Why is it so difficult for us to be productive? Why do we continue to get distracted from doing the work that matters? What is it about our human nature that draws us into the drama and unproductive activity that surrounds us?
The information and knowledge work of today is much different than what those in generations before us experienced. It used to be that the masses were on assembly lines, working day in and day out in the same routine. It didn’t matter if they didn’t feel like being productive…they didn’t have a choice. Be productive or lose your job. If leaders wanted to increase productivity, they found ways to make the line go faster. It was up to the workers to figure out how to keep up.
Today the masses work on moving information rather than moving assembly lines. We are not governed by that assembly line that can be made to go faster, but by the speed at which we can generate and share knowledge in combination with the service we provide to others, making up a good portion of today’s economy.
What we face now is finding a way to increase the speed of our mind, our intelligence…how do we find a faster way to creating new knowledge, the knowledge that invents new technologies or new cures? How do we stay engaged in the task at hand so that we can be the most productive, whether that is writing an article, helping a patient, serving a meal, or fixing a computer?
Many of us are in roles that require us to motivate and direct ourselves to work. That is reason enough to be engaged in something that you’re passionate about, as I’ve stated so many times before. How can you stay fully engaged and excel at something if you have to drag yourself screaming and kicking to do it?
What is a person to do to be more productive? Personally, I like to define my top 3 things that I am going to get done each day, and come hell or high water, get them done. In our office we have a daily 10 minute huddle, and at this huddle, each person shares their 3 things with the rest of the team. This provides accountability outside of just ourselves, which can be invaluable to motivation. It’s easy to justify to ourselves that we can’t do what we planned to do, but trying to explain that to your team of coworkers just makes you look like a slacker.
I came across an interesting one page productivity planner that falls in line with what I just discussed. It adds projects and people to the list of the top things that should be made a priority Maybe this can help you or someone you know. Check it out here.