How To Multiply Your Productivity by 10,000 Times



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 1,000X 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.

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The Productivity Guide
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  1. JD
    I want to be 10,000x more productive in the healing of myself…I think maybe I do not know how to do this…or maybe maybe it is time to give up and give in….say the temple is in an earthquake and it is time to destruct…fall down…

    I have no more money for massages which were truly assist me…I have no more money for supplements and therapist….but I think I only think I am doing the best I can…

    I am reading and researching and exploring….meditating and doing techniques….how to burst forth…find health/pain freedom? It is all in my mind?

  2. I’m always trying to be more productive but I also always feel like I’m running in circles to do this. My biggest obstacle is (of course) myself. I get hung up on unnecessary details when I could probably be focusing on more valuable action items. Sometimes I think I should work on this but other times, I think that the detail actually matters. Trial and error I guess.

  3. Hi JD I guess it’s getting rid of the unnecessary (declutter the bits you don’t need to do) focusing on the important parts, keeping a clear mind and head, doing today everything you can – so tomorrow you’re always ready. Doing the important things is key. Thanks great thoughts .. Hilary

  4. Thank you for the reminder!
    i am paralyzed by thinking of the upcoming change in my life.
    This one reminds me to focus on the approach vs. on the fear of failure.

  5. Hi J.D.

    Great insights. I think balance is the key in moving through motivation and getting things done, to not losing ourselves in the process.

    As you said focus is key – with that anything is possible.

  6. Wow, this ties right into a guest post over at Bold Life Tess’ blog today, he speaks about Magic Moments in success.

    Focus over time will win out every time. I know that from my own journey. Do I bang away at guitar for 60 minutes of unfocused practice, or do I sit for 5 minutes and practice with good intention? A no brainer!


  7. @ Lloyd

    It always is.

    @ Walter

    The beauty is the effort turns into results and momentum.

    @ Patricia

    Our minds are amazing and we’re still figuring out what’s possible, so I wouldn’t rule it out.

    For the mind, I’ve used self-hypnosis programs for some amazing results. For the body, I got some amazing results with living foods. I’m a big believer in getting your body on your side. If push came to shove, I would most likely try Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s nutritional density and explore more “natural hygiene” and I would reach out to more naturopathic doctors to find out the latest and greatest discoveries.

    @ Melissa

    Even just knowing that it’s your own bar that gets in your way is a big leap in the right direction. It’s always a tough balance between good enough for now and making things the best they can be to the best of our ability.

    One thing that helps me a lot is knowing the scenarios and tests for success. I identify these up front and then I test against them so I know when I’m done. For example, I considered this post “good enough” if readers could easily take away the idea of “10,000 times the productivity”. After that, it’s just bonus. My other cut off is time limits … I gave me self a small window to write the post.

  8. @ Hilary

    Reducing friction and getting rid of the clutter definitely helps streamline and streamlining adds up. It’s all the friction that leads to “death by a 1000 paper cuts” and it’s streamlining that helps us fall into the pit of success.

    @ Alik

    Whenever I’m paralyzed, I just think of three baby steps to take, and then I take one at a time. I test myself against my results.

    @ Evita

    Thank you.

    That is the key — it’s holding on and embracing ourselves throughout the process!

    @ Jannie

    Magic moments sounds like flow and breakthroughs … the things that great results are made from.

    Your point about your guitar reminded me of Bruce Lee. He never practiced when he was tired because he said it ruined his form and was a waste of time. He only practiced his best, to make his best a habit.

  9. @Patricia, if I may make a few suggestions. Have you found your strengths yet? What are those things that almost seem beyond natural for you to do and thus may fit into healing yourself somehow? I’m just asking as while I have definitely honed in on that I’m a Learner, I’m now working on combining that with my other strengths to see what can come out.

    Another idea is do you have friends that may be able to help you? Do you have those cheerleaders to encourage you and pump you up or are you more of a self-motivated person? Just something to ponder. Asking for help can be a good first step, but be careful of who you ask and what expectations you have on that.

  10. JD,
    almost sold enough books off my blog to make an appointment with the Naturopath. Still on Dr. Furhmann’s program and it is good….and hoping for enough income to get a massage – that is always so helpful for letting go….I keep getting distracted….

    Thank you for your suggestions. I do have a list of my top 10 strengths – caring for other people is on the top and I need to put it aside right now and focus on caring for the physical me…I am a caring junkie!
    I will give a shout out to Davina at shades of crimson dot com as she has been listening to me talk on the phone for an hour the last 3 Friday mornings…active listeners are such a gift to me…we all need cheerleaders.

    I think I do not know where I am headed and still wishing this torn ligament and old anger would exit my body (let go) like a jet propelled train…..I want to release this life lesson and not need to repeat it….I am frustrated and distracted…Thank you for hearing me – that is good support too…
    I can not imagine even attempting this without JD’s good words.

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