People constantly equate productivity with working harder. Some of us eventually stand up and start thinking about how we can work smarter. However we almost forget or never think about the third way: how to be more courageous.
Ironically, the way to maximum productivity is organized in the reverse order. Courage comes at the top and wisdom just below it. Labour comes at the last position.
All of us have the same amount of time for working harder, and most of us have access to the similar tools for working smarter. Courage is what separates the most productive one among the rest of us.
Working harder has its own limits:
Many people looking for boosting their results start by working harder because it’s the most visible form of productivity. We make assumptions that the solution is to simply put in more hours — an
d it’s true, till an extent. However, this approach has some key problems.
First, we all have only two – four hours of high-level of energy per day. Studies from Darwin to Tchaikovsky reveal that our “highest” energy maxes out at a consistent mark. After that we still have some energy to complete all the managerial and administrative tasks, however we are not in position of producing high-level creativity work.
Second, by pushing through for trying to do more can actually make us negatively productive. By putting in an extra hour is not just an extra hour of work that particular day. It creates another hour of work the very next day, and will continue day after day. And this will ruin your creativity level.
Books and hacks help us work smarter:
Once we work our hours out to work harder, we must then learn to work smarter. There are two ways to do this.
Firstly, we should learn from others who have come before us in the system. It took centuries for people to learn regarding how to market products effectively. Today, although, we could spend a month so in reading the five most important books in our interest areas and understand 80% of what those pioneers achieved through their experience of 100 years. Reading books is just the beginning of it. It provides us with explicit knowledge, which could be promptly verbalized and articulated.
Secondly, we could build a toolbox containing of productivity hacks, tricks and tips. Approx 104% of everything written till date about productivity falls under this category. Hacks usually require very little time for getting implemented and then they yield immediate rewards. In short, they are exactly that food which consumers love to buy.
Courage is the ultimate hack of productivity:
We all have studied about successful people and meet individuals, from whom we all have learned that courage is the biggest differentiator.
Many people lack courage because they cannot make the distinction between real and perceived risk. If we see/perceive a high cost of failure in a particular task, we say, “It might not work.” It scares us, and we evade. Instead of focusing on that, we divert and split our attention among different projects, not giving the attention to the one where it is needed the most.
Our ancestors did only that work which they thought would work, and they survived (most of the times). And people, who tried hands on projects that were not guaranteed to work, died. That’s not our world. If your side hustle doesn’t take off, it’s not fatal (except maybe to your ego).
Most people say that they can’t commit to one project as they have lots of interests/too many ideas. Then, how does that affect our unwillingness to focus? We all like all different kinds of foods, yet we manage to pick something particular for the dinner menu. The most productive people don’t use this method only with dinner – they do it with everything.
By trying to do too many things at the same time, none of them will get the enough time and energy it need to get succeeded. We all must realize that by committing to many things we commit to failure.
Our choice has to be clear: Dedicate attention towards one thing and make success to occur more often, rather than to commit to do many things and make success less likely to occur. If we want to be more productive, we should accept the proper direction in which way to organize our available resources: first courage then comes wisdom and finally labour.
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