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Got Productivity?

Why am I so obsessed with people’s “buts”?  The bottom line is productivity.  I want people to get things done.  (read to end the learn the “real” bottom-line)

The number one reason people hire me as their coach and consultant (and speaker for that matter) is to help them be more productive. 

Why is being non-productive such a common problem these days?  There may be many reasons but I think it comes down to only two things . . . yes only 2 things that keep people from being productive.

  1. Not knowing what to do.
  2. And believing that they don’t know what to do.

It is mindset and actions that have to be in sync.    You have to have a plan for what actions you want to get done AND you have to make sure that you remove or transform any of your limiting beliefs that keep you from doing what needs to be done.

The problem occurs when we over focus on only one of these aspects.  Some examples: 

I have a client who has an enormous vision of the work that she and her company exist to perform.  In the past, the entire staff would lay out extraordinary plans of action.  But when the rubber met the road, my client would not do what she had laid out for herself to do.  She and her staff would calendar, and color code and set up elaborate reminders of what needed to be done.  But she would not do it?  In her case it was her mindset, her beliefs (quite hidden from herself I might add) that were keeping her from being her most productive.  So our work together was to deal with her mindset first.  Her mindset was keeping her from taking action.

I had another client who was somewhat different.  He did not know how to prioritize his tasks, schedule them at times that matched his energy and do things in the right order.  The result was a lot of spinning wheels and frustration.  He had a pretty good mindset and willingness to perform but lacked the know how to order his tasks and get them done in an efficient manner.  He needed coaching on how to effectively take action.

For most people it is both mindset and know-how that keep people from being their most productive.  They have big old “buts” like “I don’t have enough time”. “I can’t do this alone.”  “There are always fires that have to be put out.”  “I’m such a disorganized mess.”  Their buts are a combination of limiting beliefs and limited time/energy management skills.

People WANT to be productive.  I might go as far to say it is as a basic of a need as water, air, food and sleep. 

But you know what the real bottom line is?  Happiness.  Yep, feeling groovy and cheerful and exhilarated.  And being productive allows us to feel more happy….and feeling happy allows up to be more productive.  Pretty cool huh?  More on this in the future . . .


  1. Great post, Cheri! You are so right- there are multiple parts to productivity. Our culture reveres knowledge but confuses it with motivation. Productivity requires both. Focus on the goal can be sidelined by the hidden “Buts” and competing subconscious agendas, and those inner critic dialogues.

    So many of us stay busy to look and feel like we are productive, but…… are we really?

    Thanks for once again for telling the hard truth with humor and inspiration!

  2. So true. I find myself feeling so much better of myself when I set out to finish something and I actually do it. Especially when it is done in the time frame that I set aside for myself to get it done. A sense of accomplishment is so personally gratifying that I can equate it to winning in a sport or game. That I am worth something. I am good at something. I like your philosophy in using the word “but” as a way for people to be down on themselves making them feel less than or “worth” less. I have been saying this for years that whenever I hear a plan at work or a plan my kids are coming up with or even my spouse that there will always be a “big but” in there somewhere that will keep that plan from seeing it’s end. I too find myself with a “big but” from time to time and it is frustrating. So, thank you fro your insight.

    Just a thought.

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