Are You Being Productive?

I’m going to say something shocking: at some stage you have to stop educating yourself and actually start doing stuff. I want to clarify this by saying that education is not bad; education is awesome. If you have a specific skill that you’re trying to improve, I implore you to educate yourself. What I have found in talking with people recently on strategy calls is that they’re addicted to learning, but they’re not putting that learning into application. Often times the webinars they’re attending are about things they already know!

If you already know something, say no to getting more training on it. Why? If you take a webinar, you have to do something with what you learned and apply those lessons every single day. Can you imagine how exhausted you would be if you attended two to three webinars a week and had to apply all those lessons into your business every day? People delve into education because it’s a great way to hide or prevent themselves from doing the work that scares them. You fill your calendar with webinars and other similar training sessions, and you tell yourself you’re accomplishing something and being productive – but all you are doing is being busy without being productive.

Productivity is the stuff that you’re doing which moves you forward in a certain way, moves your business forward, improves relationships, and gets you more involved in the community. And if what you’re doing does not contribute in any big way to that overall purpose that you’re trying to achieve with your business or your life, it doesn’t help anybody in any way. If what you are learning does not help you progress as a human, say no!

Short, sweet videos that are educational and motivating are fine. I’m all about the 5-10 minute educational boost of a video. The problem I have is with the hour-long webinars that can take a significant chunk out of your day. The only time that you really should go ahead and get that kind of education is if there’s a skill you’re seeking to get good at to move your business forward.

What I would rather you do is to ask the important question of what is making you so afraid? What is so scary that you would rather educate yourself, procrastinate, appear productive than actually be productive? For most people, that answer will be failure. But everyone is afraid of failure when instead, we should remember that failure is just testing! It’s hard to get okay with that, but it’s up to you to be okay with that message. Failure is awesome. Failure allows you to learn and grow.

You want to make mistakes early in the game rather than late in the game when you’re into a rhythm. Perhaps it’s because you are not testing before you launch something that creates that fear. You should always test with a safety net so that the failure doesn’t take you down as much. But you can do it, and you shouldn’t let education stop you from moving your business forward.

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