Top 3 Productivity Limitations

In this article, you will learn how to avoid the top 3 productivity limitations which gives you a false and inaccurate expectations of productivity.

Top 3 Productivity Limitations

We hear this word productive or productivity often.  In fact, it is a great buzz word to use especially in the work place.  After all, we all want to be able to achieve and accomplish more than the number of hours that is in a day.  There is a never-ending list of things to do, projects to deliver, campaigns to manage and new products and innovations to create.  It is the illusion that the more that we can do, the more productive or special I am or would be.  One of the critical success factors of having a balance and productive life is to acknowledge that there inherently 3 key limitations of productivity and they are:

1.  Productivity is NOT the end goal.

2.  You are THE productivity limitation.

3.  Productivity is only as good as the consistency and enjoyment that it brings you. 

Let’s break it down.

Productivity is not the end goal. 

To be more productive enables you to theoretically get more done within the time parameters or constraints, but that’s not the end goal of why you want to be more productive.  The end goal is to make an impact, make a difference, produce work that is meaningful and that you are proud off.

If we make productivity the end goal, then the focus is diverted from what ultimately gives you satisfaction in the long run.  You can certainly be happy and satisfied with being more productive by ticking off check list items but that does not mean that what you have checked off on your checklist achieved the significance, impact or meaning that you intended. 

We know that the real enjoyment of work is not work but meaningful work.  Meaningful work is derived when what we do gives not just the person doing the work meaning but to the people that it impacts.  You could be a productivity monkey, churning out pages and pages of writing but if everything that you have written is just garbage, what good is churning out pages then?

Productivity goals are a means to the end goal and NOT the end goal itself.  View productivity improvements as a tool in the overall arsenal to producing meaningful work and impact.

Limitations of productivity improvements is YOU.

That is right, you are the bottleneck and the ultimate source of just how far your productivity improvements can go.  There is no end to the number of productivity tools that are out there.  There are digital and analog productivity tools of all forms and functions.  You have choices and maybe far too many choices in terms of tools that you could use. 

Bullet journaling is an example of an “analog” or traditional pen and paper form of creating and tracking to-dos, goals, and planning future activities and measurements.  There are various methods and some extremely creative and beautifully crafted bullet journals that people have created and used where they have experienced productivity improvements. 

Another critical application or tool that I have no doubt each of us use everyday is the calendar.  Whether the calendar is in a digital or analog format, does not matter.  We need a tool that helps us to schedule what we are to do, who we are to meet and when and most importantly a reminder or notification to actually remind us when the time comes.  Personally, I have tried all sorts of different scheduling tools and applications and have finally settled on Microsoft Outlook as my main calendaring application.  Why?  It provides “physical” reminder when either my phone or my watch buzzes with its notification. 

The key is here is that no matter the tools that you use, the key is to actually do it when the time comes.  If the action is left as just a writing on your bullet journal or a block of time in your calendar but you do not do it, it is still meaningless.  You and your corresponding action is the key and therefore the ultimate limitation.   Once you recognition the limitations, you will realise that it does not matter what tools or methods that you use, it must be able to support what you want to accomplish.

Ask yourself:

  • What are my current limitations?
  • Do I need a different system or tool to help me overcome my current bottleneck?
  • What is missing from my current productivity arsenal that is able to help me?
  • Who or where can I learn more in order me for to expand my knowledge of productivity hacks?

Productivity is only as good as the consistency and enjoyment that it brings you.

You are as good as the productive you and your productivity level is only as good as you.  You are the key to being more or less productive and that lies in your mindset, discipline and enjoyment.  Your mindset will determine how you approach and view of work and what you want to achieve.  Discipline is the key to making sure that you are able to not just get started but to stay committed and sustain it long enough for productivity to be a habit.  Enjoyment will help you to enjoy and have fun through the process.

No one suddenly becomes more productive overnight.  It takes time and intentional actions that is taken not just once but repeatedly over time.  You therefore define what productivity means to you and how you measure it.  The most freeing aspect of this lies in the fact that you are the one defining what productivity means.  You could define it as being able to do 10 items or just completing 1 impactful item.  It is up to you.  No matter how you define it, the critical aspect is that whatever the outcome or output is one that gives you significance, purpose, meaning and satisfaction.  To keep you at it, you must enjoy the process and the journey.  If you do not enjoy it, then you know you are not going to keep it up.  Change up the tools or process to keep your enthusiasm or enjoyment level up.  Don’t be afraid to change a routine just because you might believe that routines are set in stone.  Routines are to help you and not to hinder you.  Change, adapt and modify where required and necessary.

In summary, don’t be a productivity monkey because it looks good or is trendy.  Be aware of the 3 productivity limitations and they are:

1.  Productivity is NOT the end goal.

2.  You are THE productivity limitation.

3.  Productivity is only as good as the consistency and enjoyment that it brings you. 

The end goal is to create impactful and meaningful work.  Tools, applications, techniques and methods are just to help you.  You and your subsequent actions are the keys.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.   As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose. 

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