As human beings, it is our innate desire to be productive, creative, resourceful and do more in less time. It is a truism of life, that we all have the same 24 hours a day, but how best we maximise this blank cheque our creator has bestowed to us determines our results and, most importantly, the quality of our lives.
More often than not, people ask me, Sesan, how were you able to write six books in eight years, despite still practising as a pharmacist? How are you able to juggle the responsibilities of serving the profession as the assistant to PSN President, and still run your own business while also furthering your education?
The answers I always give often look pretty simple, but they are quite magical. Complying with the proffered principles can improve productivity by 50 per cent in the first three months of religious application, and 100 per cent in six months.
The three basic principles of productivity that have helped me in the last 10 years are:
- Stay focused: Focus is the ability to give 100 per cent concentration to what you are doing at all times. It requires intentionally committing your body, mind and soul to the task at hand. It involves avoiding all distractions that can stop you from absolute impression on what you are doing.
In our world of social media and smartphones, it takes a lot of discipline to be focused. Developing focus is like building a muscle, the more you use it, the more you develop your capacity to use it and achieve a lot in life.
I have never met any highly successful and productive human being who has not consciously or unconsciously developed the habit of focus on one particular thing at a time. Focused people are true achievers. In acquiring knowledge, developing skills, getting things done efficiently and becoming effective as a person, focus plays a major role.
You can use the power of meditation to develop your focus. As an organisation, you can focus all your energy on a project at a time. As an individual, you can make it a rule of thumb to do one task at a time, instead of multi-tasking. As I am writing this article, I focus my body, mind and spirit in adding the best value to you as you read. No distraction. No disturbance. One of my favourite quotes is by Sesan Kareem, “When you focus on your focus, you will become the focus.”
- The power of engagement: Engagement is the ability to get the best from people at all times by giving your best to them. In a research conducted by Gallup, it was discovered that just 27 per cent of workers globally are fully engaged in their work, while 73 per cent are just going to work for job sake. In other words, they are not giving their best to their organisations. They too are unhappy about what they do because their organisations have failed to give them the opportunity to be their best and have a sense of belonging as stakeholders in the growth process of the organisations.
Engagement is critical and the role it plays in increased productivity can never be over-emphasised. During my productivity training, I often demonstrate this by dividing participants into groups of three to engage one another and they are always awed by the power of engagement and the kind of results and respect they can command if only they truly engage their team members, subordinates, superior or even a friend.
Engagement is all about mastering the master-secret of human connection which is the most powerful tool you can use in the workplace.
Some quick tips on increasing your level of engagement: commit to listening attentively to people; be kind; show empathy; ask questions to know more; and be fully right there in your discussion with people.
It sounds so simple. Isn’t it? Awesome! Apply the few suggestions and see your productivity soar high.
- Firm belief: Belief is critical in increasing your productivity and getting maximum result. The essence of being productive is to get better results in your life. This is why being busy is different from being productive; getting results is different from rushing around.
To me, belief must be expressed in three ways to metamorphose into result: You must believe in yourself (self-confidence), believe in what you do (passion) and believe that it will be worth it at the end of the day (perseverance).
As a young man, I had been told in the past that I couldn’t do some things and get results, but because I believed in myself and was confident, passionate and patient enough to keep working until I got results, I was able to turn critics to fans and doubting-Thomases to cheerleaders.
Belief in yourself; you can get results. Believe in what you do; it will eventually pay off. Focus on the results and enjoy the process; it will be worth it at the end of the day.
ACTION PLAN: Avoid distractions. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Engage people at all times. Believe in yourself and work towards maximum result.
AFFIRMATION: When I focus on my focus I will become the focus. I am blessed and highly favoured.