In the process of updating my Time Mastery workshop I started researching the idea of productivity. This concept has gone from being a clear, quantitative measure of each worker’s efficiency in a factory setting during the Industrial Age to a mix of everything in an office setting—psychology, creativity, business operations, collaboration, communications, etc. But it’s still fundamentally about being capable of efficient work.
In today’s world the best general productivity rules for each person are well known:
In my view, the most valuable one-size-fits-all strategies for each person boost these fundamentals. Examples include decision rules for choosing the right thing to do, techniques to relax and go to sleep, etc.
However, there is a category of strategies that are unique to each person. These are the ones that give each person a distinct competitive edge. There are some things I’ve changed about how I approach staying prepared to productive. Here they are:
Don’t stick to the rules
Be open to how people do their things, be more open to throwing out my current ways of doing things. Retry tactics that didn’t work before. For example, the weekly review didn’t work for me for years until I modified it enough to my own personality type and situation. The same with taking notes, which I tried multiple times.
Aim for acceptable when trying something new
Don’t look for “the right way” yet, because there isn’t one at the beginning. Instead, allow moments of perfection to happen. I find that I eventually discover the right way when I discover my own way of doing it. However, that only happens if I take action.
Keep gathering information and learning
Don’t wait to discover the one true path to do anything. There isn’t a right way to do many of the most important things. Only your way.
"In today’s world the best general productivity rules for each person are well known"