INVESTMENT IN PRODUCTIVITY
We can all be more productive as individuals and organizations. You can always increase profits by just adding resources from the outside. But what improves productivity? Generally not an increase in resources. More money that gives the same result for the dollar spent is not an improvement. What will help to get more out of the spent energy is the conscious fulfillment of at least one of the four points that are not done on their own: cleaning, concentration, systematization and action.
Filtration and cleaning. Any activity, if it does not dispose of its own waste, slows down the system and requires unnecessary efforts to deal with accumulated waste. What is no longer needed? Old projects, outdated regulations and protocols, unreviewed contracts, toxins not removed from the body – all this takes its place and distracts attention, and does not constitute any value. But if this is removed, then speed and performance will automatically increase. But in order to remove garbage, aspiration and action are necessary – because if there is no conscious interest, it will be harder and harder to do.
Concentration. Mental and physical forces are automatically mobilized if there is a goal, and suddenly disappear and are exhausted if there is no goal. What is the purpose … of this meeting, offer, vacation, department, table, work? What are we trying to do? Where are we going? Clear answers to these questions generate energy that will produce results with less effort. But to focus, you need to be careful. Without control, chaos will penetrate you like a thief at night.
Systematization. Look at the systems that surround you right now. They are valuable not in themselves, but because of why they are created – for comfort, protection, support, communication, attention, visibility – with minimal energy consumption. Without systems, we would have to spend a lot of time supporting all this on our own. When we run on business without a list of assignments, we will most likely not be as productive as we could. If there is no person who answers the calls, then everyone will have to be distracted by the phone when he rings. If my paint brushes are not fine, I limit my creative impulse. Systems do not arise on their own. Productive people always ask themselves: how can I better organize and simplify my business?
Act. Moving is easier when you’re already on the move. Less effort is needed to redirect something moving in the wrong direction than starting from scratch. Fear of the unknown and the possible negative consequences of an erroneous decision can easily lead to analytical paralysis. If something should not be the way it is now, and the “next action” has not yet been determined, then there will be a paralyzing fear and stop. Performing simple sequential physical steps is often the key to freeing up energy reserves and generating productivity impulses. But you need to purposefully keep your brain tuned to perform specific actions.
Any of these four driving forces can increase your productivity both qualitatively and quantitatively, but in order to put them into practice, you must consciously make efforts. And a lack of one item can hurt the whole work. You may have a clean, focused, active department where there is a lack of job descriptions and it will not be as effective as it could be. A team can be well organized, work overtime, have clean baskets, but not be focused on what they need to do. And you can have an energetic, purposeful and organized leader with a huge number of unmade calls and unfulfilled obligations that lie on his shoulders with a heavy burden.
A stably highly productive person is focused on what is important, fixes and systematizes unfinished business that is still relevant for life and work, and regularly takes measures to formulate and complete tasks that he must perform. If you are not working as productively in your current place as you would like, which of these points is currently your weak point? Which of them could be an opportunity to introduce improvements to your company or family? Can such concepts as cleaning, concentration, systematization and active actions be applied in practice in important areas? What do you think the investment strategy should look like?