3 Steps To Insane Productivity
Increasing your productivity depends on how clear you are about your outcomes and objectives, not the time you manage to put in. Sadly, we mistake activity, todos, tasks, and busyness for Productivity, when it's all about your results. The three steps in this article lay out a path to incredible productivity while addressing the mistakes that are sabotaging your efforts.
Productivity is about results, but we’ve been conditioned to think that it’s about activity and level of effort. It’s not. Below I lay out the three steps to incredible productivity and the mistakes that are sabotaging your efforts.
Bonus: Grab the Project Productivity Quickstart Checklist guarantees your clarity on any project.
A Clear On Your Outcome and Objective
Clarifying your desired outcome is the fastest way to double your productivity. Making decisions upfront and removing the ambiguity that will have you flailing as the project gets challenging. Knowing what you want in concrete terms is the key to know which action to take and which to skip, as we'll cover in the next section.
Understanding your objective is also necessary.
What's the difference between outcome and objective?
Outcomes are the specific and concrete changes that will happen in the world if your project is successful.
Objectives are what will happen as a result of that outcome.
A simple way to think about it is to think of a result of an exam. You want to get a specific and preferably high score so that you can pass the class.
In the above example, your outcome was the score on the exam, while the objective was to pass the class.
If you keep your outcome and objective in mind and allow yourself, so room to be flexible, then you end up with a lot more options that could lead you to the same outcomes or objectives.
Get Creative and Flexible with Your Approach
Having the clarity on where you're going and what that will get you affords you a type of freedom that people don't consider.
Bonus Tool: Use the “Action” section of this Checklist to come up with more actions that will get you a lot more options.
We sometimes treat projects as if our goals are destinations at the end of a dead-end street, one way in and one way out.
But this isn't true.
Outcomes to projects and the changes that we want are more like a house with multiple ways to get there.
Is there traffic on the road? Take a detour.
Is there an accident on the highway? Take the backroads.
These questions illustrate the mindset to take towards getting projects to completion.
As long as you keep your objectives as a non-negotiable, you can be free to get creative. You can even negotiate your outcomes as long as it aligns with your target.
Think of the exam score example that we've been using - if your objective is to pass the class and it turns out you did not get a high score, then maybe you can make up work, do extra credit, or something else, but you have that option.
Keep your eyes on the goal and keep the ball moving
Getting to your results and genuinely boosting your productivity is like a sport.
Ultimately, it's about keeping your eyes on the goal and doing everything to get there.
Adapt to Feedback and Focus On What's Working
Ultimately, things will not always work out as planned, and you will have to adapt.
If you get new information, find out that an approach is not working, or find out that you missed something, then you have to adapt.
But to catch these things, we have to stop and review where we are and how we're doing.
The big mistake the most people make is that they bury their heads and work hard for a long time without stopping to check if they're still on track.
How to Apply The Three Steps to Increased Productivity
1. Get clear on the one change that your project is going to make and write it down
2. Get clear on the objective you're after and what will come as a result of this outcome and write it down.
3. Brainstorm all the fun, crazy, conventional, and unconventional things or approaches that you could take to achieve your goal.
Once you have the list, sort through it, do some work, and review your progress often to make sure you're on track.
Do this, and you will double or maybe triple your productivity.
And, if you’d like a step-by-step checklist that walks you through this process - Get it here.
A bit more action...
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