1. One of the keys to productivity is getting to know yourself.
2. Getting to know yourself will make your life so much easier, and you’ll be able to accomplish the things you’re trying to accomplish in your business.
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Build a Badass Business: Episode #49: How to be more productive
Coming to you from the city by the bay, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.
Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, welcome back to the show you guys. Today I want to talk about how to be more productive, and what I mean by being more productive in this case is knowing yourself better to know how to get yourself to do things that you want to do more easily with more accountability and more consistency, as well.
So some of you may have heard me talk about a book called Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, and I want to base what I’m talking about today on the framework that she has created in that book. If you don’t already listen to the Balanced Bites podcast, definitely check out episode, I believe it’s number 217, which is my interview with Gretchen Rubin. It was really fantastic, and will help you absolutely get to know yourself better, and you’ll be able to hear Gretchen explain these different tendencies that we have to identify which one is you perhaps a little bit better than I will right now.
I’m going to go through each of the four tendencies and help you to see which one of these might be you, which will also help you become more productive in your life as an entrepreneur as you’re building or growing your business.
So the first type of person is an Upholder. This person readily meets inner and outer expectations. So you can think of this as somebody who likes to keep everything in line with the rules. If they create a new task, or new goal, or new commitment for themselves, it’s pretty easy for them to uphold that commitment or that expectation that they create for themselves. At the same time, if somebody has an expectation of them, they’re very quick to uphold that as well. They really want to follow the outline that someone has created, they want to do something just right, they don’t want to get it wrong. They want to have all of that stuff kind of; I wouldn’t say just as a perfectionist but they have a very strong desire to do things right. That can sometimes be to their detriment, because they feel a little let down by themselves if they’re not doing everything right. But at the same time, they get the most done the most easily, because they readily meet these inner and outer expectations.
An Obliger is someone who readily meet outer expectations but may struggle a little bit more with inner expectations, and so for an Obliger, it’s always best to have an outside accountability, so something like a workout partner, an accountability partner in your business, so if you want to have somebody that you partner with, and let’s just say you talk once a week and you know that they’re expecting that you’ll have something done in order to talk that week that you’ve made progress on your project, or whatever it is. So as an Obliger, you’ll find that you do best when even if you have something that you want to get done, and you do feel like it’s an inner expectation; if you find out that you really only will do the thing when you know someone is counting on you, or relying on you, or expecting you to get it done; someone other than yourself, then you know that you’re an Obliger, and setting up those outside expectations will help you create more productivity.
A Questioner is the third kind, and a Questioner is somebody who needs it to be an inner expectation, but the way that this frames itself is sort of that; when you hear that there’s a rule or an expectation or something that somebody wants done or you feel like somebody is asking something of you, you need to run it through your own filter, and say, why am I doing this? Does it make sense to me? Is it logical? Is it based on something real? Is it something that I can run through my own filter and say; ok, I get why I’m doing this and I’m going to do it.
The last of the four tendencies is the Rebel tendency. This tendency really is based on choice and freedom, so this person, if you discover that you are a rebel, then you need to wake up in the morning and think, what do I feel like doing today, what do I want to do? The struggle here, and I discovered that I am a rebel, the struggle is that it can be really difficult to figure out how to get yourself to do something, or anything. And at the end of the day, you may have outside expectations, you may have inner expectations; any of those may be created. You may be trying really hard to have somebody give you a deadline, or make a deadline for yourself, and all of that will sort of fall away and you will ignore all of it if you feel like you’re not choosing to do that thing right now. And that can be a big struggle for people who are Rebels. At the same time, we have an upside of really being guided by our inner compass and having a very strong drive and motivation.
The best way for you guys to figure out which of these tendencies is what you fit into, knowing that Obligers and Questioners tend to be the largest pool of people; Upholders and Rebels tend to be smaller, so it’s kind of like a bell curve. You can take a quiz at http://gretchenrubin.com/. We’ll put a link to it in our show notes, but the quiz there will really help you. And I do recommend grabbing a copy or downloading an audible version of Better Than Before. I found it to be extremely enlightening. It’s helping me a lot to figure out how to be more productive in my everyday life, even though I know sometimes people might look at the work that myself and my team are doing and think; wow, we’re really productive. It’s not just me; I have a team of people, and I consistently struggle with figuring out how to get myself to do anything as a Rebel.
But I’ve realized that it does come down to choice, and then within that, for me, I have different things that I want to be accountable to myself for, and different things I want to be accountable to someone else for. For example; I’ve talked about having a project manger before, and that really does help me find a way to have somebody else who is helping to keep me on track. You may find that if you discover you’re an Obliger, for example, you do need that outside expectation. If you’re a Questioner, you’re somebody who is going to need a lot of research and data and information to make your decision. If you’re an Upholder, you may not find that it’s difficult at all to maintain getting certain things done. You may discover that; hey, this is why sticking to a plan for me has been so easy, because this is something that I’m really good at.
Gretchen’s podcast, Happier; I love that as well. They’ve gone through each of these tendencies over the last 4 weeks, so you guys can check that out, see which one you are, listen to the episode. You’ll hear upsides and down sides to both. But I honestly feel like this is one of the keys to productivity; getting to know yourself, getting know how to get yourself to do things; what’s the best way to either be accountable to yourself or somebody else, what’s the best way to track what you’re doing, to monitor it, to make it so that it’s a habit, and so that you don’t have to think about it all the time. This will make your life so much easier, and you’ll be able to accomplish the things that you’re trying to accomplish in your business without having to fight yourself all the time or even fight other people.
If they’ve got expectations of you, and you just feel like you’re not getting enough information about it, you might be a Questioner, and somebody may be asking you to do something without providing enough background information, or enough rationale, or logic as to why you need to do that thing, and you may really find that you struggle to get things done when somebody hasn’t provided that information. Now you’ve just learned that that’s why, and at least you have some rationale for grounding yourself and being able to explain to that person; hey, you know what? I‘ve discovered that this is something that will really help me get things done. If I just get a little bit more information about the project, for example.
So this was a really high level introduction to this framework from Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before. I know I’ve talked about it a bunch. I just really find it useful, and I hope that you guys do too. I absolutely love her work. She was recently on Super Soul Sunday, which is Oprah’s show over on the O Network, and she’s on episode 217 of the Balanced Bites podcast, and I’m hoping that you guys can find this to be extremely executable for you. Once you discover which of these tendencies you are, or you fit into, figuring out how to structure your life, structure your habits; whether it’s work related or relationship related, you’re going to find that this can help just that self awareness level and everything in your life can be illuminated in a different way when you know yourself a little bit better.
Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re loving the show. Let me ask you to do me a favor; come follow me on Periscope. You can find me; I believe you can search Diane Sanfilippo, or you can search @BalancedBites, which is my Twitter handle, which is the account name over on Periscope. I am going to start doing live sessions, really quick thoughts for the day. I’m not sure if it I will be every day, but it will be pretty often, and some Q&A on business topics and motivation, inspiration, etc. So make sure you’re following me over on Periscope. Download the app in the app store, and I will see you there.
That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.