The Art of Productivity

Productivity, or being productive, is nothing more than making maximum efficient progress toward our goals. If we have established appropriate personal and professional goals, there’s nothing more important than being productive.

A number of years ago, I combined forces with Steve Forbes and legendary coach John Wooden to produce a book and training program based on productivity. This material has been refined and updated and is being released in a new book entitled The Art of Productivity with a foreword by Steve Forbes.

Before you can focus on productivity, you must have specific, meaningful, realistic, and achievable goals. If we are traveling along a highway, one might assume that the car that is moving the fastest is the most productive; however, unless we know where people are trying to go, we can’t measure their productivity solely based upon their speed. One motorist might be unsafely driving well above the speed limit endangering their life, the lives of their passengers, and other motorists. The driver of another vehicle may be intending to reach a destination to the north as they rapidly drive south which is actually counterproductive.

Once we have established appropriate goals, productivity can be broken down into three components which are motivation, communication, and implementation.

Motivation is the drive and determination that makes us get up every morning, leave our comfortable home, and pursue our passion. If you are pursuing anything other than your passion, it will be impossible to consistently stay motivated. In my work as an entrepreneur, executive, and consultant, I have dealt with countless people around the world who have achieved a high level of productivity because they are motivated. They may all be equally motivated, but they are invariably motivated by different factors. Some people are motivated by money, others by titles, some by inclusion, others by recognition, and still other people are motivated by internal factors known only to them.

You must find your own individual motivation, or you can’t be productive and achieve success. If you are not totally motivated, it is inevitable that you will be competing in the marketplace against individuals and organizations that are motivated. Most sporting events prove the point that the race rarely goes to the strongest or swiftest, but instead, the winners in sports and in life are those who become the most motivated and the most productive.

The second element of productivity is communication. No one succeeds by themselves. We all have a team, and in order to be productive, you must be motivated and then communicate your motivation to the entire team. As in motivation, there are a myriad of communication styles. Some people prefer to be told. Others need to see it in writing. Some people need to repeat it back or experience an example of the concept being communicated. There’s no right or wrong way to communicate with your team, but you must determine what works best for those around you and communicate in the way that they can best receive your message.

Once you have established motivation and created communication, you must implement. In our world today, when it’s all said and done, there’s a lot said and very little done. Some people implement best on their own, others need to work as a part of a team, some people are most productive working in a linear fashion, while others prefer to multitask. Whatever the case may be with you and your team, you simply need to fine tune your productivity, and you can change your life, your organization, and the world.

As you go through your day today, remember to focus on motivation, communication, and implementation.

Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by email at; on Facebook at; or follow Jim on Twitter @StovallAuthor.

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