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The essence of productivity

2 min read

Who loves ‘hacks’? The internet is full of mildly interesting and sometimes ridiculous hacks. Take this You Tube clip that leads with increasing breast size and goes onto using ketchup to clean metal objects amongst many other hacks. When it comes to productivity, there are 100’s of hacks to test and try.

In a world that craves faster, stronger, and higher results, productivity is high on the agenda. This has caused many professionals to simply do more. Lower head counts and increased workloads are creating more stress every year (Korn Ferry, 2018)Ironically, this is turning out to be counter-productive.


In striving for higher productivity as individuals, teams, and organisations, we often turn to productivity training. I know this as I have delivered all sorts of this type of training for some of Australia’s most prominent providers. A quick search on productivity short courses will usually direct people to Time Management, Computer Program, and Work Prioritisation Training.

These are all handy, but they don’t tackle the heart of how an individual can significantly lift their productivity. I feel productivity is more a personal topic. What works for me, is not going to work for a CEO. What works for a CEO is not going to work for a Sales Manager.

If we can look at this more holistically, we can use a process of Self, Surroundings, and Sync. The aim of the productivity game is to build momentum and enjoy the exponential possibilities of such momentum. Ray Kurzweil (Author and Inventor) proposed the Law of Accelerating Change in 1999. Kurzweil talks about the ever-increasing rate of progress in the tech world. We have all experienced this ourselves in the last few decades with our lives changing almost yearly in the hardware and software we are using.


This idea is relevant to our workflows and workplaces too. When we evolve our way of working with a little tweak that makes our work better, it leads to further evolution. When we embrace this, the rate of evolution continues to accelerate. Momentum turns into ongoing rhythm and our worlds burst with productivity.

When we reflect on our Self, we can make small changes to our approach. When we investigate our Surroundings, we can find better context for our decisions and actions. And, when we Sync with our team and stakeholders we relate and create further opportunities. Being able to tap into your own Accelerated Change using Self, Surroundings, and Sync could be the shrewdest productivity hack of all.


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