The Luck Habit- Performance and the Productivity Formula
The Productivity Formula
Do you know that you can calculate your productivity? The way to calculate it is through the productivity formula.
The productivity formula is :
Of course, in reality, there is more than one type of input. We assign weights to each type of input based on their importance in creating the output.
Our productivity can be increased exponentially. Douglas Miller illustrates it well in his book, The Luck Habit. We will be talking about how to increase your productivity to its maximum.
How to increase performance and productivity?
2. Having a purpose
3. Always come up with ideas
Successful Morning Risers
Have you ever heard about the story about the grasshopper and the ants? During summer, the grasshopper did not work to gather food for the winter. He then mocked the ants for doing so. The ants however, continued toiling, and when winter came, they lived off their hard work. The grasshopper perished. It is a simple parable which highlights the importance of the the productivity formula.
We can see the productivity formula applied during the older days.
To survive, our ancestors have to put in more hardwork, more input than their competitors (grammar?). Be it in farming or plunder, creating or destroying, our ancestors tried many ways to survive. They worked hard, and built great civilisations as a result.
The best performers worked hard. Whether unconsciouly or consciously, they applied the productivity formula, putting in a lot of input. Then we might ask, “we worked hard too.”.
There are a few reasons for this. One, we put input, but we give low quality input. By doing so, the output we get might not be the output we desire.
I have a friend who sells insurance. She does not spend all of the energy doing her paperwork. Instead, she hired a personal assistant to assist her to do all of the grunt work. She focuses her energy in engaging clients and sourcing for new clients. As you can see, she applied the productivity formula properly. She knows the activities that will generate the most revenue (output) so she focuses all her time (input) and energy (input) for the activities.
My friend is also a morning riser, as she feels that she is the most productive during the morning. The most hardworking people are usually the early risers instead of the night owl. They are significantly more productive and positive about their day. Below is an infographic about successful morning risers.
2. Having a purpose
To be at your most productive, you have to have a purpose in what you do. You can apply the productivity formula all you want, but there is no point if the whole process has no meaning to you.
We cannot perform our best in pursuits we are not passionate about. One example is our jobs. Many of us are in jobs that we hate, We are always performing below our optimal productivity level. This is true even amongst the most intelligent and skillful of workers. So is the productivity formula wrong?
In the military, I had the pleasure of working with one of the most intelligent man in my entire life. He was a staff officer who handles all the manpower issues in the unit. Every day, without fail, he would come to the office energetic and leave accomplished. He had one goal, which is to create a proper team where each individual’s strength is used fully. He made it his purpose, and by the time he finished his service, the office had team which is productive and committed to the unit.
So how did he apply the productivity formula? Well, he:
Worked Hard and Smart!
He spent hours creating proper systems and learning about military HR.
He invested time on his men.
He did not waste time on other unnecessary and unproductive activities. He had a sense of direction.
The key takeaway from this is that for one to fully utilize his potential and be productive, one has to have purpose. With purpose, then his mind has a direction in which to direct his inputs to. Thus, the maximum desired output is achieved. The productivity formula remains true.
Importance of Writing Down your Ideas
3. Always come up with ideas
In the previous section, I talked about how having a purpose is a key part in using the productivity formula productively. Now, I am going to show you how to find your purpose.
Some say that finding a purpose in your life is the hardest thing to do. I disagree. People often think that we only have one purpose in life, and fulfilling this purpose is the biggest life goal. No!
Having a purpose is just a method to ensure that your inputs, your efforts have a direction in which it is going. You can have multiple purposes for your activities. Your purpose can either be relevant only in the short term. Or it could remain relevant for many years to come.
So how to find purpose?
Give time for your thoughts.
Don’t leave thoughts lying around until forgotten.
Accept your uniqueness.
1- Slow down
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, slow down. Whenever you feel like your activities are meaningless, slow down. In this way, you can save yourself from wasting valuable inputs to produce an undesirable output. Remember the productivity formula.
2- Give time for your thoughts
Every day, set aside 5 minutes to meditate on your thoughts. Your thoughts determine the flow of your day, and thus ample time is required to invest in them.
By meditating on your thoughts, you are able to have full control over your current situation. Thus, it helps you to be more prepared to handle whatever that comes your way.
3- Don’t leave lying thoughts lying around until forgotten
Too often, a sudden thought comes to us. These thoughts could contain the idea of your next big project, or it could be a way to remind us of something important. Then we forget to take note of them, and there goes the thought.
The most productive people are those who make an effort to jot down whatever ideas that comes into your mind. Some of these ideas could be brilliant.
One friend of mine would keep a whiteboard and a marker in his bathroom. He claimed that the best ideas came to him whenever he is taking a shower, thus he had to write it down right there and then or he would forget about it!
The video on the right discusses on the importance of writing down your ideas.
4- Accept your uniqueness
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the productivity formula. Many people have their methods in achieving the optimal output in their lives. Some people deny their quirks and try their best to hide it. If you don’t accept yourself, how can you trust yourself to perform at your very best? The shark does not curse itself for not being able to climb a tree. It goes about in the water, hunting for other fishes and become the king in the water.
4. Keeping Fresh
According to the productivity formula, optimal output cannot be achieved if there is insufficient input or if the quality of the input is sub-par. Our body can be considered the biggest input in our lives. The body will perform at is best if it is well-rested and rejuvenated.
So how do we keep fresh?
1. Appreciate what’s around you
Too often, we worry about what we do not have. We fret over what we have lost. This takes a toll on our emotional well-being, affecting our productivity in general.
What we should be aware about is the now. We should be aware and appreciate what we have now. Only then can we perform at our best.
2. Stimulate your senses regularly
Your mind and body are the very core of your existence. Your body is fragile. Your mind is a powerful weapon that enables your body to do things that one can never imagine. To do that, one has to be open to challenges and obstacles that he or she will face in his life.
As to achieve that, one has to try to entertain as many “First-time” experiences as possible. There are many ways to do it, like doing one unique thing for oneself every single day.
The productivity formula can be used in many parts of our lives. By understanding what activities that increase our productivity inputs, we will be able to perform at our very best.