This Episode:​ My #1 Counterproductive Productivity Tip

Boosting productivity sometimes involves unexpected methods. Instead of rushing for a new planner, time management tricks, or apps, consider the power of being in the moment. Being present enhances focus, naturally ramping up productivity and efficiency. As entrepreneurs, our natural inclination is to keep pushing forward, but what we often really need is to slow down—even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. My go-to for achieving presence? Meditation and mindfulness practices.

What helps you stay present and focused? I would love to hear about it in the comments. 

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Hey. It’s Bob Negen. And in this episode of Real Retail TV, I am going to share with you my number one yet counterproductive productivity tip.

So recently in our WhizBang! Retailers Facebook group, which by the way, if you’re not a member of, I would encourage you to join. Somebody posted the question.

Please give me your number one productivity tip. And it’s a great question because we all wanna be more productive. Right? The more productive we are, the more work we get done, the more work we get done, theoretically, the more money we make.

And, the thread was filled with a lot of great ideas, you know, time management tips, that sort of thing. But I wanna back up and share what I think the number one productivity tip is. And, again, it’s super counterintuitive.

Yes. You want to know how to be more efficient. Yes. You wanna know how to plan your day. Yes. You don’t wanna know how to plan your time.

But here’s what I’m gonna suggest.

My number one productivity tip is presence.

Your ability to be where you are when you are there.

So if you wanna be more productive when you are working in your office on whatever it is, whether it’s making a schedule, whether it’s building a marketing plan, whether it’s building your training program, you’re there with the thing that you’re doing. You’re present.

You see, what happens in our world, and I’m as guilty of it as anyone, is you sit down to do something. Let’s use the example of having a training program because it’s so important that you have a really great set training program so your team has the skills they need to be successful.

But you sit down and you say, okay. I’m gonna work for an hour, hour and a half, ninety minutes on starting my training program. So you start with the very best intentions.

And then the next thing you know, all of a sudden, you check social media.

And then you’re down that rabbit hole or you check email. And then the next thing you know, oh, I’m just gonna respond reply to that person real quickly. And so the next thing you know, you’re not there.

You’re someplace else, but you’re not there. You’re not present with the work at hand.

So if you stay focused on the work at hand, you will have more flow. More flow makes you more productive. And it’s not just back of the housework either. Think about your experience on the floor.

I can tell you what my experience was. I would go out of the floor and, I would start my day. And the minute that it would get slow let’s just say I was scheduled on the floor. But if it were to get slow and my team members could handle it, I would go quick run back to the office to try to get whatever work I needed to get done done.

And then if I was in the office and I was working on something and I got a phone call from a vendor, I would take that call. I never was where I wanted to be. I was always in the next place. I was never present.

And when you’re not present with your customers, they see that. If you’re distracted, they see that. So this idea of being where you are is my definition of your number one productivity tip. So now you can say, okay, Bob.

That’s all well and good. How do I develop presence? And you develop presence through mindfulness.

And mindfulness is merely watching what is happening inside of you and what’s happening outside of you. So when you’re mindful, think about this for a moment. Do you ever have this happen all of a sudden? So let’s go back to the example. So you’re working on your training program and you check social media and someone left you a bad review.

Oh my gosh. You go down that rabbit hole of that person, those reviews, who was working. You go down a whole rabbit hole, don’t you? Our friend Ryan calls it a doom train. Right? So when you’re present, you are actually watching what is happening in your mind. So when you get distracted, you catch yourself.

When you get frustrated, you catch yourself. So this idea of developing a mindfulness practice leads to presence. Because when you are mindful, you are watching your mind. You are watching all the things that happen.

When you get frustrated, you catch it. And just the act of catching it allows you to move past it. If you become angry, you catch it. And just the act of catching it allows you to move past it.

If you become stressed or sad or anxious, you catch it, and it allows you to move past it. So the faster you can move past negative emotions, the quicker you’re going to be able to move into positive emotions and do the things that require presence. So how do you develop a mindfulness practice? Well, meditation is the number one way to develop a mindfulness practice.

And I know a lot of really type a people who were driven, achievement driven. Yeah.

Who am I talking about? Right? Gotta get this done. Gotta get this done. Gotta achieve this thing. But when you start to meditate, your mind slows down. In every session you have that your mind slows down, you’re building that mindfulness muscle, that mindfulness muscle that leads to presence, that presence that leads to productivity.

So I just have to share my meditation journal I mean, journey with you. It started for me well, I knew about it. I tried to meditate. I was absolutely terrible with it, and I, signed up for the ten percent Happier app. And what I liked about the ten percent Happier app is there was always fairly short, guided meditation.

So it taught me about mindfulness and then helped me meditate at the same time.

And I can just tell you that if you give meditation thirty days, that your life will start to change in a real meaningful way, and you will start to see yourself become a lot more mindful, a lot more present, and a lot more productive.

So there it is. It’s counterintuitive, isn’t it? You were all thinking, oh, Bob’s gonna tell me to use a full focus planner or use this app or do something like that. No.

Be where you are. Be fully there. Be present.