It takes 10 Constraints and 1 Action to be Awesome

Over the last few weeks we’ve covered a bunch of content out of my new book Analogue Productivity, which is all about bringing more value to your work by embracing the constraints of a pen and paper.

To start there are 10 key constraints that I use when choosing a productivity system and getting awesome work done.

  1. You must embrace constraints so you’re not pulled in all directions
  2. Don’t look at new tools unless they solve a problem you have without adding some other problem to your life
  3. It’s okay to suck at something as you focus on your important work
  4. You must actually be doing work, not just shuffling tasks around
  5. You need to make decisions now, not push them off on future you. Future you has no more time than you do now and will hate you
  6. You need to work on things that aren’t just urgent and fires. Building a business is about working on the underlying important items and getting them done every week
  7. Planning to now means that nothing gets a pass to continue getting done. It all has to prequalify every 4 – 12 weeks when you’re planning your big goals.
  8. If you don’t write it down it didn’t happen. It’s good that you don’t have your phone on you then because some things just won’t get written down and that means they weren’t important.
  9. You can’t just be “productive” all the time. You have ebbs and flows of energy that you need to manage. Plan breaks into your day.
  10. You must be focused in your work environment. I detailed what I do for my mobile iOS set up, my computer, and my physical work space.

Each of the 10 Key Constraints had actions in them, but did you do any of them? Some people have bought the book and they’re liking it, but my question as an author is always, what are they doing with the information?

As a blogger, I ask the same question.

Are you just reading pretty words on a page and then heading off to do the same crappy work you’ve been doing?

I’ve written an introduction to using a Bullet Journal for Web Developers. Bullet Journal is what my system is based off of.

In my podcast on Friday I’m going to talk about Mario who under some questioning from me didn’t have a speciality and didn’t really have any marketing to speak of. In fact most agency owners and freelancers I speak to don’t have this. They sit around hoping that some “freelance goodness god” will come along and bless some project so that they start getting work.

Most people I talk to don’t go through the actions above and really dig into what will make them more effective in their work. They simply move on to the next piece of productivity porn. They watch Twitter or Instagram for the next inspirational quote.

Sure the quote will make you feel good for a day. You’ll smile smuggly maybe because you already believe you understand the quote. You’ve heard it before.

But wipe that smile off your face. If you’re not developing an action item based off the last good thing you read about doing your work better, your not doing your work better, you’re just wasting your time reading.

The only way you’re going to improve your business is if you do something with the information. Those that take action will win the day. The rest, will keep reading productivity porn and complaining that others are winning.

Which type of person are you going to be?

If you’re ready to take action then download my free worksheet and Bullet Journal Cheatsheet. It’s going to walk you through the 10 Constraints above so you can start doing better work.

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