Efficiency - Productivity

4 Maxims to remember about productivity

Filip Van Hove

We all have been there.. Unproductive at 3PM. Not feeling like we have been done anything at all that day. We have been turning in circles and haven’t achieved anything.
We know we should change our approach, and that’s when we start Googling: “How to improve productivity ? ”

Underneath are some important things you can do to improve your productivity.

First of all, it is important to understand the difference between being effective and being efficient.
 

Effectivity trumps efficiency
Effectivity is actually achieving the goal, achieving what you set out to do. Efficiency is the ability to work the minimum amount of hours to achieve a certain outcome.
In productivity (and life) however it is more important to be effective than it is to be efficient.

Many people try to improve their efficiency constantly. BUT: Often they just become more and more busy. They become efficient in a task that isn’t important in the first place. Being efficient in something doesn’t mean this task is important. Doing the important work, and doing that well is the way to be productive. This is also how a task management system can help you, because you can mark important tasks and then focus 80% of your time on completing these tasks.
 

Make use of the productivity quadrant
Stephen Covey is the inventor of this game-changing quadrant to improve your own productivity.
If you see the quadrant underneath, where would you think you should spend your time?

Most people say: Quadrant I.
WRONG!
Most people spend their time in quadrant I. Most people however, aren’t very productive.
What incredibly productive people do is: They spend time in Quadrant II.
WHAT?! But these tasks aren’t even urgent!?

If you focus on taking care of quadrant II, you will prevent to have tasks in Quadrant I because you take care of all important tasks before they become urgent or near a deadline.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor stephen covey quadrant

Think BIG and start small
When thinking of the outcomes you want to achieve, don’t limit yourself to what you think is realistic. Think BIG! This is the way to change your organization or your life!
However, this huge goal is often daunting to people, which makes them feel overwhelmed and makes them start procrastinating their work.
Therefore, if you have set an ambitious goal, immediately take 1 action. However small it is, just start. This small action will build momentum and will help you achieve your big goals.

80% of success is showing up – as Woody Allen says. So just show up to the work and start. Then, when you have started, you feel a sense of momentum and this will carry you forward to take bigger and bigger steps forward!
 

Focus on the why and the how will take care of itself.
Nietzsche: “He who has a strong enough why, can bear almost any how”.

If you are unmotivated to do the work you want to do, it is often because your why isn’t big enough. You don’t see the point, you don’t want to do it.
If you are at this point, ask yourself the big Why question: Why is this something I want to spend time on? Why is it important for me? Why did I choose this job in the first place?

Reconnect with this why and you’ll find yourself not being able to stop working!

 

Did these productivity maxims help you? Which of these is your favorite? And which one proves the most difficult for you? Please post it below, I’d be curious to know.