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The Productivity Paradox

Updated on January 8, 2017



Today I am writing my first blog on this site and I am sure that its going to be helpful for all the people who read it.

The major challenge in today’s world is Time and Productivity. People are seen multi-tasking, trying to meet their daily tasks, ensuring that they are satisfying each role that they are doing. The roles for an individual are many – bread earner, family person, friend, life partner, mentor and also a parent. So productivity in each role is equally important.


You are already a productive person. You get up in the morning, go to work and you do the best you can to enjoy life and take care of your responsibilities to the people who depend on you.

Work Life Balance



Maybe you feel that you can do better BUT you do what you can, and frankly, you don’t have the time or energy to do much more than you’re already doing.



  • We spend 70% of the work day on problems, crises and activities that do not contribute to the true priorities of the organisation.
  • We never get clear on our main purpose.
  • We work and live by default – dealing with whatever comes up – instead of by design.

Productivity Paradox

Productivity Paradox

By end of the 20th Century, the entire sum of information produced since the dawn of civilization was about 12 exabytes. We now produce this much information in about 4 days.

  • Human brain is a splendid tool for focusing on a few things at a time, but a poor tool for handling lot of things at once.
  • To be everywhere is to be nowhere.
  • We think that by making a systematic to do list we can work on everybody’s priorities. But the list never ends
  • Another way is to file everything – create folders for all the people and projects and dump everything in those folders. Thus moving it only out of sight
  • Ironically we waste so much time and energy on the gravel that we are too tired and pressed for time to attend to the “BIG ROCKS” – those really important things we keep putting off. E.g. Emails in the morning.

The Choices

The Life Changing Choices

You have to make your own choices to make a change in your life. If you take the right choices then you can have extraordinary productivity and if you succumb to situations then you could be buried alive in the multi tasking situations.

CHOICE 1: Act on Important, Don’t React to the Urgent

  • Many people think if they could just do more things faster, they’d be more productive. Their brains are hijacked by incoming demands and forget what is important and what is not.
  • Extraordinarily productive people don’t just react to the incoming. They are proactive about investing their time only in those things that deserve their finest effort and attention.
  • If you make Choice 1, you literally take charge of your life. You’re free to create your own future.

CHOICE2: Go for Extraordinary, Don’t Settle for Ordinary

  • Many people think themselves as “Ordinary”, as cogs in a big organizational machine. They lack a clearly defined, motivating vision of the extraordinary contribution they could be making.
  • The truly productive don’t just play the game, they change the game. They are not just, ”walking job descriptions”, they make a unique difference that matters.
  • Identify your most important roles, evaluate them and prepare your Role statements. Then work on them.

CHOICE 3: Schedule the Big Rocks, Don’t Sort Gravel

  • Once you have made Choice 2 and clarified the extraordinary things you want to achieve in your life, you are ready to create a plan to actually make that happen.
  • We live life by default and spend our time & energy on just keeping up with a stream of petty activities that come our way. Life is just one thing after another, a stream of undifferentiated gravel.
  • The truly productive actively plan how they will use their time and energy, ensuring that it goes to the “BIG ROCKS” rather than keeping up with the gravel.
  • When the people engage in the right kind of planning, their success rates go up on average between 200 to 300 percent.
  • Important question: What are the one or two most important things I can do in this role this week.

CHOICE 4: Rule Your Technology, Don’t let it Rule You

  • Just when you are getting master over your own life, your technology threatens to master you.
  • Hundreds of Apps are their which promise to increase productivity but actually disrupt productivity.
  • Many people are urgency addicts who can’t look up from their smart-phones long enough to avoid walking into walls.
  • But you can leverage the same technology to become extraordinarily productive.
  • You can design a system that keeps you focused on the important and reject the unimportant.
  • For Paper – Everything in one place
  • For Digital – Everything in Every place
  • When you turn important action items from an email into a specific task or appointment, your odds for accomplishing those things go up dramatically.

CHOICE 5: Fuel your Fire, Don’t Burn out

  • You have made choices 1 to 4 but without the physical and mental energy to pursue your dreams, you will fall to energy crisis.
  • The crushing stress we live with can bake the brain – literally.
  • True productivity requires recharging the brain and the body continually.
  • People with high purpose can go far, but if you actively care for your brain by feeding, resting and exercising it properly, you can go infinitely farther.
  • You have to remember that the brain is part of your body. What’s good for body is good for brain.
  • We can’t live on last month’s meal, just like we can’t draw strength from last year’s purpose. Constant energy comes from a pattern of constant renewal.


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    • Strategic Nandan profile image

      Nandan Pradhan 11 months ago from MUMBAI

      This is my First Hub on Hub Pages. I want your reviews on the same. Thanks