What if you could be 10,000 times more productive? Imagine what you could accomplish. Imagine how you can compete in today’s world. Imagine the personal mountains you could move like molehills.
Whenever I wonder whether I’m hitting my limits, I remind myself of this outlandish number, and I look for ways to innovate in my routines or approach. It’s not about throwing more time at things or doing the wrong things faster. It’s doing the right things, getting smarter, and using my best energy.
Unleashing Your Productivity by 10,000 Times
In the post Knowledge Workers: 10,000 Times the Productivity, Stephen Covey writes:
“Do you believe that the Information/Knowledge Worker Age we’re moving into will out produce the Industrial Age fifty times? I believe it will. We’re just barely beginning to see it … Nathan Myhrvold, former chief technology officer at Microsoft, puts it this way: ‘The top software developers are more productive than average software developers not by a factor of 10X or 100X or even 1000X but by 10,000X.’ Quality knowledge work is so valuable that unleashing its potential offers organizations an extraordinary opportunity for value creation.”
I think this is powerful insight. When it comes to knowledge work, there are so many variables at play: what you know, who you know, how you do things, what you focus on, what you don’t focus on, what you act on and what you don’t. It’s not throwing your time at things to get results. It’s focusing on what’s actually valuable, and then using your best energy and best ways to accomplish your results.
Self-Awareness and Best Practices
When it comes to getting results, this is where self-awareness and a focus on best practices really pays off. Self-awareness helps you tune and prune your routines, know your strengths and weaknesses, and make the most of what you’ve got. Best practices help make the most of the time and energy that you put into something, as well as amplify your impact. Now that’s goodness in action.
Hitting Your High-Notes
In Hitting the High Notes, Joel Spolsky shares examples how the best outperform the mediocre or the bottom of the stack by leaps and bounds. Here are some of the highlights:
- The quality of the work and the amount of time spent are simply uncorrelated.
- If students had unlimited time to work on the projects (which would correspond a little better to the working world), the spread could only be higher.
- The mediocre talent just never hits the high notes.
- That obviously doesn’t work. Brooks’ Law, “adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.”
When you put this all together, it’s yet another reminder to give your best where you’ve got your best to give, in an arena that supports you, with a network on your side. It’s how you’ll hit your high notes and quit the right Dips, and lean into the right ones.
Photo by edenpictures.