WE’VE all heard that just because we’re busy that doesn’t mean we are being productive and effective. So how do we know when we are actually getting things done versus just getting the feeling like we are doing a lot? How can we use our time more efficiently without feeling too regimented? How can we stay productive without feeling overworked and exhausted after all the productivity? In my opinion, productivity is all about purpose. You cannot keep up extreme productivity every day and every week without knowing the purpose behind your productivity. The purpose is the motivation to regiment, plan, and work all sorts of hours to get something done. It is what keeps you focused. If you are wanting to enact change on your productivity levels or perhaps the people around you, we must start by asking ourselves what the purpose is behind the need for better productivity in our lives.
Productive people look at their day and they think about what needs to be done that will have the greatest impact on the results they are looking to generate. They don’t just do things so that they can check something off on a list. Going off of this concept, productivity also has large increases when there is clarity before any action is taken. Look at something that may need attention and analyze it, ask questions, figure out the best way to be efficient with it. Rather than figuring out the most efficient way on the fly, take a few moments to prepare and plan and possibly save yourself a headache and time.
Busy people say yes quickly, productive people are slow to say yes. Value your time – it’s the one thing you can never get back or generate for yourself. By saying no to small things you’re able to have time for the bigger picture tasks that will ultimately have the biggest result in your life. This doesn’t mean you can just ignore something small that needs to get done, but creating the habit of saying no to the things that don’t have that large of an effect can help you in all areas of life. Also, by focusing on the big picture tasks in your life you help develop the habit of focus. Productive people are ultra-focused on finishing a task rather than being distracted by multi-tasking on things that ultimately don’t serve an individual’s purpose for productivity.
Productive people know how to start a task. They also know how to prepare for the task. They don’t just dive right in, but they also don’t put off the task by over-preparing like many people. They have a balance between preparation and actually getting off their butt and getting it done. They’re motivated. Why? Because they know why the task needs to be completed and how important the result is to their overarching goals.
Productive people know how to be effective. Effective is the key word. Being effective creates results in your life, your job, your relationships, your marriage, and in every other area of your life you can think of. So how can we be more effective with our time? Prioritize, learn to say no, prepare, get rid of distractions, delegate when you can, and be selfish with your time. Each one of those tactics that help us to be more productive could be broken down further into learning how to do each of them. More on those in the future.
Time is something we can never get back no matter what. We need to take control of our time and learn to use it as wisely as possible to create the results we want to see in our life. Peter Drucker is the king of effective time management. I recommend reading up on his works and spend some of your time learning to manage your life to become the most effective individual you can be. Below are the books I’ve read of his and that have helped me to become more productive and more effective.
Top 3 Peter Drucker Books: