My Productivity Secret: Sticking to It

self discipline

Guest blogger Ethan Austin is the co-founder of GiveForward, an online fundraising network that makes it possible to raise money for loved ones with medical expenses. Follow Ethan on Twitter @ethanaustin.

Ninety-nine percent of the time the hard part isn’t knowing the right course of action. It’s having the discipline to stick to it. There are a million and one brilliant blog posts floating around the Interwebz that will tell you what you should be doing to be a more productive human being. This is not going to be one of them. And the reason why is simple: I totally suck at personal productivity so I’d be a total fraud if I gave you advice on how to be a more productive person. So instead of telling you what you should be doing, I’m going to let you in on a secret.

You can read all the blog posts in the world with ingenius plans on how to be a more productive human being, but if you can’t stick to the plan, they don’t mean a whole lot.

Seth Godin wrote a terrific post a few weeks ago called “Hooked on Hacking Life” that hit on this exact point. He wrote, “Maybe you can quote the GTD literature chapter and verse, understand lean and MVP and the modern meeting standard. Maybe you now delete your emails with a swipe. It’s possible you’ve read not just this blog but fifty others … But the question remains ‘what have you shipped?'”

This is the fundamental question that we all have to answer. Why is it that some of us ship and some of us don’t? We’re all reading from the same playbook. We all have the same information at our disposal. So why do some people outperform others?

It’s discipline. It’s putting in your 10,000 hours. It’s waking up at 6 am every morning to hone your craft. It’s figuring out whatever productivity plan works best for you and then sticking to it. Well that, and using Taskrabbit of course.

To be fair, discipline is something I struggle with myself. But it’s something I’m constantly working on getting better at. I can’t claim to have figured it all out yet, but I can promise you if you can figure out how to be a more disciplined person, the personal productivity plan should take care of itself.

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