Excelerated Productivity™ isn’t about doing more things, but doing the right things efficiently. When you enhance your productivity to get the important things done, you have more time to spend with those you love.
The $25,000 Idea
This is a story Earl Nightingale told about how one idea to enhance a team’s productivity became worth $25,000. (And that’s in early 1900’s money – it’s more than $750,000 today!) According to the story, the president of a large steel company agreed to meet with Ivy Lee, an efficiency expert who also became one of the first PR professionals.
Lee was explaining to the potential client how he could help him better manage his company when the man interrupted to say he wasn’t doing as well now as he knew how. “We don’t need more knowing, we need more doing! We know what we need to do. Can you show us how to get it done?”
Lee told the president that he could give him a tool that could enhance his productivity by at least 50%. He gave the executive a blank sheet of paper and said, “Write down the six most important things you have to do tomorrow.” He thought for a few minutes, then jotted down his six things.
Next, Lee had him number the items in the order of their importance, from 1 to 6. “Put this paper in your pocket and take it out first thing tomorrow morning. Then start on your #1 task. Don’t even look at the others yet. Keep at it till it’s complete or as complete as you can make it. Then start on #2. Go down your list till you have completed as many as you can for the day. Then write down your six most important tasks for the next day.” Ivy Lee continued, “Don’t worry if you can’t finish them all. If you couldn’t complete them using this method, you could not complete them any other way, and you may have wasted time on less important things.”
When the president asked about payment, Lee told him to use the technique for as long as he wished and to teach it to his other executives. Then, send a check for whatever the president thought the idea was worth. As the story goes, after a few weeks, Lee received a check for $25,000 with a letter stating that this was the most profitable idea the president had ever learned. It is also said that this is what turned a little-known steel company into one of the largest steel producers in the world. [Nightingale]
Why Enhance Your Productivity?
The task management or organizational system that Ivy Lee introduced is one method for enhancing productivity. There are others as well. But let’s look past particular methods for now and see what comes from growing more productive. Here are some common advantages associated with increased productivity.
You accomplish more. When you enhance your productivity, you can complete tasks and projects more efficiently, allowing you to accomplish more in less time.
You use time more wisely. By being more focused, organized, and efficient, you can free up time for other activities, hobbies, or personal pursuits that are important to you.
When you effectively manage your workload and complete tasks in a timely manner, you experience less stress and overwhelm. Increased productivity allows for better work-life balance and reduces the likelihood you’ll feel overwhelmed by pending tasks.
You do quality work. Enhanced productivity often goes hand in hand with increased attention to detail and improved quality of work. By focusing on tasks and reducing distractions, you can produce higher-quality outputs and deliver better results.
Improved productivity can contribute to a positive reputation, both in your personal life and your professional career. Consistently delivering on tasks and meeting deadlines can establish you as reliable, efficient, and capable.
When you enhance your productivity, you contribute to your professional growth and advancement. When you consistently meet targets, exceed expectations, and deliver high-quality work, you increase your chances of promotion, recognition, and career progression.
You reduce procrastination. Enhancing your productivity frequently involves implementing strategies to combat procrastination. By overcoming the tendency to procrastinate, you can break free from the cycle of delays and accomplish tasks more promptly.
These are some of the benefits that can come with improved productivity, although specific advantages will vary depending on individual circumstances and goals. Ultimately, increased productivity empowers you to optimize your time, achieve your objectives, and lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.
Enhanced Productivity = Excelerated Productivity™
Enhanced productivity refers to an improvement or increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of work or tasks performed. It involves maximizing output or results while minimizing the time, effort, or resources required to achieve them. Enhanced productivity ultimately means you accomplish more in less time or you achieve higher quality outcomes with the same level of effort.
When you take steps to enhance your productivity you achieve your goals more effectively, make better use of your resources, and potentially generate higher levels of output. Enhanced productivity can have various benefits, including increased profitability, improved performance, reduced stress levels, and better work-life balance.
The Five Essential Components of Productivity
These are the “five essential components of productivity” as explained by Manj Bahra in an article on Medium.com.
- Start With Your To-Do List.
- Break Down Each Task or Goal.
- Create a State Of Focus.
- Do the Work.
Let’s examine what these mean in a little more detail.
Start with your to-do list.
A to-do list is a written or digital list that outlines the tasks you need to accomplish. It serves as a roadmap for your day, allowing you to prioritize and stay organized. By creating a to-do list, you can effectively plan your day and ensure that important tasks are not overlooked. And recall the effect it had on the management team of that obscure steel mill.
Break down each task or goal.
Breaking down tasks or goals into smaller, more manageable subtasks is an effective way to prevent overwhelm and increase productivity. By breaking down larger tasks, you can tackle them step by step, making progress and maintaining momentum. This approach helps you focus on specific actions and provides a sense of accomplishment as you complete each subtask.
Create a state of focus.
Achieving a state of focus is crucial for productivity. It involves eliminating distractions and directing your attention solely toward the task at hand. Find a quiet environment, switch off notifications on your electronic devices, and consider using techniques like time blocking or the Pomodoro Technique to enhance your concentration and minimize interruptions.
Do the work.
This component is the core of productivity. In fact, the other steps mean nothing if you don’t do this one! It requires taking action and actively working on the tasks you’ve identified. It’s important to stay committed and disciplined and to avoid procrastination. Prioritize your tasks based on urgency and importance, and apply techniques such as task batching or applying the “eat the frog” principle (tackling the most challenging task first) to optimize your efficiency.
Productivity is an ongoing process that requires consistency and repetition. Once you complete a task, return to your to-do list, reassess priorities, and identify the next set of tasks or goals. Continually reviewing, adjusting, and repeating this cycle helps maintain productivity levels and ensures that you’re making progress toward your objectives.
By incorporating these five essential components into your workflow, you can enhance your productivity, stay organized, and accomplish your goals more effectively. Remember, everyone’s productivity methods may vary, so feel free to adapt and refine these components to suit your unique needs and working style.
How to Enhance Your Productivity
There are numerous ways to enhance productivity, and they can vary depending on the context. Some common strategies include:
Time management: Efficiently planning and prioritizing tasks, setting deadlines, and avoiding time-wasting activities or distractions.
Organization and systems: Implementing effective systems, workflows, and processes to streamline work and reduce inefficiencies.
Automation and technology: Utilizing tools, software, and technology to automate repetitive tasks, improve accuracy, and increase speed.
Delegation and collaboration: Assigning tasks to others, leveraging the skills and expertise of teammates, and fostering effective communication and collaboration.
Continuous learning and skill development: Enhancing knowledge, acquiring new skills, and staying updated with industry trends to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Focus and concentration: Cultivating techniques and practices to maintain focus, avoid multitasking, and minimize interruptions.
Well-being and work-life balance: Prioritizing self-care, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and creating boundaries between work and personal life to prevent burnout and increase overall productivity.
Why Pursue Enhanced Productivity?
It’s important to note that enhanced productivity is not solely about working harder or putting in longer hours but rather finding ways to work smarter and optimize your efforts. The specific strategies to enhance productivity will vary based on individual preferences, job requirements, and the nature of the work being performed.
Remember, Excelerated Productivity™ isn’t about doing more things but doing the right things efficiently. The final objective is not to get more and more things done. It’s to get the important things done. And when you use enhanced productivity methods to do your important things, you have more time to spend with those you love. That is a major objective of enhanced productivity. And it is a step in embracing your Excelerated Life™!
How could enhancing your productivity help in pursuing your BIG goal?
What is one idea you could act on today?
Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Excelerated Productivity™ — improving efficiency and effectiveness — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life™, a life of flourishing and well-being, and a life of meaning, purpose, and service.
Bahra, Manj. “The Five Essential Components of Productivity.” The Startup. Medium.com, March 22, 2019. Web. June 10, 2023.
Nightingale, Earl. “Lead The Field.” PDFDrive. Asaha Inc., . Web. Date July 17, 2020. PDF file.