Besides being a personal finance nut, I love talking about productivity. Why? As a small business owner, I’ve had to learn how to be productive in an environment where I’m constantly getting new things thrown at me every day. Here are some qualities I’m trying to acquire to enhance my productivity, and why you should seek after them too.
1. Having Intensity
When you’re trying to get something done, having intensity results in getting things done a little faster. And that’s always a good thing, as long as you have the other character traits under control.
Intensity is your drive, your willingness, and your ability to do what you’ve set out to do. It’s the power behind the action.
Let’s say you’re paying off debt. Intensity would be how many dollars you’re throwing each month toward that debt. The more intensity and passion you have at reaching your goal, the faster you’ll pay it down.
2. Practicing Focus
Intensity isn’t any good without focus. Ask any firefighter what would happen if they turned on the hose without holding the end – water would go everywhere, and with great intensity (it might even injure someone). Sure, you’re generating a lot of power, but you’re just not focusing it on where you need it to be if you’re not focused.
One way we can enhance our ability to focus is to simply turn off distractions. Manually check your email instead of having it alert you. Ask not to be disturbed during certain parts of the day. Turn off the distractions, and you’ll get a major boost to your ability to focus in no time flat.
3. Recognizing Importance
Intensity and focus are also useless if you’re concentrating your efforts on tasks of low importance. Too often, we mistake urgency for importance, and because we group them together, we miss out on the important tasks in life.
For example, just because your boss is requiring you to do a certain amount of work at your minimum wage job in an unreasonable amount of time doesn’t mean those tasks are important in your life. While they might be urgent for the context in which they were created, they’re certainly not important to you. In that scenario, it might be best to consider a different occupation altogether (I like professional blogging, personally); something more important.
At the same time, we should always afford every task we’ve agreed to do the same level of focus and intensity as we afford more important tasks, but we should always seek out the more important tasks in the long run.
Seek after these qualities, and when you start achieving them, you’ll find yourself to be a more productive person.
I certainly haven’t been able to acquire these character qualities to the degree I’d like – I’m a work in progress. How about you? Leave a comment!