We hear frequent reports that productivity continues to increase in business, especially with the application and use of new technologies. But it also seems like we’re all working harder and managing more tasks without gaining any ground or enjoying the benefits of increased productivity and efficiency.
What’s missing? Why does it seem like we’re getting more things done with less effort but we’re actually working more and never reaching an end?
This happens because many of us focus on productivity rather than working with a purpose.
When your goal is only being more productive, your efforts are focused on getting more things done in an allotted amount of time. As you succeed in getting things done with greater efficiency, this means that more is getting done in less time, but it perpetually leaves time available that productivity insists must be filled with more work!
This runs contrary to the past predictions of many technology visionaries, who claimed that advancements in technology and increased efficiency would lead to shorter work weeks, more leisure time, and a more comfortable life for us all.
In fact, as Forbes outlined in an interview with productivity expert Julie Morgenstern, misapplied technology has instead led to extensive multitasking, which “hurts your brain (and your effectiveness at work)”. Ultimately, we can only do so much and take on so many tasks before our performance begins to suffer and we start to make critical mistakes.
So how can you escape this paradox of productivity and actually use technology and greater efficiency to achieve your important goals and enjoy a better quality of life?
How to Define and Purpose and Get More Meaningful Results
The key is to define a purpose, set related goals and priorities accordingly, and then work with this overarching purpose in mind. When you approach your work in this way, the time it takes to complete tasks or the amount of work that you can complete within a given time becomes secondary. Instead, the focus is on reaching and achieving your goals, and you can take the time to strategize, brainstorm, think creatively, and review your progress along the way.
As renowned management consultant Peter Drucker frequently declared, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
Doing the right things starts with defining your purpose, setting your goals, and then developing a plan to complete the tasks required to achieve success.
In business, this may involve outlining your strategic vision, prioritizing the goals needed to realize that vision, and aligning your work and implementing processes and workflows to make it happen.
In your personal life, this could mean defining your unique purpose, setting and prioritizing goals in your family, work, and social life, and outlining a clear path and the milestones along the way to embracing and achieving that purpose.
When you work on your business or your life rather than just working within them, you allow yourself the freedom to plan, reflect, and continuously review and refine your activities to ensure that you are achieving quality over quantity.
You can potentially work less but achieve more by choosing to be productive with a purpose rather than being productive for its own sake. Instead of focusing on perpetually getting more things done in the same amount of time, you can focus on doing the right things that will achieve your goals and purpose and also lead to a more balanced life and a true feeling of meaningful accomplishment.
Want to Get Started?
At PlanPlus Online, we are big believers in productivity with a purpose and in helping everyone enjoy a better quality of life by focusing on the things that matter most. We offer convenient online tools to help you define your purpose, set important goals, and to organize, prioritize, and manage your daily activities. Our solutions are based on the Franklin Covey Planning methodology and are custom-designed with the latest web and mobile technologies to help you get out of working harder and into working with purpose.