Just like you, I am chasing the dream of getting everything done and looking fab at the same damn time. We’ve read the same articles and attended the same talks on maximizing productivity while staying sane. In all our research, I have learned there is only one real way to be more productive.
Most of us mistakenly equate productivity with a packed schedule. If we are effectively juggling meetings, deadlines, and client lunches, we must be being productive, right? The truth is, no one can tell how productive you are by looking at your calendar. In fact, based solely on my personal experience, busy equals less productive.
No one can tell how productive you are by looking at your calendar. – Click to tweet
Productivity is defined by one thing and one thing only, output. More precisely, productivity is all about the quality of your output. Are you completing tasks to check them off your list or to deliver a quality product? If you are doing the former, you are not being productive.
Instead of focusing on doing as much as possible, we need to dedicate our attention to one thing at a time. We must give our full attention and energy to a project before jumping into the next thing if we really want it to succeed. True, you may check off fewer things on your to-do list, or schedule fewer meetings, but it will lead to more consistent output. At the end of the day, committing to a single focus will be far better for your productivity than adding another 10 hours to your work week or downloading another app.
How do you tell your boss you are doing less per day to increase your output? You don’t. I’ve reworked my work day to give me more time to focus on each task without telling a soul. All they know is I get shit done.