Productivity is one of those words that’s thrown around a lot. But what does it actually 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 great 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)
Lets face it, we are not machines which produce consistently the same quality over long periods of time. 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.
In the same way we should take our time and see which actions make us really 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 greatly 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 in the most efficient way. 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 energy. And that process is called habit.
As a result we could say that productive people are creatures of habit.
To become super-productive, you will need to create super efficient habits. You will need to re-check your current habits 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 the wrong habits might just be the thing that stop you from becoming really 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 the way of talking I like, the speed and energy and started practising 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?