Busy or Productive?

We run into the challenge every knowledge worker is facing today.  We are all overwhelmed.  There are more emails than what we know what to do with.  There are more phone calls than we can return.  There is more news than we can absorb.

Information moves with such abundance and ease that it is hard to keep our bearings.  Often, we shut down and lose what is most important as human beings:

  1. Decision-Making: Information is presented to us in order to move to an action or a decision.  Everything else is noise.  When we develop a continuous habit of letting our inbox fill up and not making decisions, we develop a habit of being indecisive.  The tragedy is that the items that are a crisis are what get addressed.
  2. Priorities: It is easy to be busy without being productive.  Busy is lots of effort without hitting an impactful goal.  Productive is moving activities towards meaningful goals.  Heed Mike McLaughlin, “Never confuse effort with results.”  Most people talk about effort.  Winners talk about results.  All action is aligned to results.  Don’t get caught doing things that don’t matter.  You may fool yourself, but you can’t fool the people depending on you for very long.
  3. Purpose: This may well be the most important aspect of life. When our work is not tied to purpose, then we lose enthusiasm and meaning.  Our motivation dwindles.  According to a recent poll, 70% of people in America hate their jobs.  So 7 out of 10 people you shake hands with are insane.  They are doing what they hate.  They have lost their purpose.
  4. Happiness: Have you ever wondered why the Declaration of Independence talks about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?”  It is what we want at our core.  All our actions are about being happy.  Yet, it is so elusive.  Perhaps the confusion comes from the overwhelming noise hitting us every day.

Here is the point.  Tomorrow you will face a barrage of information input.  It will be much more than your grandparents ever did.  They only had to make a few decisions in a day.  You are making micro and macro decisions all day long.  How do you win and love life?  You engage it.

The challenges will not change.  We are in the knowledge economy.  The person who can make decisions, work on what’s important, be purposeful and have fun at it will win.  Everyone else is getting through the day and not able to keep up.  They are falling behind.

If you decide you want to engage because you can see the connection between being excellent and being profitable, then become a better player.  This requires the best tools and learning productivity.  Likely, you put together your own method.  It may be ill equipped for the challenges of the knowledge economy.

Today, you need the best tools and the best approaches to not only engage the onslaught of work, but also to serve your customer better (or they go to your competitor), make your boss happy (or they get a new employee) and have a life (or you lose your health, or worse your family).

Bill Jensen said, “Every 1100 days your ability to transform information into work becomes twice as important.”  If you are still working like you did three years ago, then you are half as efficient.  You are losing ground.

Today, determine to upgrade how you do business and knowledge work.  You get paid for your ability or you get fired for your inability.  Connect with us to show you how to help you and your team get in the game of speed.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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