(And What That Means for Your Impact in the World)
Productivity doesn’t just increase your efficiency. If you do it right, it can also increase your income. The problem is that traditional systems get productivity all wrong.
They define productivity as the ability to do more and do it faster. But that approach just accelerates the hamster wheel we’re already on. Instead of getting ahead, our productivity gains sometimes leave us feeling frazzled, fried, frustrated.
True productivity isn’t about getting more things done. It’s about getting the right things done.
The Plague of Fake Work
The trick is identifying and investing your time in what I call your Income Producing Activities or IPAs. Unfortunately, a lot of what happens is business has little to do with producing income. In fact, according to workplace consultants Brent D. Peterson, Gaylan W. Nielson,
Much of the work that people do doesn’t achieve results. . . . [A]cross all the organizations we have studied, about half the work that people do fails to advance the organizations’ strategies.
Half! Think about the all the tasks, routine meetings, or busywork that fail to drive revenue or results for your business. Peterson and Nielson label these activities “fake work.”
The problem with traditional productivity advice is that it doesn’t filter fake work. But being productive doesn’t mean doing unproductive work faster. It means focusing your efforts on those IPAs that contribute the most to your business.
3 Ways Productivity Boosts Income
Whether you work for yourself or a larger organization, there are three ways this kind of improved productivity leads to more income and a greater impact.
- Adding value. If low-value fake work is so prevalent, there’s a wide-open opportunity for you to add real value. While many of your coworkers are happy with non-challenging tasks, focused high-achievers can help their businesses reach their goals.
- Driving revenue. Whether it’s launching new products, making more sales, or boosting billable hours, by focusing on your IPAs you help drive revenue to your business. Those gains stand a good chance of generating higher receivables, performance increases, larger commissions, and/or bonus income.
Redeeming time. Fake work might fill time, but productive work redeems it. By trimming busywork and other low-yield activity, you can invest your hours in high-yield tasks and ideation, while preserving margin for rest and rejuvenation.
Income Equals Impact
All three of these reasons add up to greater impact—not only for your family, but the world around you. Increasing your income creates an opportunity to share and invest in the lives of others. As my friend Stu McLaren says, “Money provides leverage.”
More income for you means more charity for others, new jobs for others, and new products and services for others. Fake work on the other hand—no matter much we do or how fast we do it—deprives others by decreasing our impact.
I’d go so far as to say I have a moral obligation to make as much money as I reasonably can, within the scope of my calling and ethical standards. Why? Because there are people in need, and I have the opportunity to help them.
When we maximize our income, everyone stands to win.
That’s why I created my Free to Focus productivity course. It’s designed to help you focus on the work that drives tangible results for your business, while cutting out the interruptions and tiny tasks that prevent you from getting ahead.
Today’s the last day public enrollment is open. If you’re interested in learning more, click here before midnight tonight when public enrollment closes.
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