Secrets to Productivity | Stop Planning!

Isn't the phrase don't plan, plan to fail? Maybe so, but I believe 1 of the secrets to productivity includes NOT planning, here's why...

What? Aren’t planners the ones who always succeed? Isn’t there an entire industry dedicated to planning? Yep! Then why would I tell you to stop planning?

Recently I was speaking with a mentor and she said to me, “Carmela, the Devil doesn’t care if you plan it, if you pray about it, if you think about. He doesn’t even care if you talk about it… he just doesn’t want you to actually do it.

It hit me so hard! She was speaking about something personal, but I realized how true this is for everything. In business, it’s SOOOooo easy to say, “I’m going to do ____________ and I’m going to do it this way.” You plan it, put it on your calendar, but it never actually happens.

Why? Because our dreams or healing are heavily wrapped in fear and doubt. We’ve all had terrible things (or at least terrible to us) happen. We’ve all experienced heartbreak, rejection, failure and shame. It sucks! I know for a fact that my dreams hold the greatest potential but also the greatest challenges.

If I were to fail at this, it could totally crush me! Is juxtaposed to the other thought, If I actually succeed, what the Hell would I do?! I don’t know how to succeed!

Both of these are terrifying and keep us trapped. So, we plan, we talk, we negotiate– we even schedule! “Tomorrow (next week, later today), I’m going to do this!” Then it never happens, right?!

Well, there has to be a solution.

What do we do when faced with our fears? How do I stop planning and start doing?

3 Secrets to Productivity

1. Start Taking Risks

Ok, maybe you’re not going to go for the big promotion right away. Maybe you aren’t going to ask out the girl of your dreams at this second. However, there are little risks you can take to help sustain the courage of ‘the big ask’.

Start by making little steps out of your comfort zone.

Challenge yourself to apply for at least 3 jobs before playing video games.

I have 100% gone for things I knew would ‘never’ work out because I wasn’t qualified. You know what? I didn’t even hear from one company, but that’s ok! I know this wasn’t the fairytale example BUUUTTT, the more you push outside of your comfort zone, the easier it will be to do so in the future– even in the face of a closed door.

In fact, you’ll find that, pretty soon, your comfort zone will be in taking risks. The ‘big risk’ will seem small because you know you can actually face anything thrown at you and some of those risks you took panned out even more amazingly than you could’ve dreamed!

2. Find Healthy Community

Well, you took a risk and it bombed… hard. You lost the job and it was your own fault. You blew the relationship. He broke your heart. You stepped out again and it still sucked (I know, I’m cringing with you because it’s awful!).

Healthy community means the world to me. I have amazing friends. I know they’re praying for me. I know I can call them at any time and they’re there with encouragement.

I have friends who will call me up just to ask if I’ve been applying to places. They’ll ask me if I’ve written anything lately 👀 👀 and they’ll call me out on my BS. I so appreciate my community.

Yes, you need to be your biggest cheerleader and motivator and relying on others doesn’t always turn out. But, community is essential for growth. Sometimes friends help me do and try things I never thought about. Even though their challenges might irk me at times, I always appreciate them and know they love me at the end of the day.

3. Find an ‘Imperfect Mentor’

Most of my friends desperately want a mentor. It’s really hard to find one. If you have one, that’s awesome! If you don’t, that’s great. There’s a secret I’ve learned and it’s the ‘imperfect mentor’. Last week I had a chat with a friend about my business and she totally mentored the crap out of me. It was amazing. I learned so much, was really encouraged, and my motivation was 💯. Now, I may not have a conversation with her like that for months, but this one convo helped me incredibly. Maybe you’ll only meet with someone once. Maybe you’ve found someone on the YouTube’s (Marie Forleo is one of my faves!). Doesn’t matter. Honestly, my peers can mentor me sometimes (thanks guys!).

If you learn to find imperfect mentorship, you’ll find success a lot quicker. Actually, the mentor I mentioned at the beginning of this post is an example because this is the first time w chatted.

The big key is to not hold your success to their mentorship. I’ve made this mistake several times. I’ve waited on someone who said they would mentor me, then wait weeks (or months) on them for the follow up meeting. Needless to say, my motivation fizzled quicker than a fountain drink goes flat. If you find an ‘imperfect mentor’ you’ll learn to find mentorship wherever it comes from/whenever it comes and you’ll take the responsibility/control of your own destiny.

Now I want to hear from you! What are some of your secrets to productivity? Are there any unconventional methods you’ve used to achieve success? Let us know in the comments below!

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