The Ultimate Productivity Guide for Work and Life

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“Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.” — Franz Kafka

Welcome to the Ultimate Productivity Guide on Sources of Insight!

This is an organized collection of key resources including productivity articles, productivity books, productivity quotes, and productivity training.

The goal is to help you and show you how to increase productivity by learning the basics, then moving on to core productivity topics, and then learn some advanced concepts and ideas.

What is Productivity

Productivity is simply a gauge of your output over a period of time.  Productivity is how efficient and effective you are at producing results.

Steve Pavlina defines productivity in a simple, but very useful way:

Productivity = Value / Time

Tony Robbins defines productivity in the following way:

“It’s getting the results you want with less time and effort.”

In the book Smarter Faster Better, Charles Duhigg defines productivity as follows:

“making certain choices in certain ways” that moves us from being “merely busy” to “genuinely productive”.

Why Focus on Productivity

I see productivity as a way to explore your potential and realize your growth.

The more productive you are, the more you can innovate.  You can innovate in the way you do things, and you can innovate in the things you create.

Author Adam Davidson makes a bold statement about productivity:

“Productivity, in and of itself, is a remarkably good thing.  Only through productivity growth can the average quality of human life improve.”

Ray Dalio, a famous investor and philanthropist says it’s the most important thing:

”Do all that you can to raise your productivity, because in the long run, that’s what matters most.”

How To Increase Your Productivity

Steve Pavlina suggests that with the formula Productivity = Value / Time, there are two primary ways to improve your productivity:

  1. Increase the value created
  2. Decrease the time required to create that value

Stephen Covey suggests that 4th generation productivity is a shift from things and time to relationships and results.

Ken Krogue suggests Level 5 Time Management: Build habits of execution through recurring tasks.

In my experience, pairing better with people that bring out your best, building better teamwork patterns, and working like a network is how you can exponentially increase your productivity.

They Key to Productivity

To keep my own productivity in check, I use a guiding question:

“Am I working on the right things, at the right time, with the right energy, the right way?”

While the question itself doesn’t hold all the answers, it does hold the keys that help finding them.

The real key to increasing productivity is to focus on meaningful results and to be efficient with things, but effective with people.

Getting Started with Productivity

A simple way to get started with productivity is to make lists of your To-Dos and schedule time for your tasks.

A lot of people don’t schedule time for their tasks, so their tasks pile up and they don’t finish what they start.

By making lists of your To-Dos, you can  organize and prioritize your action.

By building the habit of scheduling time for things, you will at least give yourself a chance to be more productive.

This section provides some great starting points for getting productive:

Productivity Frameworks, Mindsets, Methods, and Models

Productivity frameworks help you organize and execute your productivity practices. Mindsets and models help you think about productivity from different perspectives and explore new approaches to improve your productivity.

By learning multiple productivity frameworks, mindsets, methods and models, you can build a better foundation to practice and develop your productivity skills.

Here are some articles to help you reason through and develop your productivity skills:

Productivity Personas

Productivity is a spectrum from day dreamer to high achiever or the super productive.

By learning productivity personas you gain insight into your own productivity habits, practices, and preferences, as well as better understand how you work with other people.

Here are some articles to help you learn productivity personas:

Habits

It’s been said that first we make our habits, then our habits make us.    Habits are routine behaviors.  They get ingrained with repetition.   Habits might be conscious or subconscious or automatic.

The first step to better habits is to become aware of your habits.

And changing a habit comes down to how often you perform an action, rather than the satisfaction you get from it.

Here are some articles to help you master your habits:

High Performance

High performers produce better, faster, easier results at a sustainable level.

Brendon Burchard defines high performance as “succeeding above and beyond standard norms over the long-term.”

Brendon differentiates high performance from peak performance.  He notes that high performance is sustainable, while peak performance is not.  High performers experience and generate heightened and sustained levels of energy.

Productivity Topics

Here are productivity articles organized by hot topics to help you master your productivity, time management, and work-life balance:

Action

Focus

Goals

Information Management

Motivation / Energy

Planning

Prioritizing

Strengths

Task Management

Time Management

Work-Life Balance

Additional Resources

Articles Explore Productivity Articles
Books Best Productivity Books
Checklists Focus Checklist
The Charge Checklist
Time Management Checklist
Quotes Best Productivity Quotes
Training 30 Days of Getting Results (Free)