Productivity is a very important part of our day to day lives. If you’re an employee, a productive year can mean the difference between getting a raise/promotion or not. For the business owners on the other hand, a productive year, or better yet, a productive culture can make the difference between the success or failure of the business. This is even more important in the highly competitive markets, where success really is a zero-sum game(the success of some means the failure of the rest). So, in addition to innovative thinking, productivity is one of those things that both businesses and people need to have as much as they can in order to be successful.
There are two problems each one of us faces at least once when the subject is productivity. The first is the struggle to actually do the work continuously, for as long as it takes to achieve our goals.
This problem is solved in many different ways by the self-help industry. The second and maybe more insidious one is the misunderstanding of productivity with busyness. We are often led to believe that just the act of keeping our schedules full is enough for us to be productive. Doing things all day long do not equal productivity, but busyness. In fact, its possible to have a productive day, only using a part of it. To be able to do that, you need to understand what productivity really is about.
So, what is true productivity?
It turns out that true productivity is easier to understand and sense than you might think. The simplest way to know if you’re being productive is by measuring your results. Are you achieving your goals? Are things going according to plan? Are you meeting your deadlines? These 3 questions might not be the best diagnostic of your productivity state, but they can paint a pretty good picture.
If productivity is not the same as being busy, then what is it? Well, according to the book “The one thing” by Gary Keller in the beginning of each day you should ask yourself the question : “what is the one thing such that by doing it, everything will be easier or unnecessary?” This question forces you to pay attention to one thing, and one thing alone. True productivity or productive work, is the kind of work that does that one thing that brings you the closest to your goal above all other things.
The problem with being busy and having lots of to-do’s on your to-do list, is that it’s pretty easy for the things that really matter to either get little portion of your time or nothing at all. The worst part of it is that because we spent the entire day doing things, it’s easy for us to get the sense that we were productive. When you focus on the one thing, it’s easy to think that the day wasn’t productive enough since you “didn’t to as much”. Sometimes the fact that we feel productive doesn’t mean we are.
To get productivity tips read: productivity improvement tips
It is all about knowledge and experience;)
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