There are many definitions for the meaning of productivity. I like to keep things simple.
To measure productivity, you go by the quantity of output produced. It really is that simple.
And then, if it is effective action, and you do a lot of it, you will become prolific. And if you are prolific in what you do, people will talk about you and your results. That can be a very good thing. Especially in business. That is how you develop your reputation as well as your personal brand. Simply by being productive.
Now, it is not just taking action. You must also think and plan. But a lot of people do too much thinking and planning. It's know as “The Paralysis of Analysis.” You don’t want to think and think and think…but in the end, do nothing. Only a lot of action can produce a lot of productivity.
In fact, Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, says that when he has an important decision to make, while yes, he does analysis, his final decision comes from his heart, intuition, guts, and thought. (If you would like to see Jeff interviewed on Bloomberg Peer to Peer, click here.)
And you can't take just any activity: You also have to ask yourself, are you producing the right results? Think of someone who is climbing a ladder and feels he has succeeded when he reaches the top. That is, until he discovers the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall. Don’t let that be you.
When looking for the meaning of productivity, both are required. You must think strategically, being sure you’re pursuing the right goals, and at the same time, be sure to take whatever appropriate action is required.
Finally, if you’re serious about reaching your goals, know that you will fail from time to time. That is natural. Every top achiever has failed. But then the question is what you do about the situation. You need the right response. And the right response is to realize you have just been given a chance to learn what not to do. It was nothing more than a learning experience.
When a reporter asked Thomas Edison how he felt about failing thousands of times trying to produce the light bulb, Edison said he didn’t fail at all. He said he was successful in learning thousands of ways that didn’t work. Success leaves clues. Failure is a part of success. The meaning of productivity includes the possibility of failure.
"Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things." - Petter Drucker
⁃ I am both efficient and effective
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” - Bruce Lee
⁃ I spend just enough time thinking and a whole lot of time doing.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” - Walt Disney
⁃ I know when to stop talking and start doing.
“The true price of anything you do is the amount of time you exchange for it.” - Henry David Thoreau
⁃ I am willing to put in the time to reach my goals.
“There is no substitute for hard work.” - Thomas Edison
⁃ I am willing to work really hard on my goals. Like Michael Jordan.
“Sometimes, things may not go your way, but the effort should be there every single night.” - Michael Jordan
⁃ I put forth the effort even when things are not going my way.
“It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.” - Tony Robbins
⁃ I do what I know. I do not waste it.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” - Stephen Covey
⁃ I am careful to do my priorities. I get them done.
“Effective performance is preceded by painstaking preparation” - Brian Tracy
⁃ I always prepare for any important actions I will need to take.
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” - George Bernard Shaw
⁃ I am willing to make mistakes because taking action is so important to success.
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!” - Henry Ford
⁃ I know I can.
"If you're willing to do for a year what others won't you can do for a lifetime what others can't." - Jerry Rice
⁃ I am willing to do what others aren’t.
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