The Secret to Productivity – Why Time Management Alone Won’t Help
During the last year, I often had 16-hour workdays and 100-hour workweeks.
In such circumstances, it's hard to stay productive and provide the business with results instead of just slipping into busy-ness - hustling all the time without return.
Still, I was able to deal with everything (no brag) because I knew the strategies to do so. And one vital thing became clear to me:
You won’t get better results in your business only by managing your time or tasks right. Rather, time management is only a gear in the engine.
...I'm not saying that managing your time is wrong or ineffective. It has in fact effects that we don’t want to miss and it's a part of productivity.
For example, it helps you structure your time, so you can keep an overview of what to do and when to do it. It’s kind of your game plan for getting to where you want to be.
Time Management for itself is great...
... but there’s a problem…
Who Ensures That You Effectively Act out Your Time Management?
You can have the best planning and processes in place, but still get nothing done at the end of the day.
It’s those days that every business owner knows: We have some big ideas and plans on what to accomplish that day – just to end up realizing that we were busy all the time but did not get anything done.
Since time is limited to 24 hours every day, there quickly comes a point where you can’t just put in more hours to get done what you need to. You have to get it done faster.
No matter how good your planning is, if your execution is slow and inefficient, you won’t be able to get the results you wanted.
So how can you make sure that your execution is fast and efficient, so you get the best results for your business? What is the factor that ensures you can realize your plans fast, highly focused and effective?
If you came to the conclusion that it’s your energy, then you're at least going into the right direction...
You Should Not Only Manage Time, But First and Foremost Manage Your Energy
NOTE: there's more to productivity than just having high energy.
But before I tell you about the other stuff, let me quickly emphasize why high overall energy is a foundation for productivity...
Well, often when we get poor results, it's because we don't have the energy to fully focus on our tasks. We end up unable to solve hard problems, make good decisions and create quality work…
The most important kind of energy here is your mental energy. The less mental energy you have, the faster you’ll feel mentally exhausted and the poorer is your concentration.
Energy is like fuel for your business' success. The best car won’t drive anywhere without fuel.
Your Productivity and your Business’ Success Stands and Falls with Your Energy
A study from Zogby Analytics and The Energy Project found that only 56% of people feel energized while working.
Further, a Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation – which leads to a big lack of energy – costs American Companies $63.2 billion in lost productivity every year!
Think of How Much Money You Leave on the Table by Getting Slow or Bad Results in The Time You Have
But otherwise… imagine how much money you could make if your energy was high and you were able to leverage it in the right way…
So, in order to maximize the output that you get from your invested time - you have to have a high energy foundation and then you must - as I said - leverage it...
That leads us finally to the point where I want to show you
My Secret to Productivity - 3 Ways to Get Massive Results in Business
These 3 strategies help you leverage your energy while working - so you get your work done fast, without exhaustion and can sustain your alertness all day for huge productivity.
They all build upon another – one doesn’t work ideally without the other. I call them:
The Energy Management Pyramid
For me, this is the secret and the key to massive productivity.
The foundation of the pyramid is your personal overall energy level. As I said, the more extensive your energy levels are, the better.
The More Energy in Reserve, the More Can Be Used Up
…the more fuel in the tank, the farther you can drive.
No matter how exhausting or energy-consuming your workday is, if your energy reserve is big enough, you can probably withstand it and stay productive all day.
Therefore, make sure that your overall energy levels are high, so you can use up quite a lot of energy when you have to do mind-boggling loads of work.
The second stage is the planning phase. Here you establish how your workflow will go and plan your days.
The Second Stage Is Where Time Management Belongs
As you see, time management is only a part of being productive.
It has the purpose of organizing your day and therefore relieving your mind from holding all the things you have to do, so you can focus your mental energy on just getting stuff done instead of always remembering it.
Additionally, it helps you to know your priorities and therefore know in which activities to invest your energy for the biggest output and in which not.
So for having a good planning, make sure you focus your energy on the things that bring you the best results - and therefore bring you closest to your long-term goals for your business.
As Peter Drucker says:
“Effectiveness Is Doing the Right Things; Efficiency Is Doing the Things Right”
…and stage 2 of the pyramid is where you need to be effective. There you determine which are the right things to do…
For finding out what's the right thing to do, you can for example ask yourself the question: “If I could only get one thing done today – what could I do to come closest to my long-term goals?”
The answer to this question should be your top priority...
After you're clear about those, there's only the upper stage left: Your work process.
Here You Need to Be Efficient
That means, the way you actually work has to sustain your focus, your concentration and finally your mental energy. And that over a maximum period of time, so you can finish your work fast.
Sustaining your mental energy while working makes it easy for you to solve big problems, make great decisions and do quality work.
If you worked inefficiently, you’d quickly use up your energy reserve and come to a point of exhaustion and poor concentration.
Still, You’ll Only Get the Best Results for Your Business When You Optimize All Three
Obviously, you can’t get big results for your business if you neglect one of those 3 areas.
No matter how big your energy reserve is, when you focus your energy on the wrong things, you won't reach your goals.
Same with your work process: if your work process is exhaustive, you'll quickly use up all your energy, ending up stressed out and with no results.
And it's also the same the other way around: if your energy reserve is small, you can work as efficiently as you want but your limited energy level won’t allow you to get good results when the work gets hard.
So if you really want to become super-productive so you can provide your business with massive and fast results in minimum time, you need to optimize your Energy Reserve, your Planning Process and your Work Process.
About the Author
Maurice Leibinn is the creator of Productive Energy Management – a method that helps people get a maximum amount of results in a minimum of time while sustaining their energy and avoiding any kind of overwhelm.
He is a productivity Coach serving serving overworked entrepreneurs and professionals. Read more...