Continuing from Part I earlier, in which I shared Chris Bailey’s Top 10 Lessons from A Year of Productivity, here are the top 5 tips on how to increase your productivity.
#5 – There is no ‘ultimate secret’ but there are hundreds of tactics
From a whole year of exploring and experimenting with productivity, Chris didn’t find the ‘ultimate secret’ to becoming more productive, but he did discover hundreds of tactics that could help him manage his time, energy and attention more effectively, thus boosting his productivity. Therefore, it’s pretty much up to the individual to discover which of these tactics work, and which don’t (see #8 above).
#4 – Working too hard or too much is counter-productive
Contrary to popular belief, working too hard or too much will not increase your productivity. In an experiment, Chris alternated between working 90 hours a week and 20 hours a week. He found that he got as much work done in a 20-hour week as a 90-hour week. When you limit the time spent on doing a task, you are forced to put more energy to get the work done; however, if you have more time to complete your work, you tend to procrastinate more.
Can you use this argument with your boss to let you work less hours? You can try, but results may vary (and we hold no responsibility for what happens).
#3 – Knowing WHY provides motivation to do something
Motivated (and productive) people constantly question why they’re doing what they do, because the reason for doing so keeps them motivated. When you focus on doing things that you value and believe, it provides the motivation to be more productive and get things done. That is why passion in your work is important, and a major factor in many success stories.
#2 – There will be pressure, so be kind to yourself
Becoming more productive involves a lot of effort, because you exert a lot of pressure and stress to perform better or achieve goals. The same applies to basically everything we do: at work, at school, in relationships. More often than not, we are harsh on ourselves, either to achieve something bigger, remain in a certain position, or simply when trying to make positive changes in life.
The video below isn’t related to productivity, but it does show how people are their own worst critics. (Warning: Lots of feels ahead!)
#1 – Productivity is not how much your produce, but how much you ACCOMPLISH
This is really easy yet quite complicated to understand, isn’t it? Sure, getting a whole lot of work done (like folding 1000 paper cranes in a day) seems to show that you’re being really productive, but being productive is not about how much you produce, but how meaningful is the work done (like making one giant paper crane out of glass because #ART). As far as personal productivity is concerned, statistics are secondary (unless you’re a paper factory); productivity is about how much, or what, you’ve managed to accomplish. At the end of the day, the only thing left is what you’ve accomplished, that gratuitous feeling of having done something valuable and meaningful with your time.
Intrigued? Check out the introduction video here, or head over to A Year of Productivity to read more about how to increase your productivity, and hopefully it will help you in both the workplace and your personal life. 🙂