The word productivity for most people implies a lot. But every productive person I’ve ever met actually doesn’t do a lot, instead, they do a few things very well.
Heather Hart puts it this way, “It’s better to do one thing well than ten things poorly.” The difference between truly productive people and everyone else is they understand that it’s not the amount you get done that really matters, but the quality of what you get done.
That’s why the magic number of productivity is one.
Truly productive people focus on improving one skill. It’s impossible to become good at everything. There’s just too much to learn. And while it’s valuable to understand a wide range of topics, you want to become world-class at one thing that separates you from others.
Truly productive people do the number one thing on their to-do list first. Brian Tracy’s best-selling book Eat That Frog revolves around a very simple premise – do the worst first. Doing the thing we dread the most frees up our mind to focus on other important tasks.
Truly productive companies focus on one thing exceptionally well. Apple’s meteoric success came from one product – the iPod. Google had search. Coca-Cola had Coca-Cola. Microsoft had Windows. All great success in business starts from one concept and branches out from there.
Truly productive people have at least one mentor. Jim Rohn mentored Tony Robbins. Steven Spielberg mentored J.J. Abrams. Christian Dior mentored Yves Saint-Laurent. Socrates mentored Plato and Plato, in turn, mentored Aristotle.
Truly productive people understand the power of a minute. One of the simplest ways to boost your productivity is to allocate your time down to the last minute. Don’t give yourself a chance to procrastinate. Many top CEOs have their schedules booked up for weeks if not months.
Truly productive people understand the danger of one mistake. Sometimes in life, it’s not what you do, but what you don’t do that matters. Mistakes can be costly. Just ask Nick Leeson who in 1995 operating out of the Barings Bank Singapore office lost $1.3 billion in unauthorized trades. He singlehandedly brought down one of the largest and most stable banks in the world.
Truly productive people understand that one person can make a difference. A good teacher is worth their weight in gold. On the flip side, one rotten apple on your team can destroy company morale. If you’re a manager, do what you can to hold on to those people that get things done and remove those that don’t. Statistically speaking, you can often link 51% of all your stress back to one person. Figure out who that is fast and do what you can to avoid them.
Truly productive people understand that one success is all it takes. Edison is one of the world’s greatest inventors, yet he failed 10,000 times before perfecting the incandescent electric light bulb. Failing isn’t failure, it’s learning. If you want to be successful, fail faster.
Truly productive people value the fundamentals. They might not be flashy, but they work like gangbusters. While many people are trying to find ways to cut corners, truly productive people understand that hard work is one of the secrets to success. They also value simple concepts such as honesty, sincerity, and authenticity.
Truly productive people understand that balance is powerful. Tony Robbins in his seminars has people fill out something he calls the “Wheel of Life.” He wants people to evaluate their current situation with regard to 8 different categories. After filling out how satisfied you are in your life most people can see that while they may be doing well in their career, they have let their family situation deteriorate. The result: one bumpy ride. If your life isn’t where you want it, you might want to try doing this exercise. It can be quite revealing.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo courtesy iStock.