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When it comes to being more productive, we are our own worst enemy.

So much to do, so little time. Or so we tell ourselves (that’s our first really big mistake). We think we’d get so much more done if only we had a little more time. Or better tools. But it’s simply not the case.

Because productivity is not about time. And it’s not about tools. Productivity is about self-management.

It all starts in the mind. Productivity is an inside job.

Your every experience is a manifestation of how you think internally. A combination of conscious and sub-conscious thoughts drive the actions interfering with your productivity and personal effectiveness every hour of every day. Until you address them honestly, you can expect to experience more of the same of what you have now.

For most of us, the same is not good. It’s a place we want to escape from.

You can’t buy your way out of this place.  Arming yourself with the latest tools, gadgets and equipment isn’t the answer. You’ll have to fight your way out. Temptations in every form imaginable lay ready and waiting to seduce you at every turn. But when you commit to overcoming those obstacles and staying your course, you’ll experience exponential rewards beyond what you can imagine given your current struggle.

Most people starting a business or new career expect and want to build it into something highly rewarding and satisfying. Part of that reward is measured in income. It is not unusual to dream of creating massive success, satisfaction and joy. Why else would we study and work so hard to begin with? We’ve certainly read about or have seen others do it so it’s reasonable for us to believe we can do it too. However, you must work productively to make it so.

We’re all familiar with the old saying: time is money. You might be working very hard indeed. But working hard and working productively are not the same thing. When you are not productive in your working hours, you are wasting money. That’s one reason it’s so important to know your productivity ratio.

Many business owners working with coaches want to know how to improve their productivity and personal effectiveness. Since there is no change without personal growth, my advice to them is always the same:

If you want to improve your personal productivity and effectiveness for today — GROW THOUGHTS.

If you want to improve your personal productivity and effectiveness for tomorrowGROW ACTIONS.

But if your dream involves creating change for life — GROW HABITS.

It’s always in your long-term best interest to learn how to be more productive, particularly if you want to experience less stress and more satisfaction in your daily life and in your career or business. In my experience, these three simple keys to working less and achieving more fuel your productivity, personal effectiveness, growth and success in ways that just can’t be matched by any other method.