The Ladder to Productivity Success is Only One Step Away

What we believe about ourselves and our work deeply impacts our productivity and success. If we believe that we cannot be successful then we will not be successful. However, if we have a desire to be productive and find success in our work, we can indeed do it.

“Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.” — Napoleon Hill

This is true about our productivity success. If we want to see ourselves succeeding with our work, we need to believe we can do it. But first, we need to identify those limiting beliefs which are keeping us from being successful.

It all Started with a Dream: The Old Lady and The Broom

When I was really struggling with my productivity I would have nightmares about work. Typically, they were worst case scenarios. Moments when everything would go wrong and I would ultimately get fired. And there was one dream which sticks out in my mind that haunted me for a long time.

In the dream, I would be sitting in my cubicle as always. When this elderly lady would come marching through the doors of my office and walk right up to me with a broom and start shouting at me. She would shout at me the things she had said in all of our previous phone conversations.

And each thing she would say, she would hit me with the broom as hard as she could!

She would tell me how bad I was at my job. Whack! How I was always behind. Whack! And how I was a failure at my profession because of x, y, and z. 

Whack! Whack! Whack!

And each time, I would receive a hard blow to the head from that old broom.

After the first few strikes, I would get up and start backing away from this old lady. And she would follow me around the office while everyone just watched. She would hurl more insults at me and no one would help.

And I wouldn’t defend myself.

I would just keep running away from her around our office and let her beat me up with her terrible words and broom. And when I was willing to give in and hope she would beat me to death, my boss would come over with a box and tell me to go home and never come back.

At this point, I would wake up.

Sounds pretty terrible right? It was. And it would happen in the middle of my struggle to figure out each new job. It was a sign to me that I was in a lot of trouble. After this dream, I would begin to dread work and fear how management would react to my struggles with productivity.

Even if my fears were not legit.

It took me a long time for me to understand what this dream meant and why it kept coming back to me. And it wasn’t until I started trying to change my productivity habits did I understand what this old lady symbolized.

She was my subconscious personifying what I used to think and how I would act out of my thoughts. These dreams spoke more about how I felt about productivity and my job than anything else I had understood before.

Limiting Beliefs About Ourselves

Limiting beliefs are an unproductive mindset which stems from what we believe about ourselves. Specifically, the limiting beliefs which we wear as a badge either consciously or subconsciously. What do I mean? Well, let’s take a look at a few of the typical limiting beliefs I have heard myself say and others say about their productivity.

“This is TOO Hard.”

Our job is just too hard. No one can do this job well. No matter what we do, we cannot live up to the expectations. These are things we hear about ourselves which we end up believing. They are forms of self-talk, work talk, and complaining. They lead us to believe we are failures and make us negative and feel hopeless.

“I suck at this job.”

Maybe you do. But most likely you don’t. You are merely struggling because you need some help and encouragement. This again fits all the topics above about unproductive thoughts. Except, when we say this, we believe this about ourselves and our work.

“I will never get caught up.”

And with a negative attitude like that, you are probably right. However, this limiting belief is what keep many people from being productive. The other two are harsh and difficult to swallow, but when we don’t believe we can be productive, we have reached the bottom of the pit of unproductive thought.

We don’t need to have the old lady and the broom chase us around telling us what to believe about ourselves. The first step out of the bottom of unproductive thought is literally a step away. The climb down is long and difficult and abusive.

But, the climb up is hard, but it is so close you can change it today.


You can create a desire to be productive and achieve productivity success. It starts with having a little positive thinking and being thankful for what you have, but ultimately you need to take the following steps to get out of the hole of the unproductive mindset.

This is a good place to be. And sometimes, you may not have that much excitement to do it, but you know it is time to be productive. What happens next is a ladder to get you back on top with your productivity.

Desire to Learn

The first rung of the ladder is a desire to learn about bettering your productivity. Like me, that fateful Saturday morning at 3 AM, I decided I need to do something about my productivity. And so, I started reading, non-stop that early morning, to learn as much as I could about productivity habits.

We all need to do this if we want to enter into a productive mindset. We need to learn how to move from stressed out and frustrated to a life of margin and success. And so we need to start gathering information and learning how to change.

Desire to Improve

The second rung of the ladder is a desire to improve your productivity. Once you have gained knowledge which will be helpful, you now will start to implement it. Your desire to improve your situation will take over and you will begin to see the first fruits of what you have learned.

The desire to be productive and enter into the productive mindset grows as you climb the ladder. We all gain more confidence as we do it. And we start to experience great gains in our productivity.

Desire to Succeed

The third rung is a desire to succeed in your productivity. This is the moment everything starts to change. Once you have learned some productivity habits and started to see some improvement in your situation something happens. You want to succeed in your personal productivity.

This is the moment when your choice to be productive turns into a true desire for it. You no longer think about merely getting caught up, but you begin to see the potential to get ahead and have a margin at work and at home.

Desire to Excel

The fourth rung is a desire to excel at your productivity. This is the point when you have seen major changes in your workflow and your habits. And you begin to experience success with your productivity.

This is also the time when management, your peers, and even customers begin to see that you have made changes and are now working at a higher level. When this happens we begin to believe we can be the best in the office. And we start to experience more peace and less stress at work.

Desire to Contribute

The fifth and final rung is a desire to contribute. You are now caught up and working ahead. This is the moment when you have the margin to actually take lunch, go home on time, or even take a break which is more than five minutes long.

At this point, you begin to share with others how you have changed your productivity. And they will begin to want to know what you did to change your productivity habits. You begin helping others, sharing what you have learned and contributing to the larger world around you.

In Conclusion

I believe you can climb this ladder. It is the very same one I worked for years ago. And at times, I still, need to climb back up today. This ladder can take you from unproductive mindsets and limiting beliefs to productivity success. But it all starts with you. You need to choose to enter into a productive mindset and climb this ladder.

Where are you on the ladder today? Have you made to the top? Share in the responses below.

Ready to climb the ladder?

If you want to experience less stress and more margin, climb the productive ladder to success check out my personal toolkit for productivity.

Click here to get the toolkit!

J.R. Heimbigner is husband, father, writer, and committed to seeing people live their best lives. He writes about intentional living, productivity, and the journey of writing.
J.R. Heimbigner is husband, father, writer, and committed to seeing people live their best lives. He writes about intentional living, productivity, and the journey of writing.

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