, my own vacation time and ultimately, I wanted to have control over my own life, and what I do with it (and, for instance, not work an arbitrary amount of hours a week).
  2. Fulfillment: I wanted to work in what I believed in. My work experiences in the past have been great, but often, I would end up doing certain tasks that I didn’t neccessarily want to do, or that I wasn’t proud of. I wanted to be proud of myself and feel great about what I was doing.

I am very happy I took that decision over 3 years ago now. I’ve made many “mistakes” (i.e. I’ve had learning opportunitie) and have learned an awful lot. One of the hardest things is really to get disciplined for work: When you don’t have a boss, when you don’t have a set schedule and when you don’t have a set work space, I found it harder to get motivated.

In order to become a better entrepreneur, I listened to many podcasts on business and entrepreneurship. I listened to a one hour podcast on “procrastination” and “how to beat it”. I listened to an entrepreneur called Peter Shallard, a trained clinical therapist, who talked about his business which offered a service which claimed to be able to shoot procrastination dead in its tracks.

I was impressed by his interview and eventually decided to commit to a productivity coach. and decided to give it a try:

https://www.commitaction.com.

Even though, I wasn’t very impressed by the website, the service was excellent and the results were incredible. In short, this service allows you to “do what you really want in life”. There is distinction between “important” and “urgent” takes. Our “important” tasks often get pushed back, beacuse so-called “urgent” tasks need to be done first (generally, that would be “unimportant” tasks like emails and phone calls). This can generally be caracterized as procrastination masking as work.

How does it work? Well, you have a 15 minute chat a week to plan your week. You must choose 3 tasks that “if you accomplish this at the end of the week, will you feel proud/accomplished” The productivity coach helps you ensure they are a) measurable; b) attainable; c) time bound; and d) realistic (SMART goals).

That being said, it allowed me to get dramatic results every week, in just 2 months I did the following:

  1. New productivity and work planning system
  2. Market validation and over 25 meetings for biomass investment company.
  3. Learning how to and then creation of a new website http://www.peifegroup.com, as well as marketing materials (brochures, poster and business cards) all done from scratch.
  4. Public speaking/pitching, and practice of pitching to dozens of people.
  5. Formulated a community project and wrote out project plan for 21inc Community project.
  6. Obtained 2 new contracts for consulting business
  7. Started this blog.

And I know I was just getting started.

The case and point is for this blog. I’ve had the domain name since November, but it was always “pushed back” as there was always something more “urgent” to do. It was always super important, but yet it was never done.

That being said, I’ve really enjoyed using the productivity coach, and there is a lot to be said about accountability, and also, about paying for the service. Also, it forces you to think about what you REALLY want to get done, and what you’ve been putting off. And ultimately what YOU really want in life, what YOU want to accomplish. What makes YOU happy and feeling fulfilled. And then you just focus on just 3 things and great things happen.

How about you? Do you struggle with procrastination? If so how? Do you feel there are “important” tasks that you keep putting off and to “urgent” tasks instead? Feel free to comment publicly or privately.

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