Episode 096: Take More Imperfect Actions Advises William Bentley

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William Bentley The Productive Self

William Bentley

William Bentley had experimented with lots of productivity exercises, but discovered the secret mix for him was getting more sleep, using S.M.A.R.T. goals and most importantly, by taking more imperfect actions.

He started his side project The Productive Self after a ton of research about productivity. He was inspired to try several different productivity methods, but his experiments left him unsatisfied until he developed his own regimen.

Currently, he offers a six-week mastery class called The Useful Human Project to inspire people to take more imperfect actions toward their goals.

Key UnStuckable Takeaway

Become more productive by taking focused, but imperfect, actions!

William believes productivity is about focusing on the right goals for your needs, and not being afraid to take action towards those goals.  Think about it – if you are waiting for the right opportunity or want to create the perfect scenario, then you aren’t taking action and literally aren’t being productive.

At the same time, taking too many imperfect actions on a variety of different goals will also not put you on the path towards productivity.

To start being more productive, pick one goal and start taking small, imperfect actions toward that goal each day.

Quick Action to Get Unstuck

Remove yourself from stressful situations to give yourself perspective.

Your thought process in stressful situations is often driven by your emotions. To gain clarity and a more rational perspective it’s best to physically remove yourself from that situation. Here are two ideas:

1. If something made you feel anxious at work, or if you had an argument with your spouse, take a long walk, until you can see the other person’s perspective as well as your own.

2. If you are are dealing with an ongoing or longer-term stressful situation, consider taking a short trip, or stay with a friend, to get away from the source of stress in your daily routine.

UnStuckable Quotes From William

“I knew I needed to work more effectively if I wanted to be able to perform well at work, as well as be there for my family.”

“If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you aren’t going to be focused and your body is not going to be performing at its optimal level.”

“I can function on less sleep, but I’m not productive.”

“Using S.M.A.R.T. goals helped me develop a ‘why’ for what I was doing.”

“Productivity means working effectively, but focused on the right goals.”

“My morning routine launches the rest of my day.”

“You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row to start something.”

“Learn to take imperfect action, so you can make progress more quickly.”

“Sometimes apps make you less productive because you have to learn a new process to use them.”

“Someone who is UnStuckable is someone who keeps taking action in the face of failure.

More Habits & Actions

  • William started reading about productivity as his first step toward making better use of his time.
  • He experimented with several different productivity methods, but he found it hard to stick to them because he didn’t have the right foundation to form new habits.
  • William discovered he started becoming more productive when he started getting more sleep. He now gets seven to eight hours of sleep a night, when he use to only get five to six hours of sleep.
  • Getting more sleep gave him more motivation. It also enabled him to get up earlier to get extra work done in the morning.
  • Next he started working on S.M.A.R.T. goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound goals. Goals without these five traits tend to be more difficult to achieve.
  • One of William’s toughest productivity challenges is avoiding tasks that don’t have a clear path or focus.
  • He now sets one long term goal for himself (taking roughly one to two years to achieve) and two medium-sized goals (taking roughly six months to achieve).
  • William reviews his goals daily, weekly and monthly to make sure he is productively moving toward his goals.
  • To make his day as productive as possible, he focuses on maintaining a simple and consistent morning routine.



William on LinkedIn

William on Twitter



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