Productivity is one of those words that’s thrown around a lot. But what does it mean?
A measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful outputs.
(The Business Dictionary)
So being productive means to create useful results. I guess that’s what we all want, but what does it take to be productive?
Most productive people are seen as very disciplined people, almost machine-like, producing consistently excellent results and who are therefore very successful.
If that is so, how can you be self-disciplined?
“It’s one of the most prevalent myths of our culture: self-discipline.” (Leo Babauta)
Let’s face it; we are not machines that produce consistently the same quality over long periods. The only way for us to do something consistently is to make it a habit. Doing it so often that it becomes our routine without the need to think about it or having to focus on it.
Productive people understand the need to create these habits. To do so, they have to be very disciplined for a short amount of time until the process becomes natural and part of their routine. It’s more like a sprint than a marathon.
It’s like designing a computer program. First, you test the program for bugs, make sure it works as intended and is tested thoroughly before putting it out into the market.
Get the process and get productive
In the same way, we should take our time and see which actions make us productive, test them in different environments before consistently (disciplined) using the process until it becomes natural (a habit).
Doing things in a certain way will significantly improve our productivity, but these habits can vary a lot between people. We are not all the same. We have different skill-sets, talents, interests, and experiences.
That means the inputs and the outputs might be the same, but the processes could be very different. This is what makes it all so interesting.
Productivity is about the process of creating an expected result most efficiently. With the least amount of effort, time and energy. For us, humans that means to do it naturally without the need to think about it or the use of additional power. And that process is called a habit.
As a result, we could say that productive people are creatures of habit.
Taking your productivity to the next level
To become super-productive, you will need to create super-efficient habits. You will need to re-check your current practices and make sure they are still up to the task. If not, you need to replace them with others. Just google “replace current habits”, and you will find lots of articles about it.
Important is that you keep yourself up to date because bad habits might be the thing that stops you from becoming successful.
I keep a list of the things that are important to me, and I always listen to what others say about me. Not because I am so self-absorbed, but because we often don’t see the things we do wrong.
I remember many years ago someone told me that I talk too fast and that it is difficult to follow my thought processes. After the initial shock, I started watching myself. I was looking at others to find a way of talking I like, the speed and energy and started practicing every day until it became natural to me.
Today I feel comfortable with the way I speak, the speed and energy I present. This made me a better communicator and in that area far more efficient and productive. Result! 🙂
You can translate this into any area you want and make the changes or add to it and become crazy productive without killing yourself.
How productive do you want to be?