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.
Stretch.

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.