If you really want something, give it your all purposefully. What makes working productively different from working hard is that the former aims to create results.
You can make sure that all your efforts are productive by benchmarking. Set standards and targets. Perform and review your performance. Along the way, ask yourself, “How much of my hard work brings me closer to my goals? How much of my outputs translate into meaningful outcomes?”
If you don’t set benchmarks, you might as well throw your shots in the dark.
Opportunities come to the people who are bold and daring. Conversely, opportunities just pass by those who are too scared to grab them. Make taking risks a part of your personal manifesto.
Identify your non-negotiable goals and follow through. Take the necessary steps to get there, even if you’re scared. You’ll be able to build your confidence in taking risks by doing it repeatedly.
Don’t make excuses
Making excuses for everything is an easy trap to fall into. Before you know it, making compromises for your goals will be your default.
To lower the risk of making an excuse, start with your most desirable tasks and set deadlines. Prioritize what you want to do and accept that there are things you cannot actually accomplish. It can be either because they are beyond your capacity or they simply don’t interest or excite you.
The next time you accept projects or take on clients, be clear with what it is you offer and what’s clearly off the table. This way, you can set proper parameters and expectations. It’ll help you avoid making excuses for procrastinating to the point of not getting things done.