Unexpected challenges arise
Alignment rules! When your thoughts, emotions and actions work together, then you’re on fire. During those times high productivity times, a ton of action items get crossed off of your to-do list.
Unexpected challenges, however, can put the brakes on your productivity. Suddenly, your flow turns sluggish. Naturally, you attempt to push through it. As the challenges continue to drag on, your frustration rises.
According to neuroscience, whatever you focus on expands. Ever attempt to remove productivity blocks? It’s like quicksand. The more you attempt to fight your way out, the deeper you sink into the pit. Focusing on the negative tends to reinforce the challenge.
It’s similar to an athlete who makes an error and is unable to move on. That isolated mistake dwells on her mind, replaying itself over and over again. Because she’s now afraid to repeat that mistake, she’s desperate to avoid it. As a result, an isolated error turns into a performance slump.
Notice your symptoms
Those nasty blocks serve a purpose. Consider them a symptom, like a fever that indicates sickness, rather than the primary problem.
When my clients experience blocks, we work on mindset. Basically, a disconnect between their values and their goals exist. Plus, some negative self-talk surfaces. Once we isolate the disconnect, then we can resolve the core concern.
Reflect on the last time you felt stuck. As you’re remembering that moment, check in with yourself. Notice what feels “off” to you. Pay close attention to any subtle feelings of discomfort. Identify the exact thoughts going through your head. Then, name your emotions.
Be more specific than good, fine, great or okay. If you’re angry, do a little detective work to discover what additional emotion is also present. That’s because anger is a “catch-all” emotion that overshadows other difficult emotions.
Even if you don’t really know where the breakdown exists between your values, beliefs and goals, a shift in perspective relieves most productivity blocks.
Discover the clues to your productivity block
What are your specific goals? What causes you to get stuck? Your mindset either inspires you to move forward or to hold you back. Productivity blocks leave clues about what’s truly going on under the surface.
Matt’s bravely shifting from hourly billing to value based pricing. He’s raised his fees over the years, but this is different than a simple rate increase.
The leap to value based pricing is intimidating. Several underlying concerns exist about charging those rates for his service. He admits some doubt about whether clients will pay those fees. Does he possess the experience to call himself an expert?
As Matt expresses his concerns, we discover an underlying belief. He likes getting “A’s.” Anything less than perfection is failing. That’s a ton of pressure to shoulder.
Perfection isn’t your friend
He didn’t realize perfectionism has this much influence over his productivity. That’s partly why he continues to research and fine-tune his plan. The ongoing research serves a purpose; to postpone doing something uncomfortable.
Turning a negative into a positive is the solution. It isn’t necessary to dig around in his past for the reasons. His productivity block prevents him from putting this into place. As a result, this affects his income. The solution is mission alignment!
Follow the ABC’s to remove productivity blocks:
Alignment. Perfectionism slows down Matt’s productivity and income. First, we identify the values which don’t support his goals.
Beliefs. It’s a zero-sum game. Matt’s either succeeding or failing. We start to isolate which thoughts cause resistance. Basically, resistance is an internal process.
Consider. Matt needs to feel in control and reduce risk. Rather than focus on the numbers, we emphasize his actions. This shifts his attention from something that is beyond his control (the numbers) to something within his control (his effort).
Detour. Like most entrepreneurs, Matt intuitively resisted following a plan that conflicts with his core beliefs. We reviewed his pricing plan to highlight it’s value. A couple minor adjustments removed his resistance.
Explore. Matt started to journal, noting positive steps as he made the transition from hourly billing to value pricing. Innovation, doing something new, creates a pattern disrupt. His mindset affects his actions. Focusing on excellence rather than perfection has released some of his self-imposed pressure to be perfect.
Remove performance blocks
The shift in focus removes resistance. Matt now realizes there’s a difference between his perfection mentality and his “effort” mindset. Productivity improves when he tunes into the effort. He now pays attention to actions within his control. The perfection mindset crops up with decreasing frequency. Although he is in the early stages, he is more relaxed, enjoying the transition and recognizes his value.
Follow the Block Busting Formula to remove productivity blocks.
Identify your top five core values. Core values set the foundation for everything you do.
List the exact outcomes that you want to achieve.
Then identify the activities. What action items will help you achieve that outcome? Be very specific about the actions.
This exercise is designed to highlight your core values, identify outcomes which compliment your values and define the necessary actions you need to take. This is an easy way to map out your plan.
Do you have a BIG vision, but you’re unsure how to achieve it? Because of that, you haven’t made much progress. The decision to finally get started with something you’ve been postponing is liberating. If you know that now is your time and your ready to remove productivity blocks, then let’s talk during a complimentary strategy session.