The past five years has seen a staggering number of articles, vlogs, podcasts, books and stories published related to productivity. Searches on Google, within Facebook, or on any other social media platform will return seemingly endless results. Some of it is great, some of it not so great, though most of it has advice that at least some people will find useful. Productivity means doing more, better, and more efficiently in less time. It means professional success, and it means more enjoyment with your family. And everybody’s talking about it.
Trust me when I say I read, watch, and listen to productivity content. I want to improve my game. And one common theme stands out through all of it—time. No matter how you approach it, or how you achieve it, productivity is about making the most of your time.
If you read, watch or listen to nothing about productivity from here on in, at least read this sentence: look for ways to save yourself and others time and you will maximize productivity.
If you run a business and are looking for new revenue, then create services, ideas, and products that give your clients more time. Products and services that eat up time are not likely to sell, even if they are wonderful in all other ways.
If you work for someone else, look for ways you can take on mundane tasks that your supervisor would otherwise have to do. Why? Because then he or she will have more time available for high-priority work no one else can do. If you’re the one giving your boss the time he or she needs, you will be invaluable—always a plus, because if something goes wrong, requiring layoffs, you’ll be more likely to keep your job.
If you are in sales, surround yourself with people who can save you time, not only by supporting your work, but also by replicating you. If you are in one sales meeting and you have a junior associate in another sales meeting, you’re basically getting twice as much done in the same amount of time. Many people look at hiring others as a cost, but I see it as an investment, an investment of money that yields what as a dividend? Yes, you guessed it: TIME!
Here’s something though—don’t interrupt someone to tell them all about some time-saving idea you have. Your pitch might only take 20 or 30 seconds, but you’ve disrupted their workflow, and that ends up costing a lot of time. Interrupting someone can actually be a major, and very frustrating loss of productivity. In fact–
–hold on, my six-year-old daughter needs something….
This idea goes back to an earlier article I wrote, titled, “Time: Buy It and Sell It.” That idea has not changed. But what is more in your face about it is the amount of productivity thoughts that are out there. You can read the books, listen to the podcasts and more. And you should—I will. In that, the key is focusing on what works for YOU! Not for me. But for you! The overriding theme to this idea is that time is at the core of it all.