What does productivity mean in your business?

Checking off more items on your to-do list? Working longer hours? Doing more training? Getting another certification? Perfecting your website, book, course, _____ (fill in the blank?)

These can feel productive… however, it is an illusion most of the time, as you spend another week / month / year not being in your true livelihood.

True productivity in business is this: Valuable contact/service, with your ideal audience, that inspires their reciprocity.

Access the latest version of this post on my blog: True Productivity

In other words, it’s being in touch with real people that your business can most help. It’s getting feedback from your market, rather than being in your own head, or working in isolation.

These are your ideal audience:
1. Current clients
2. Ideal prospective clients
3. Ideal former clients
4. Current referral sources
5. Former referral sources
6. Ideal referral sources
7. The biggest fans of your content

If your day isn’t filled with being in contact with these people, you might want to question what you’re doing with your day.

Being in touch with these people could take the form of the following activities…

Truly Productive TO-DO List

1. Creating and *sharing/posting/publishing* content for ideal audience
2. Engaging on the comments they leave for you
3. Scheduling market/niche interviews with ideal clients
4. Scheduling exploratory conversations with prospective clients
5. Scheduling mutual support networking calls with referral partners
6. Scheduling catch-up exploratory calls with former clients
7. Scheduling client sessions
8. Announcing an event / workshop / webinar
9. Preparing for a great meeting / event (just do enough, not perfection)
10. Having meaningful meetings where you are truly present
11. Sending your audience an email newsletter (with their permission of course)
12. Posting your offering (product, program, service, event)
13. Getting feedback from them about your offering
14. Advertising your content (e.g. Facebook Ads)
15. Advertising your offering
16. Getting feedback from your clients about how to improve your services
17. Writing a book / course *on a schedule* so that you *publish* rather than perfect
18. Asking a question on social media / in a group, that will help you get unstuck on doing one of the above
19. Getting 1–1 or small group coaching/consulting to help you actually do one of the above actions
20. Eliminating or Delegating as much of everything else as possible
21. Of course, also interspersing various forms of Self-Care as needed throughout your work day, e.g. naps, walks, meals, prayer, meditation, yoga, energy reboot, etc.

The above are the things I spend my working days, weeks, and months on. This is how I stay truly productive.


The following are the tempting items that seem productive, but need to be continually questioned if it’s during your working hours…

Questionable TO-DROP List

1. Working on your website
2. Working on your launch, event, program, service, course, or book if it isn’t already announced
3. Reading articles, books (I do this in my free time, not working hours)
4. Watching videos (I do this in my free time, not working hours)
5. Listening to podcasts (I do this in my free time, not working hours)
6. Getting training (I do this in my free time, not working hours)
7. Getting another certification (I skip this altogether)
8. Updating my social media profiles (I do this as rarely as possible, maybe once a year)
9. Reading or commenting in groups, unless I’m actively getting help (After posting my question / engaging in that thread, I try to be a good group citizen and also comment on one to three other threads to help out, but I don’t “hang out” in the group)
10. Researching on the internet, google searches, on anything for more than 5–15 minutes, unless it’s in your free / non-working hours.
11. Any kind of planning, plotting, preparing, unless it is time limited, directly related to something on the Truly Productive list that is scheduled.

In summary, avoid doing any work in isolation. During working hours, always be getting feedback from the market (via content or offerings) or being in actual contact with your ideal audience.

I encourage you to write down your own lists:
Truly Productive TO-DO List
Questionable TO-DROP List

If you’d like, feel free to copy/paste your lists in the comments below, especially if you want my feedback on them.

Wishing you joyful, and true, productivity!

Access the latest version of this post on my blog: True Productivity

Written by

Authentic Business Coach & Author of 4 Books including "Authentic Content Marketing" and "Joyful Productivity" https://www.GeorgeKao.com

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