On our productivity walk today, we’re going to talk about when you stick with something, are you being persistent or are you being just plain stubborn?

It may surprise you to know that, amongst my family and friends, I’m often thought of to be stubborn. Or if you know me at all, you might not be surprised. So am I being stubborn or am I being persistent? Is there a difference and does it matter?

Well first off; if you’re doing something over and over again, and it’s not working for you, then that is a huge waste of your time. So being stubborn that way definitely hurts and impacts your productivity.

So how do you tell if you’re being persistent to make something work or if you’re just being too stubborn? One of the first things to look at is, is this activity, is this task, is this thing that I’m doing towards my most important outcomes, the outcomes I want to achieve  – the things that are really important to me to achieve?

If so, then it can make sense to stick with it longer then if they’re not. If you’re doing something all the time that doesn’t really meet your needs and isn’t really towards your outcomes, you’re just doing it because you choose to do it, you’re being stubborn. So you would want to give that up.

The important thing with this is learning from your mistakes – learning what doesn’t work. So try something a certain way and this item would be toward your desired outcome. If it doesn’t work, you could abandon that outcome entirely or you could try a slightly different way.

So this is where the experimentation comes in. Like Edison with the light bulb, he tried to think nearly a thousand different ways before he hit on the one that worked. He had many attempts that worked, but just not to the level he wanted them to work. So by doing this, he eliminated all the ways that it didn’t work.

By attaching the scientific method to the thing you’re trying – the thing you, people say you’re being stubborn about, it turns it from stubbornness into persistence because it is towards something you really want to achieve and what you’re doing is you’re eliminating the ways that don’t work.

I do this all the time in my marketing and advertising. I’m continually trying different forms of marketing, different kinds of advertising to see what works with my clients. I use different productivity techniques for different clients to see which ones work for them. I try different software. I am continually doing these things and I make sure that I do persist enough to give the activity or the task a good test. But I also don’t let my desire to have that one, be THE one, lead me down the path of spending too much time on it because that would just be stubborn.

So that’s the two ways to make this work. Firstly, make sure the task or activity is towards your desired outcome. And secondly, make sure that you are testing and tracking to see what is actually working and dropping what doesn’t.

If you’re doing all these two things, that’s persistence, not being stubborn. If you find yourself being stubborn on things, you need to find a way to let those things go so that you can have room in your life for things that will make you more productive.

Thank you so much for listening. Please hit the like and subscribe button and tell me down below in the comments about a time when you persisted and it really paid off for you.