[Author's Note: This is the Fifth and Final Part of the Series "The 3 Fundamental Principles Of Productivity"]
We’ve come to the conclusion of our series dealing about The 3 Fundamental Principles of Productivity. We see that between productivity and slacking off is a thin line – much like genius and insanity. Let’s make clear, though, that the system and the tool have nothing to do with your productivity. Your choice of productivity system and preferred tool are nothing but simple extensions of your process. Your rituals have a great impact on the success or failure of that process.
Productivity is not only about staying on top of everything that you are responsible for; it’s also about managing the open loops that are left hanging at work, home, family, and relationships – the whole nine yards. Productivity means having total control over your life in general.
What we’ve seen in this series is quite different from the popular notion that we can achieve productivity by controlling – or we like to use the word managing – our tasks and the time we spend on accomplishing them. You cannot control your tasks – there is 99% chance that they keep on coming as long as you have some kind of work to do. Time is beyond anyone’s control – there’s no chance that we can control it. And time does not have an intrinsic value. As Tim Ferriss says in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, “Attention determines the value of time.”
Attention determines the value of time.
- Tim Ferriss in “The 4-Hour Workweek”
Before we close this series, let’s take a quick look at few of the things that we need to pay close attention to that may pave the way for productivity:
Control the Process
Your tasks and time are beyond your control. The focus of productivity is producing quality output in the least amount of time that you can reasonably apply to process the input. And we’re not just talking about achieving quantity. Productivity goes way beyond the input-output ratio.
Elimination – The 80/20 Rule
Keeping your process lean eliminates the complexity of your productivity system. You should find ways to eliminate the unnecessary elements or procedures that are not adding value to achieving the desired outcome. A regular review of your process can only make you better at assessing your needs. Practice the 80/20 Rule.
Purging and Archiving
Tuck away your physical distractions. Archive the things or materials that you do not currently use but may have value in the future such as references, legal documents, etc. Instead of purging weekly or monthly, make that as part of your end-of-day ritual to keep your work area uncluttered. If you are like me, daily purging will improve your efficiency as far as your process is concerned.
Practice the 90/10 Rule
According to Stephen R. Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react.” Quit on whining and complaining. When adversity strikes, you have two options – win or lose. The 10% that happens outside of ourselves can hardly cause us our troubles and stress. Our reaction to such is where we usually lose the battle – it’s either you let it control you or take it as opportunity to grow.
I hope you liked this series on The 3 Fundamental Principles of Productivity. Now it’s time for you to share your thoughts regarding the following:
- What are your rituals that affect your productivity at work and at home?
- Discuss the system that you are practicing. What are the main features?
- How do your tools improve your efficiency?
- Do you have any other concerns that you want to share?
If you have further questions that you don’t want to post as comments, please don’t hesitate to email me at marlon@productivitybits .com.