Everyone wants to be more productive to feel more successful and to achieve their big goals in life. While many people have covered the topic of productivity, there is one person that is often overlooked because people don’t automatically think of him when you mention productivity and time management. This man is Brian Tracy. He has written numerous books on topics such as wealth building, success, and time management. Here is a collection of his quotes on productivity that will help you put things in perspective and teach you how to be more productive.
1. “A great life or a great career is built by performing one task at a time, quickly and well, and then going on to the next task.”
You might think multitasking is an efficient way of getting work done, but it’s not. Your brain is hard wired in way it can only focus on one thing at a time, so to maximize your productivity you want to single-task everything you do. Your focus is fragmented and not fully harnessed when you multitask. Just think of calling and driving at the same time, it can be done but it causes many accidents because people aren’t fully focused on driving. So whenever you get a task at hand attack it with laser focus and once finished, move on to the next one.
2. “Whatever you have to do, there is always a limiting factor that determines how quickly and well you get it done. Your job is to study the task and identify the limiting factor or constraint within it. You must then focus all of your energies on alleviating that single choke point.”
While there can be many bottlenecks for getting something done, one that stands out is often the person him- or herself. This quote especially goes for people who tend to do everything themselves. They think they are the best person to do it and have (sometimes unknowingly) anxiety of delegating tasks to others. You have to realize that you are not always the best person to complete a task and sometimes you are better off letting someone else do that work. Sometimes YOU are the bottleneck of getting things done. Fortunately this can easily be remedied by delegating and outsourcing.
3. “One of the most important requirements for being happy and productive is for you to guard and nurture your energy levels at all times.”
Most of us think that time management is only about how you control your time, but that’s actually not true. It’s also about managing your sources of energy that allow you to get work done, on a physical, emotional, and mental level. On a physical level, you want to be well-rested and fit. There is no way you are getting things done when you are physically tired. On an emotional level, you want the conductor of your orchestra of emotions. When you are experiencing a storm of negative emotions it is very hard to focus and working at the task at hand. Being able to bring out the best out of yourself, you need to feel good and have positive emotions guide you. Lastly, on a mental level, you must have the desire and willpower to work. Both are resources that are not unlimited and must be managed properly. Lack of mental energy is usually the precursor to procrastinating. However, when your physical, emotional, and mental energies are in sync that is when you have the most leverage to get work done. Start paying to your energy levels to be more productive.
4. “Once you have decided on your number one task, anything else that you do other than that is a relative waste of time”
Distraction is like kryptonite for productivity. If you can minimize, or preferably eliminate, any distractions that in itself will make you so much more productive. It is easy to get distracted when you feel like other things might be more important than what you are working on now. To avoid this type of distraction, you should spend some time on planning what you are going to do with your time. Before you start on any task, ask yourself “what is the most valuable use of my time, right now?” and really try to answer that question. Once you know what it is, work on it. Like Brian Tracy says, you’ve said to yourself that the task at hand is the most important so anything else that is coming your way is relatively not important. If you get anything on your plate while you are working, kindly defer and work on it later after you’ve finished your most important task.
5. “Your most important tasks and priorities are those that can have the most serious consequences, positive or negative, on your life or work. Focus on these above all.”
Something that is important has long-term potential consequences. It can change your life for the better and make a huge impact. However, that requires you to know what the possible consequences could be. You need to have a vision of the end in mind so it can motivate you to work towards it. The greater in clarity and positive impact it might have, the more likely you will get yourself in motion towards that end goal. You will less likely procrastinate when you know that completing “that one thing” could (positively) change your life.