Becoming more productive

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. 
William Penn
1644 – 1718

One of the biggest issues people face today is being overwhelmed. Most people complain of having too much to do and too little time; they seem to be unable to manage all of their responsibilities.

I often work with people to help them become more productive. The goal is to help them achieve more and still have time for a life. When they first come to me, they mistakenly believe that I can magically create more time, or that I can provide secrets that compress the time required to complete certain tasks.

But there’s one thing in life that’s completely democratic: time. We all get twenty-four hours a day — no more, no less. Your socioeconomic status doesn’t matter; everyone gets the same amount.

There’s no such thing as time management. It isn’t possible to manage time, because time won’t slow down for anyone. The only thing you can manage is what you choose to do with your time.

I can and do help people become more productive. But I’ve also worked with people who are unwilling to embrace the concepts required to become more productive, and so they fail to achieve the results they want.

So what are the key concepts you should learn to become more productive?

  • Do fewer things. Decide what’s really important and focus your time and energy there.
  • Recognize that most things in life are low value activities. Avoid activities that aren’t adding value to your life.
  • Do one thing at a time. Really engage in what you’re doing. If you’re reading something, give it all your attention. If you’re talking with someone, don’t try to do something else as well. Stay focused on a single task and devote all your attention to that one activity.
  • Do it right the first time. If you don’t have time to do it right, will you really have time to do it over?
  • Slow down. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but as the old saying goes, “Haste makes waste.” When you slow down you see what you’d missed due to a hurried, hectic pace.

Life is short; days and then years pass before you know it. Time is the one resource that can never be replaced. Value it, and make the most of the time you’ve been given.

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.
370 – 285 BC


Becoming more productive — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you yet again for a timely article. It is uncanny how your topics are just right for the time. Tomorrow I am facilitating a workshop on improving productivity and you have highlighted some extra good points.