Productivity. The word that has come to define success.
Ask any person who has achieved anything significant in their life and they will tell you that they managed the time that was given to them well.
Of course, they are likely to word it differently, but the point remains:
Productivity = Time Management. A point which we shall return to.
But what is productivity really? And why it so integral to those who are seeking to better themselves, earn a higher income, or develop a better mindset or physique?
These are some of the questions we will answer in this post, and along the way provide key pointers on how you can increase your productivity to be better set to achieve the goals you have in life.
What Does it Mean to Be Productive?
If you have ever taken a business lesson or a module in economics or maybe even business psychology you are likely to learn that productivity is the relationship between inputs and outputs.
The key criterion is that productivity increases when you get more (output) for less (input).
In life the input you direct towards something, say the time that you expend towards a task that can potentially produce measurable outcomes, the productivity equation would go something like this:
For the same amount of time you put in ≥ Of the desired outcome.
The less amount of time you put in = The same level or percentage of the desired outcome.
Generally, most productivity equations in some ways correlate with the subject of time. The centrality of time to the productivity question requires us to look a bit deeper into this interesting subject.
The Importance of Time
Time is a mysterious thing. It is something we cannot see but it is ever-present.
Now there is a lot of debate in physics and philosophy circles on the true nature of time. Some experts argue if the notion of time that we have come to understand is even real.
Whatever understanding of time one may have (or not) what is not in dispute is that things change. The fact that things don’t remain the same tells us that there is some truth to the passage of time.
Now the aim here to not get all philosophical, but it is important to grasp the importance of, and for that matter the seriousness of this subject.
The saying that ‘time and tide wait for no man’ is true in more ways than one. For starters, it tells that things are always in flux. And that when the moment comes it is important that you grab the opportunity and make the best use of it.
As a simple thought experiment considers your time as a teenager. The opportunities you had as an adolescent are no longer available to you. And even if you could, as an adult somehow do those things, they are not likely to feel the same.
It is the same with the time that you have on your hands now. Today. At this moment.
If you are one of the many people who think that things could be better. Or that things could have been better as you reminisce (or regret) about times gone by… Guess what you are doing? Well, you are NOT doing anything productive that’s for sure.
For you are certainly wasting time. The precious time that you have on your hands now. Today. At this moment.
The concept of time and its seriousness is arguably better understood by women. Young women in particular. For whom ‘the clock’ is always ticking.
And it is for you too son. Maybe not as quickly or urgently. But the doctrine that one must make hay while the sun shines is never truer than it is in the present. Which is a good thing. Because now you can do something about it.
The point is we don’t live forever. Since we as humans only have a limited time on our hands it is imperative that we manage it the best we can. The question is how?
When it comes to the importance of making use of your time well, being more proactive in your decision-making, when taken together, may sound adequate when it comes to the subject of productivity.
And in a way it is. Being productive only makes sense once you recognize that you don’t have an infinite amount of time on your hands.
However, there is more to this subject of being productive. Particularly if your aim is to lead a productive and fulfilling life.
Make no mistake there are a LOT of hardworking, and in their own right, productive people out there. But working hard and being productive will count for little if you are not working towards something. Towards achieving your broader aims in life.
This takes us to the next key subject in the productivity equation: Goals.
The Importance of Setting Goals
Notice the terminology: Setting goals. Not just having them.
Your life needs to have a direction. No matter what you do or what you choose to believe in, there needs to be some overarching direction or better, purpose to your life.
We understand that purpose is an interesting word. This a term that is not particularly fashionable in secular circles, and generally it is looked at negatively by those who believe in the idea of absolute freedom.
In case you happen to be an uber-libertarian or heck, maybe even an anarchist, you might be of the view that what matters in life is to be able to do what pleases you and be free to do it. And having a purpose, or living a purposeful life may not fit well into that idea.
And there is some truth in that. Speaking of the Bulldog Mindset one of our most esteemed principles is to have the freedom to do what matters to you.
However, it is the kind of freedom that comes with responsibility. Responsibility to those around you, and to some extent to the world as a whole.
But also, and this is an important part, it is the responsibility that you must have towards yourself.
To break this down a bit: It is our view at Bulldog Mindset that every person in this world is born to do something. Something important. Something that produces value. In other words, we believe that a person, pretty much from the time of their birth are programmed to do something.
By the way, if you are a programmer and are interested in succeeding as a programmer, feel free to visit our sister blog; Simple Programmer for some great, actionable info to kick-start your programming career.
So the task of each person is to identify this particular role he/she is meant to fulfill. Now, this might sound a bit much, but the core idea is that you must figure out what you really want to do with your life and then find a way f***ing do it!
And yes, that SOMETHING needs to have some kind of positive social and/or economic value.
So when it comes to the task of setting goals, whatever goals you set must in some way align with what you are planning to do with your life, which in turn must correspond to your purpose.
Again, purpose is a big subject, and if you wish to know more about identifying your purpose in life, please check out this detailed post.
Right with that part behind us: meaning you have some idea of what you want to achieve in life. Such as:
A career as a programmer.
To build a business that serves people.
To become a motivational coach or speaker.
Your next task is to break down the necessary steps you need to take to make this a reality. This takes us to the next main subject: the importance of working through objectives.
Working Through Objectives
In life, almost anyone could say they wish they could do something important, or become someone of greatness. That the desire to do great things is always within us.
And by ‘great’ that could simply mean:
Having a top-paying job in whatever career.
To drive your own Ferrari.
Or to own a beachfront house in Malibu.
If you look at these wishes, which is what they are (especially if you are starting out with nothing), you will notice that they work into the simpler (but not simple) subject of goals.
That is achievable in a given period of time.
So in order to fulfill these wishes (surely you can think of other things as well) you need to be able to accomplish the goals you have in life. Which in turn rests on your ability to reach very specific objectives.
So this is the next key facet of the productivity equation. Connecting your goals with your objectives.
You see, when hear people talk about being ‘productive’, or ‘more productive’ or simply about ‘getting stuff done’, what is often missing in these discussions is the need for their goal-directed character.
For it is not good enough to just become productive for productivity's sake. For whatever your doing, and hopefully doing well, must work towards something bigger.
Once that is established, the next point of order is how you get there.
How do you get that well-paying job, or that promotion, or that pay rise that you believe you so badly deserve?
What concrete steps do you have to take in order to get to a stage where your demands and expectations can be more realistically met?
Now it is at this point that you, in case you have looked up other information sources on productivity, you are likely to get bombarded with info on what exactly it takes to BE productive.
As you may now deduce the task of providing specific guidelines and hacks on How to be productive was not exactly the purpose of the post. Rather our main objective is to help set the framework from which steps that increase your productivity can take effect.
However, given its significance, a quick overview of some of the key points that increase productivity across the board is needed. They are:
Learning from Experts.
Now, this is not an exhaustive list. But they are key productivity factors that are often overlooked by many. Not you.
Arguably the most important principle that you need to adhere to in your aim to lead a productive life.
Saying is ‘No’ is not just about refusing to help someone, or giving your time for a certain end, productive or otherwise. Rather saying ‘No’ is about saying yes to yourself, by removing yourself from potentially unwanted, or undesirable you may make to someone.
This might sound confusing at first. Since life is all about relationships. And if you keep saying ‘No’ much of the time, chances there aren’t many people who are going to be saying ‘Yes’ to you.
The fact is there is more to the subject of saying ‘No’ as a key factor in enhancing your productivity. But for now, the main consideration is one of the priorities.
How do you choose to spend your valuable time? If your aim is to do something productive, your next task is to choose between alternatives that may promise productive outcomes but may not deliver equally as well. Or could deliver less.
Your job is to figure out what option is the best and NO no to the rest.
Well, this is an interesting one and I guess you were not expecting a point on fitness on the subject of productivity.
Well in case the obvious needs to be stated: health is wealth. If you are not healthy, or better, not in optimal condition, no matter what else you do, your efforts will count for little if not nothing.
But the task or process of staying fit is easier said than done: It is not as simple as eating your leafy greens and avoiding junk food. For there is much more to this.
And if you are interested in learning about this and more, when it comes to increasing your productivity check out the Bulldog Mindset Membership, where you will learn not just how to increase your productivity, but the way towards excelling in key areas of life.
For now, it is important that any step you take to increase your productivity pay adequate attention to your health and fitness.
Learning from Experts
One of the best ways to achieve success in life is to learn from someone who has already achieved it.
This might sound weird to someone who may be hearing this for the first time. But hear me out: There is a reason why experience pays.
Before we get to the main argument, have you ever wondered why people pay experts, in whatever field to teach them a specific subject or skill?
This is especially true in academics, healthcare, and other technical fields. So how it about when it comes to building yourself, growing as a person, on building a business, and developing your social life?
This is an interesting question.
The areas of your life that deal with soft skills; and the particular knowledge of financial management are best learned via experience. And getting that knowledge from someone who has done it firsthand is almost unbeatable.
Trust me, to learn from a person with direct feedback, is way more valuable (provide it is the right one) than what you can gain by reading a book, or listening to someone speak.
And here we are not talking about just getting some general info on productivity, business development, mindset, etc.
No. What we are talking about is the importance of getting the kind of info, advice, and guidance that is specific to you.
To have your problems heard, questions answered, and then answers to be provided. That is the best way to learn something new. And to learn effectively to be put into practice.
Since productivity is about saving time and energy, save time by finding an expert. A life coach or business leader. Who will help not just fix your problems but empowers you to rise from it?
Productivity is an interesting word. One that could potentially mean different things to different people, who are in different stages of their lives.
However, it centres around one principle: the efficient use of time.
Since time is one of the most (if not the most) resource you have at your disposal, how you manage it will affect everything else that takes place in your life.
To succeed in life one must be productive. To be productive you need to have goals that work into realizable objectives.
To achieve these objectives you need to prioritize, stay fit, and focused, and have the support of experts.
Either directly, or at least from the gained wisdom of books and good podcasts. And in case we forget, put in the work. That is the only sure way to success.
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