My Continued Struggles With Productivity – And What I’m Doing about It

Working from home on my own projects is much more difficult than I expected. Not because the work is difficult, but because it is difficult to maintain a high level of motivation without someone else telling you to get to work. I’ve overcome a lot of the problems that I have encountered since my first week of full time entrepreneurship, but I’m still jumping hurdles.

My level of productivity seems to fluctuate rather wildly during the week. On Mondays, I typically get very little done because it is difficult to get started. Strangely Thursdays are by far my most productive day of the week. By then I’ve gotten my momentum ball rolling and am motivated by the upcoming weekend when I won’t have the time to get much done.

This unsteady cycle would be fine if I was accomplishing my goals. However, by the measuring sticks I am able to use, I am really only producing between 30 to 40% of what I should be able to accomplish.  I’m not upset with myself, because I’m still figuring out this learning curve. As long as I keep making decisions to help myself in the future, then I know I’m still on the right path. However, this current pace simply won’t work, so I’m implementing more systems to fix it.

The main improvement that I have implemented over the last two weeks is asking a friend to help me out. He’s not helping me with work, but with motivation and productivity. I officially labeled him my CMO, or Chief Motivation Officer. Unfortunately, his new position is unpaid at the moment. What I’m basically doing is holding myself accountable by sending him a report of my measurable output for the week. With the guidelines we laid out together, he can then offer appropriate feedback. I think it is definitely going to help me produce more and solve some of my productivity flaws.

Other than that, I’m trying to even out my productivity more. Rather than do little for the first several days and then produce a lot for a day and half, I want to accomplish more to start the week. This will still allow me to have a big Thursday, but will give me a base level of momentum heading into it.

For example, if my productivity was measured in undefined units, then this is what my weeks have been looking like:

M-0 T-0 W-2 R-6 F-1
Giving a total of 9 productivity units for the week

To better explain, a zero day doesn’t mean I did nothing, but it means I didn’t do the important things that will get results. A 2 unit day is pretty easy to accomplish and I expect that eventually I should be able to bring myself up to 5 unit days every day of the week. However, right now, this is what I’m going for:

M-2 T-2 W-5 R-6 F-4
Giving a total of 19 productivity units for the week

This will give me more than double the output, without adding much extra work at all. By just doing a little bit each day, I would be dramatically improving my weekly productivity.

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1 comment

  1. Good luck Brad! Couple of things that have helped me… setting a goal for total time spent and then if you don’t hit it, give yourself a fun but serious punishment.