Where do you desire increased productivity?
Last Thursday I was privileged to sit with Jim Stovall. If you do not know Jim, he has overcome blindness to become one of the world’s most successful motivational and leadership experts, entrepreneurs, and authors. He is Co-Founder and President of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network and author of several books including the 4 million best seller The Ultimate Gift that has been made into a feature length movie starring James Garner.
…Jim strikes at the heart of success and failure for all of us individually and as a society. Natural and human resources abound, but how we harness them to create our own personal success is determined by our ingenuity and productivity.
Productivity must deal with illusion, deception, and reality.
What does the productivity battle involve?
- The Illusion: “You will have time for that, later.”
- The Deception: “Wow, you sure are busy!”
- The Reality: “You will succeed because you are engaged in what matters most, right now.”
1. The Illusion deals with time.
When you accept a misleading view of time, you make poor choices, waste time, and increase your stress. The Illusion message: “Later…that can wait” is designed to encourage procrastination. When “later” comes it is then that you realize the time wasted. The Illusion returns to mock you for falling for the same old trick, again.
This moment will never repeat; that is the truth. This hour, your morning, this day of life will never happen again. Productivity calls us to be good stewards of time; use wisely, intentionally, purposefully, energized by your passion and you have an impact.
2. The Deception is about busy.
Deception imposes a false understanding regarding your time use leading to a lack of awareness, misunderstanding, or vulnerability. If you accept the message that “being busy” is what matters, your efforts will be to stay busy. Busy gets in the way of adding value. Yes, busy feels good. Reflection seems wasteful. That is part of the deceptive plan.
When your days are full of activity, you lose freedom to receive something greater. Being busy, about the “wrong things” will land you where you don’t want to be. As Jim Stovall writes, “Just because you are moving does not mean you are moving in the right direction.”
3. Reality: You will succeed as you do what matters the most, at this moment.
Reality is doing the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time, for the good of all. Reality is about what is real, not illusionary or deceptive.
Productivity is about being engaged in what really matters. Being productive is about producing results. Success comes because you are engaged in what matters most, now.
The Secret to Productivity is to recognize the illusion of time and the deception of too busy in order to live in the reality of what matters most, right now. Such a response will lead to future success.
To summarize, the illusion is “I’ll have time, later.” The deception is about being “busy”; where reality is: you will succeed because right now, you are engaged in what matters most.
In a ready, aim, fire world, too often we overlook the ready and aim portions of the equation. There’s only one good reason to pursue any activity, and that is because it’s the most productive and efficient way to accomplish your mission of moving toward your personal success goal.
-Jim Stovall, Ultimate Productivity
Stovall tells of an opportunity to train a team of salespeople. The people worked on commission with no other responsibilities other than to sell their products. As he observed them, they appeared to be working very hard: arriving early, a lot of activity, and often staying late. Then he asked them some questions. Here are four edited questions he asked:
- How many hours a week do you work?
- How hard are you working?
- What is your job here?
- How could you accomplish your job, other than by the way you are currently working at it?
The only way they succeeded was to connect with prospects. Their assignment was to track, using a stopwatch, the actual time they engaged a prospect (their productivity measure). Once they reached 15 hours of productivity, they were done until the next week.
Some months later, feedback came in:
- A third were breaking sales’ records
- A third were still working forty-five hours a week
- A third had quit; they could not handle the unstructured freedom and responsibility
“Your professional workday is about creating productivity, not generating activity designed to convince someone that you’re working.”
– Jim Stovall
For your reflection and personal development
- What do you desire to accomplish with your life?
- What are your thoughts about “time”… your lifetime?
- Where do you think you are “wasting time”?
- What causes you to procrastinate?
- How often do you say, “I’m so busy”? What do you think about that?
- What drives you to tell everyone how busy you are?
- What is it costing you to live “so busy”?
- How will you engage in what matters most today?
^ ^ ^ ^ ^
The Illusion voice says, “You’ll have time for that, later…” while
The Deception message is, “You are so very busy, good job!”; whereas
Reality clarifies the truth:
You will succeed, because right now
you are engaged in what will produce results.
Here’s to your Next Level!