Let’s face the fact, the world that we live in today is driven by productivity. The more productive a society becomes, the more attractive it will be for pools of talents to migrate to such a place. The most productive countries are rewarded by the largest slice of investment cash from people all around the world. Your boss in the office measures your performance based on how productive you are and the values you add to the team. You invest your money in companies based on the results of their market performance, and that is also an indirect way of measuring the company’s productivity.

It is common these days when you ask someone, how have you been doing?” to get the reply, Busy. Unfortunately, busy is not the same as being productive. Productivity is result-driven; it is a measure of what you deliver against a known standard. Many people are claiming to be busy doing what they shouldn’t even do, and the result is that they are not providing any meaningful results. On the other hand, productive people recognize what must be done, how it should be done and are adept at delivering results in an efficient manner. If you invest a dollar in a company today, I’m sure you want your money to grow after a while. Let’s say you put a dollar into three companies A, B, & C, and a few years down the line, you got 7% appreciation in company A, 14% in company B, and negative 5% from company C. Based on performance alone, it will be an easy choice to eliminate Company C from your future investment.

Since productivity has become an essential aspect of our lives, it is imperative for every individual and corporate organization to learn how to beat the productivity trap. If you find yourself always staying busy without accomplishing any meaningful results, you are probably in a productivity trap.

Here are some five ways to become a highly productive person

1. Plan ahead. How about before you begin your day, you already know what you need to accomplish for the day? You need to have a mental idea of projects to complete, tasks to work on, phone calls to make, and any activities that must be completed for the day to be a successful one. The big deal here is to try as much as possible to stick with your plans; I know there are times when urgent issues may pop up, but having a plan will always help you get back on track after dealing with an unplanned event that occurs.

2.Make a priority list. Out of everything that you have planned, which one is the most important? You will bring orderliness into your day by making a priority list and ensuring that you do those things that will help you get the outcome you desire. Your priority should align with your most important goal for the day, and when creating a priority list, it is best to ask – what do I need to do today that will best position me to get the result that I desire? 

3.Make a “not-to-do” list. Most people are conversant with using a “to-do list” to plan their day. Another way to take control is to use the “not-to-do list”. This list will contain those things that you do not want to spend your time on. These are activities that you can defer, delegate or deny because you have other more pressing activities that need your attention. You can boost your productivity by removing time-wasting, non-value-adding activities you would otherwise have gotten involved in.

4.Eliminate distractions. To be highly productive, you need to find ways to eliminate distractions that take away your focus from those important tasks of yours. We all need some discipline to avoid the temptation of checking our social media account to connect with our families and friends and know what’s going on in other parts of the world. This is good, only if done at the right time. You can turn off notifications from your phone, so you can get more things done. 

5.Create your “Me” time. You cannot become a highly productive person if you are not in the right frame of mind. You need to ensure you take care of yourself so that you can be in your best form. You should create time to unwind and relax, get enough sleep, and engage in fun activities to enhance your mental wellness. By taking good care of yourself, you may have a chance of becoming a highly productive person. 

Productivity is about accomplishing more by doing less. Being busy involves you doing multiple things without achieving any meaningful thing. Productivity keeps you focused on things that are most important to you, while keeping busy takes your focus away from the most important things, making it harder to complete your tasks.

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