Productivity Tip – Why do you want to be more productive?

Don’t worry, this is not a philosophical post, my productivity tips series is still all about tips and techniques you can use to improve your productivity (and you life).

If you are reading this you probably care about your productivity and you want to be as productive as possible, but why? Do you want to make more money? To improve your life style? To have more free time? To spend more time with your family and friends? It’s important to know.

Being more productive can help you achieve all those and more, but only if you concentrate on your goals and not try to blindly increase your productivity.

Is working 80 hours a week and accomplishing in each of those hours what will take others 4 times as much time to do productive? Sure. Will it get you more time with your family? Not at all.

What if you work only one day a week but you can finish a week’s work in this day, are you productive? Yes, you are 5 times as productive as your co-workers. Will it make you rich? Unlikely.

What if can you answer a 1000 e-mails a day, is this productive? By some people definition it is. Will it get you any closer to any of your goals? Only if you are getting paid per-message.

If you want more money, or need more money to achieve your goals, you will need to improve your productivity in a way that increases your pay:

  • If you get paid per project, you need to finish your projects quicker so you can take on more work - or work more hours.
  • If you get paid by the hour you need more billable hours, getting more done in those hours will not help much.
  • If you get paid regardless of how much time you work or how much you do then you should concentrate on getting a raise.

On the other hand if you want more free time your strategy should be different:

  • If get paid per project, you need to finish your projects quicker and not take on more work.
  • If you get paid by the hour you need to reduce your non-billable work time to the absolute minimum, increase your rates or take a pay cut, you’re not going to get more free time without working fewer hours.

So remember, productivity is a road – not a destination. Most roads won’t get you to the right destination, even if they are good roads traveled by many people and most productivity techniques will not get you any closer to your goals, even if het are widely used and really improve your productivity.

posted @ Monday, October 27, 2008 12:07 PM

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