If there’s one super-powerful career boosting tip, this just might be it.
A re-thinking of productivity. Consider.
Productivity is the holy grail of life today. At least that’s the way it seems.
If we can just be more productive, we seem to keep telling ourselves, then we’ll have everything we want.
So we rush around like crazy, multitasking our way through the day. We start a lot of things. Finish some. Surprise ourselves by how the time flies.
We create a flurry of activity. We feel the stress. We are tired at the end of the day.
That all makes it seem like we are being pretty darn productive.
But often, we know that we’re not.
So we try to figure out how to up our game. How to “squeeze more hours in the day.” How to do more.
Here’s the thing. We can actually become more productive by doing less.
Because it’s all in the approach.
What Mega Successful People Do
Successful people have a way of doing things. They have mental models that help to identify key leverage points.
They have a strategy. They have an approach.
We can copy their style and get better results too.
Of course, we don’t face the same challenges as Richard Branson or the CEO of MegaCorp USA or of our boss or coworkers.
An exact copy won’t really do us as much good as developing our own approach.
That’s why all the step-by-step guides, nifty tools, and clever techniques don’t miraculously solve our problems.
Each of us is unique. The secret isn’t in the technique. It’s in the developing of a technique that works for you.
What Works for You
What works for you might work for me. And vice versa.
But maybe more importantly, the adaptation of ideas can help us more. The process of developing an approach that is an extension of the way we think. The way we see things. Our special strengths.
Robots and algorithms follow protocols and procedures. Knowledge workers need to do a lot more than that.
You have to bring creativity, insight, and judgement to your work. You need to think globally and act locally. You need to bring the je ne sais quoi in order to add maximum value.
And isn’t that what productivity is all about in the end? Isn’t it about impact? Isn’t it about change and transformation and pushing to new levels?
Thinking about productivity as process improvement and speed of implementation and making more widgets can be useful. But real innovation and impact comes from a more strategic approach.
And the beauty of that is, as you develop your approach over time it becomes better and better. Because just doing more and more will never really get you to the next level the way better and better will.
The Real Holy Grail
Mega successful people are innovators. They develop their own approach. They bring their voice to the table. And then they work it like hell.
They hone it. The push it to new limits. They keep finding new nooks and crannies. They surprise themselves by what a lock down to some fundamental idea opens up for them. And when we get a look into that, we are in awe. Because it all seems so simple when it’s revealed.
We can do the same thing. If you start developing your own approach now. Focus on something fundamental. A simple approach. Then work it. Hone it. Marvel at where you can take it and where it can take you.