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When I first launched Rise of the Artist, I thought too much. I thought about colours and layout, titles and scalability, logos and audiences, bundling and money. Nothing got done. I thought I was making progress. How could I not? I thought about business every waking moment. But I had little to show.

I learnt the lesson of productivity the hard way. I also learnt that productivity had nothing to do with efficiency and that being efficient at non-productive tasks is far worse than being inefficient at productive tasks. (Regardless, they are both poor habits)

What have you achieved today that you can physically show? How does this play a part in helping you achieve your end goal? Do you have an end goal?

If you are unable to answer these questions confidently then you are working more inefficiently than you probably think. Customers pay for value not time – even in the service industry. Your hourly rate is merely a reflection of how much value someone can expect.

The right working mode can revolutionise your business.

Take Fizzle’s The CEO vs The Worker Bee technique. CEO mode involves determining what work needs to be done in what way and for what reason. It is the time to make executive decisions on timeframes and break tasks down into bite size pieces. Once tasks are broken down it is time to switch to Worker Bee. This involves completing the tasks, one by one. It is not a time to question or analyse but do. This means you don’t reconsider the value of a task until all tasks are complete and you have stepped back into CEO mode.

In a similar way, Seth Godin focuses on productivity through a method he calls the Minimal Viable Product (MVP). The idea is that you create the bare bones of your product and release it publicly so that your audience can interact with it. Once your product is public you fine-tune it based on feedback from users. This reduces the time spent creating products people don’t want and speeds up the process of adding value to your products.

Software companies like Microsoft regularly do this. Version one is released as soon as possible and each revised edition – 2.0, 3.0, 4.0… is reworked based on customer interaction.

Perfectionism is the enemy of productivity.