What’s Keeping You Out of The Productivity Zone?

By Penny Zenker

Have you ever had a day where you were really in “the zone”? One of those days where you accomplish more by lunch than you usually do all day? Can you imagine what it would be like to be in the zone every single day? Most businessmen and women don’t think it’s possible, but it is. The productivity zone isn’t one small point, but rather a large area, and as long as you are somewhere within it you’re going to get in-the-zone results. I explain it to my clients using a productivity curve framework. This is a Bell Curve where the apex is the productivity zone and the 2 ends are perfectionism and procrastination respectively.  You don’t have to make it to the exact center of the curve every day to see amazing results!

In my book “The Productivity Zone: Stop the Tug of War with Time” I go in depth into the 10 core drivers of getting, and/or staying, in the Productivity Zone. For the purposes of this article, lets focus on what’s keeping you out of the zone: Procrastination and Perfectionism. Most of us fluctuate between the two and either avoid a task (procrastination) or fixate on specific details (perfectionism). In both cases the important items on our to-do lists aren’t getting done, and we aren’t reaching our goals efficiently or effectively. Whether you are fixating or avoiding you do yourself a disservice because you are creating stress for yourself and others! It is self-sabotage. The real question is: Why do you do it?

Procrastinators are the people who are avoiding getting things done; they aren’t accomplishing what they want or they are using the last minute pressure to get it done. They’re neither efficient nor effective. Maybe they’re lacking clarity, or maybe they’re stuck in complacency. Often, they are unknowingly frightened of actually becoming successful! I know it sounds ridiculous to say that someone would be frightened of success.  Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” It’s this fear that gives birth to procrastination.

Perfectionists are the people who can’t stop doing and doing and doing. We usually call them “overachievers”. I want to be clear here. There is a major difference between perfectionism and ambition. Having a lot of drive, going above and beyond, and pushing yourself to be the best is NOT the same thing as perfectionism. Ambition is born from self-esteem, while Perfectionism comes from a lack of it. Perfectionists are constantly questioning whether they are good enough. They fixate on tiny details and never feel satisfied with what they have done. They frequently achieve a lot, or make a lot of money, but they rarely feel good about it. They are stuck in a never-ending cycle of thinking they could have done more, done it better. It is compulsive. That’s no way to live. Entrepreneurs are especially likely to fall into this category.

Do either of these sound like you? It’s time to take action and put yourself back in control. Ask yourself, how does self-sabotage show up for you and what is the root cause? Check out the resources I have available at www.p10app.com, read my book, and let go of what’s keeping you out of the Zone!

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