Productivity has nothing to do with the latest app. It is all about you and your behavioural style that will determine how productive you are. There is no shortage of productivity experts promoting the latest and greatest productivity apps. It is interesting how large the populations of followers these productivity experts attract. It demonstrates just how many people are interested in personal productivity.I am very interested to learn how many of these followers adopt a new app and workflow and stick with it for any length of time. In my experience, I have found a great number of people jump from app to app and different workflows in a never ending cycle of searching  for the ‘magic bullet’.The never-ending quest for productivity nirvana is a symptom of a deeper cause. This deeper cause is variable by person but there are some common characteristics:

  • Seeking perfection rather than good enough.
  • Not beginning work until the right tool has been selected.
  • Difficulty knowing how to start work and delaying the start with analysis paralysis.
  • Mistaking boredom with a lack of productivity.
  • Collecting a range of apps, tools and methodologies with bits of work created using different tools and apps.
  • Information is scattered everywhere and the person is spending time searching. 

There are three primary obstacles that get in the way of people being effective and achieving high levels of productivity. These are:

  • The organisation does not communicate its strategy well so people are not clear on what they should do to have the most impact. If the have an idea, they are not able to prioritise it amongst the fog of other tasks. 
  • The person is using workflows and tools that are not well suited to their behavioural style.  This is common in organisations that roll-out productivity software without investing in training and designing workflows. 
  • Information and knowledge sources are scattered all over the place causing people to spend hours hunting information they need to complete their tasks. In worse case scenarios people end up searching the internet for sources or re-creating information the firm already has……somewhere. 

Even with a great strategy, an organisation will not achieve its objectives if people are not effective on a personal level. The greatest strategy still relies on people executing the right tasks well and within a timeframe.

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