The art of productivity


Take a moment to consider the difference between being active and being productive. You will likely find that activity is not necessarily productive. Writing tons of emails is very active, but maybe not very productive.

According to the Pareto principle, in work-life, often 80% of our effort is spend on activities that bring us only 20% of our outcome. And 20% of our effort is paying back the 80% of effort. The art of productivity must therefore be to prioritize those activities that bring the biggest outcome. And to determine those, we must constantly relate our activities to our main goals.

An analogy, to choosing your priorities, is the gears of a car. You can drive 50 kilometers per hour in gear one. The motor will be very active and make a lot of noise, but it will also consume lots of fuel and get overheated. And you can drive 50 kilometers per hour in gear six and have a silent, steady motor that uses little fuel and can go on for hours. The only difference is the simple shift of gears. Likewise, in work-life, by choosing the right priorities, you will get far in short time, without heating up. And you can go on for a long time.

Often we find ourselves whirled up in the "busy-ness" of daily life. And in the midst of it all we tend to follow the activities in our schedule. But rather than prioritize what’s on your schedule, schedule your priorities. A simple way of making sure you spend more time in the right priorities is to take a few minutes to determine what will bring you closer to achieving your goals.
Take 5 minutes every morning to write down those priorities that will get you the furthest with the least effort.
Also, do this on a weekly basis by taking 15 minutes to write down the priorities for the week.
And do the same every month.
See what happens…