Productivity Principles

Back to Blog

Productivity is less about the number of hours worked and more about the value generated.  Value is defined as ‘contributing to the wellbeing of a person or entity’.

How productive are you? Your personal productivity fits into the leadership theme of leading self. Leading self is foundational to leading others and leading the business.

Here are 8 productivity principles for reflection:

Principle #1:  More Hours Worked Does Not Mean More Productivity

Research suggests that our productivity goes up between 30 -50 hours / week of work.  Once we hit the 50 hour threshold our overall productivity begins to flatten.  In fact, once we exceed 65 hours / week our overall productivity begins to decrease.

The previous formula of working more hours no longer satisfies today’s work requirements.  The measure needs to focus on our efficiency and value provided.

Two questions to help you improve in this area: Are you working on the right things and are you doing things right?

Principle #2:  Busy Does Not Equal Productive

I have had many a busy day. I rush from meeting to meeting feeling like I am in demand and needed, yet I can end my day exhausted.  Sometimes a busy day cannot be avoided.

Principle #3:  Bad Habits Hinder Productivity

We all have bad habits. One of mine is the enjoyment of eating, while watching a movie.

It is easier to replace a habit than to stop one cold turkey.  For me filling the evening time with another refreshing activity would do more good than chomping on popcorn, while watching Netflix.

Principle #4:  Focus On The Work That Only You Can Do

The work that only you can do.  If you are a leader or manager, only you can resolve conflict, build trust and provide feedback to your team.  I would highly recommend you delegate the rest.

Principle #5:  It Is More About Resolve Than It Is About Talent

We love to see talented professional athletes, business leaders and speakers. We think children are endowed with special talents and that makes them special.  The reality is that it is so much more than talent.  In fact, productivity in life or contributing in life is about getting up again and again seeking to add value, especially in the midst of adversity.

Principle #6:  Productivity Is Enhanced When We Manage Ourselves Holistically

You are a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual person.  All aspects of your life from faith to sleep and nutrition to beliefs must be managed to reach a strong performance state.  If you neglect one of these areas your overall productivity can diminish.  It is hard to feed the troops when you are starving yourself.

Principle #7: Clarifying Passion and Purpose

These two overused and diluted terms are actually central to personal productivity.  Use the word ‘interest’ for passion and your perspective may change.  We tend to gain skill in that which we are interested in.  An interest could be a cause or a subject matter.

Your purpose is what gets you up in the morning.  Purpose ignites a centrality of focus.

Principle #8:  Emotions Impact Productivity Greatly

Anxiety and stress can stop us in our tracks.  They can hinder decision making and creativity.  Knowing your stress triggers helps mitigate their power.

Just the other day, I heard feedback that was constructive.  I often tell myself that “I am being rejected.” Instead, the true belief is that feedback is a tool to help me get better. It is data not the final story.  Audit your beliefs to see if they are stress maintaining or stress mitigating.