High productivity is a topic that usually comes across as a little "unsexy", but it has a huge impact on your success and fulfillment.
This is especially true in leadership: If you as a leader significantly increase your productivity, you will have more time and energy to take care of the really important things, like developing your people or establishing strategic directions.
Most leaders I know complain about "too little time." In other words, their productivity is too low. So it's about time to work on this issue more intensively.
An important insight at the beginning: We all can always become more productive, i.e. achieve significantly more with the same input or the same results with significantly less input.
The difference in productivity can easily be a factor of 10, 100 or even 1000.
There are various methods how you can achieve this. I'll go into that elsewhere (or contact me for more info).
After all, there are various things that stand in our way on the path to greater success and fulfillment. One of them is the tendency to make things more complicated than they are.
Now, don't tell me that this doesn't affect you. I bet that if I were to observe you, we would identify various things that you are making more complicated than they need to be.
To get to the root of the matter, I share below:
We often learn the most when we leave our traditional thinking patterns and embark on a journey of discovery.
Then, many things become clear that would otherwise remain hidden. This is also the case in the following little story:
Imagine the most powerful predator of the savannah, the lion, lying there in the shade of a tree. He's a little hungry and soon the pack will go hunting again.
At that moment, a mouse (or a similar small animal) crawls along in front of him. It would be an easy prey. And yet the lion will not lift a finger (I mean: claw).
Why? Because the nutritional value of a mouse barely exceeds the energy expended to catch and digest it. If the lion hunted mice, he would have to starve.
What does he hunt instead? Something much more difficult, namely gazelles, antelopes and even buffalos. Why? Because that's the only thing that produces the results the pride needs to survive. The ratio of return to effort is much better, even taking into account the considerable effort...
At each moment in time, you have the choice between consuming, executing, and creating. In many cases we do not even decided by ourselves, but let others tell us which choice to make.
Yes, say more “no”! And I don’t mean to other people, but to yourself. You have probably heard it often that we need to say “no” more to accomplish more in life. However, most of this advice is directed towards the outside world, to influences from others.
The thing is this: the more we focus on blocking things from outside, the less we focus on discipline for our own mind.
Often, we take the outside influence as an excuse for not behaving better on the inside.
The inconvenient truth is this: most success comes from disciplining ourselves in the first place, and only then should we look at the outside world.
Share this with your team and act accordingly. You will see your performance increase instantly.
Actually, we all know this: If you consistently march in the same direction with small steps, you will progress faster than someone who takes big leaps in repeatedly different directions.
The reason for the high effectiveness of small consistent steps is the compounding effect, which then leads to exponential growth.
However, we tend to forget this wisdom. Our brain is programmed to pay more attention to what is new than to what remains the same.
Why is this important at all?
Well, any sustainable increase in performance and success, any improvement in teamwork, and any other improvement in corporate culture requires changing mindsets, behaviors, and habits.
And these changes only work through constant repetition with positive reinforcement.
The good news is: you often don't need a huge one-time effort to make powerful things happen. Repeating similar steps in the same direction over and over again is enough.
The amazing fact is that all teams can become more productive. Why is it, then, that most teams stay at their current levels, even if productivity gains could be relatively easy to achieve?
The simple answer: most people feel comfortable and safe in their current state.
This includes business leaders, teams, and entire organizations. Change is hard, even if this change means improvement. That’s why most obese people stay obese, smokers continue smoking, and people don’t become better leaders.
Your morning sets the tone for your day. This is an old adage. If you create your morning by yourself and consciously, you dramatically increase your chances of ending the entire day successful and fulfilled.
A very important correlation is this: if you already start your morning reactively, you will most likely continue to do so.
"Reactive" means activities like checking emails, social media, news channels, newspaper, and so on.
My point is this: You can do all of that. But please don't do it as your first thing. Make the first hour of each day completely self-directed.
That always works. You may have to get up earlier to do it (and go to bed earlier accordingly). That's what most top performers do.
We've all been there (and I certainly have): we put off things that "should" be important and do less important stuff instead.
And please don't pretend that this hasn't happened to you. It really does affect everyone!
Why is it like that? Why do we sabotage ourselves? Why do we leave things undone when we know perfectly well that it needs to be done anyway?
Well, the answers to these questions fill entire bookshelves and video platforms. So it seems relevant.
The problem: most advice focuses on techniques to stop procrastination. That's all well and good, but there are root causes underlying the phenomenon that hardly anyone addresses.
Do you ever catch yourself saying, "I don't have time for that"? Well, you are not alone.
But unfortunately, the statement is simply wrong. Because: You always have enough time. You always find time for the really important things.
You notice this when something unpredictable happens: be it an emergency at home, sick children or a significant problem with a customer.
All of a sudden, we have the time to take care of it. What happened? You reprioritized.
The problem: that prioritization comes from the outside. You are being reactive at this moment.
The best leaders, on the other hand, prioritize proactively. For the most part, they set their own agenda. They determine what is important. And they spend their time accordingly.
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