The One GIANT Mistake Everyone Makes That Is Killing Your Productivity

The One GIANT Mistake Everyone Makes That Is Killing Your Productivity

How is that you’re busy all day, every day, and yet the things that really matter don’t seem to happen.

Here’s the one giant mistake that I see people making over and over again – and it’s killing your productivity.

(I know it’s true because I do it, too.)

Here’s what happens:

You sit down at your desk or workspace. You’re thinking about the big things, the important things, that need to happen.

And then you say to yourself,

“I’ll just start with a few easy things. I’ll just check some email (or the Slack channel or social media or the news….) Just to make sure there are no fires that need to be put out. Then I’ll move on to that big project.”

And the next thing, you know, it’s three in the afternoon and nothing of consequence has happened.

This idea that you’ll “do something little to warm up” works for exercise, but not for getting the things that matter done.

Your brain works best when it is rested and uncluttered, and for most of us, that’s first thing.

So I want you to start doing the most important thing first. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes.

Do the thing that’s going to make a difference to you 90 days from now, first.

Update that LinkedIn profile.
Revise your resume.
Bang out a few paragraphs on that book.
Send an email to someone with whom you want to build a relationship.
Mentor a younger person.
Spend 15 minutes in prayer, breathing, or meditation.

There are so many activities that you can do for just a few minutes a day that will, if you do them every day, will, cumulatively, make a huge difference between the person you are now and the person you will be 90 days from now.

Go ahead and write down the one that is coming to mind for yourself right now.

Now, you don’t have to give up the idea of warming up and then doing bigger things for everything. For example, it works great for clutter clearing. You think, “Oh, I can’t do the whole basement. Okay. I’ll just do this a little bit. Well, okay. I’ll just do this next little bit.” and the next thing you know, you’ve made huge progress.

The “starting small” idea also supports working out. You think, “Ugh – I don’t really want to work out. Well, I’ll just go on the treadmill for 10 minutes. Well, now I’ve started, I might as well do 20 minutes. Now I’m already kinda sweaty….I might as well hit the weights.” Excellent!

There are plenty of circumstances in which it makes a ton of sense to sort of trick yourself by starting small and then seeing where you end up. But productivity is not one of them.

If you are going to create a positive feedback loop on being productive, you need to get a positive result; a result that is meaningful. To get a result that is meaningful, you need to focus on the things that are most important.

The highest joy-producing activities.

The highest income producing activities.

The things that will make the most difference to you – and your life – 90 days from now.

Start spending 15 minutes a day – first thing – on your important thing, and I guarantee you amazing results.

Want some support?

That’s why we created Get It Done Lab: An easy, fun, 90-day productivity sprint that will help you buckle down and focus on what really matters in your life, family, or business.

Ode to the Busy

Ode to the Busy

I see you
Making life easier for everyone else.
The way you are patient with the clerk
Pick up yet another errant sock
Get another mostly homemade meal on the table
Plus extra in a tupperware for the ailing neighbor.
“Busy” is a word you left behind long ago
Because it implies that there is a world – or a day –
In which you are not busy.
In every moment you are working, planning –
Juggling –
Giving your warm-hearted attention to this issue and the next
To this needy person and the next.
And it seems like being strong and capable is
Its own punishment
Every moment a sharp-toothed hydra, growing two heads for
Each one you think you’ve handled.
Everyone turns to you.
Every problem is yours to solve.
And you still feel as though maybe you are not
Doing enough.
The painful fear of failing is
Worse than the fatigue
So you keep going.
Luckily, you have an excellent sense of humor
And a love of long walks
And three close friends on speed dial.
And you are excellent at counting your blessings.
Blessed are those in back-to-back meetings, for theirs is the patience of mountains.
Blessed are those who are annoyed by willful ignorance, for theirs is a righteous fury.
Blessed are the uncomplaining, for theirs is a peaceful surrender to the inanities of the world.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for carbs and wine, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who dance in the kitchen
Make time for family game night
Say, “I love you” at every single opportunity
Ignoring the eye rolls of the young ones
As you go out of your way to make an
Ordinary moment
A memory.
Because it is the memories that matter.
A legacy of moonlight on mown grass
And a quick hug.
You are indeed as busy as a bee – the Queen Bee –
Sensitive to the hum of the whole hive
Filled with sweetness and good medicine
The center of the whole eco-system, really.
The center of the benevolent hum.
©2022 Sam Bennett
A Prayer For Our Family

A Prayer For Our Family


None of this has turned out how we thought.
But we’re old enough to know that maybe we thought wrong to begin with.
Either way, we are also old enough to be exquisitely grateful
for the path we have walked together
for the moments when a single glance changed everything
and for the still-felt love of those who have gone on before us.
We see the beauty in the dented silver settings.
We smile to hear conversations as familiar as old songs.
Pause, now, and take a snapshot in your mind of this moment:
You – here now – in the shape you’re in –
not as new as you once were, but not as old as you will be.
Feel a hug from a distant friend
and, if you like, you can repeat my family’s toast,
“To those who are here, and those who are not.”
P.S. If you would like to share this, please feel free – just be sure to include Sam’s name, copyright and website, OK? Thanks so much.

By The Way, You Look Really Great Today