Meaning of Productivity
When you look up the definition for productivity, Google says the following.
- producing or able to produce large amounts of goods, crops, or other commodities.
- the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.
- achieving a significant amount or result.
There are over 150 million results for the definition of productivity alone. But what does it mean in simple terms? What does it mean when you break it down, and how can you apply it to your life? I'll be getting into the meaning, and How you can apply it to your life so you can be more productive on a regular basis.
1. Being time efficient
If you read, study, learn, or have been around people who use their time wisely, they're productive people. They usually have no problem getting things done in a timely manner. And more importantly, putting the majority of their time into things that matter. And things that push their goals, dreams, futures, or themselves forward.
Being productive is all about intentionally using your time to the best of your ability. On things that matter most.To be more time efficient, use a digital calendar like Google Calendar, a journal, or a time tracking app like Rescue Time or aTimeLogger.
2. Minimizing Distractions
Distractions are everywhere these days. Phone calls, text, what's app, push notifications, social media, negativity, mainstream news, TV, advertisements, you name it. We're all surrounded by distractions in our environment.
But the most productive people minimize their distractions so they can get the most amount of work done. There's no such thing as multi-tasking, you can only do so much by yourself. And the way to do that is to minimize distractions. That's the 2nd definition of what it means to be truly productive.
To minimize your distractions, always get things done in a quiet environment.Put your headphones on when possible to block out outside noise.And always rid of clutter in your environment, as it'll only serve to distract you
3. Saying NO
How many of us are raised to say YES, be NICE, even if it makes little sense to do so? If you're so used to saying YES all the time, you'll end up saying YES to things that are a waste of your time. And you'll always be second best.
Why? Because saying YES to someone else's requests means saying NO to your priorities. Especially if it doesn't align with your own priorities.
When you learn, practice and commit to saying NO to the wrong things, instead of being nice and saying YES for the sake of it, you end up with more time. And that time can be put into being more productive, getting things done, doing things that matter, and using your time to the best of your ability. That's the 3rd definition of what it truly means to be productive.
4. Having Laser-Focus
This extends on point number 2 where I mentioned productivity being minimizing your distractions. Being productive takes a serious, intense, uninterrupted amount of focus.
For example – if you're a parent, and your kids needs your attention, being productive would mean putting all your attention on your son/daughter. Instead of trying to do 100 things all at the same time. When you split your focus and try to multi-task:
- You end up with less energy.
- You end up getting less done.
- You end up overwhelming yourself.
- You end up hurting your motivation.
Think of a driver behind the wheel. If he or she is focused, they'll get to their destination without any problems. If they take there eye off the road, something disastrous could happen. And it's the same thing with everyday priorities that call for your attention.
The 4th definition of being productive is having laser focus. Without it, you'll have mediocre results at best. And nothing will be achieved within a healthy amount of time. Time is of the essence, after all. And you can't get back the time you've wasted.
5. Getting Important things Done First
Brian Tracy, one of the biggest self-help international speakers worldwide, talks about the importance of the Golden Hour.
What is the golden hour? The golden hour is the first hour of your day. And within that first hour of your day you've got to focus on getting one of the most important things done. Or the only important thing done in your day.
By doing that within the first hour (golden hour) you set yourself up for a productive, focused day. What you do within the first few hours of your day determines how your day will turn out. Whether you know it or you don't.
That's why I define the 5th definition of productivity as getting the most important things done first. When you knock out the most crucial, boring, important, urgent task of the day, the rest of your day turns out a lot smoother. Where as if you did it the other way around, you'd have less energy, will-power and focus to get it done.Always do the hardest thing in the first half of your day, and productivity will be the least of your issues.
6. Getting Enough Sleep
This one is a must, and people tend to forget this part. If you don't sleep enough, you'll be the equivalent of a living zombie. Your focus will be blurred, your memory will suffer, and your energy will be lower than usual.You need your focus, your energy and your brain to be awake to get things done. Especially if they're time consuming or energy consuming.
I won't suggest you sleep 7-8 hours a day, because the amount we need to sleep is different for everybody. But what I will say is found out how many hours you can operate on at a minimum, and stick to that.Sleeping too little or sleeping too much can have a bad influence on your ability to get things done.
7. Being Urgent
This is a point many of us aren't aware of. Society teaches you to:
- Not be in a rush.
- Slow down.
- Be patient.
And things of that nature. While being patient is great, there is a time and place for patience. If you really want to be productive, you've got to be urgent, act urgent, and move with speed.
That doesn't mean do whatever it is you've got to get done in a sloppy, rushed kind of way. No. But what it does mean is:Push yourself to get it done a lot quicker. While remaining focused, and minimizing your distractions.All that time spent thinking about a thing, or staring at a blank screen on your computer is time you're not using urgently enough.
The quicker you get something done, the quicker you'll not only finish it, but the faster you'll be able to move on to the next task. And the next task. As well as the quicker you'll be able to kick back, relax, spend time with family, friends, or whatever it is you do in your spare time.
In the professional environment, a person will always appreciate you and respect you more if you get something done quickly, while being efficient, accurate, and having pride in whatever it is you're doing.Hey, if you took something from this post, please share it with your friends on social media. I appreciate it.