Make Your Productivity Count

This Move breaks down the steps to make your productivity purposeful for your goals.
Debbie Millman

About the Move

With today's business and hustle culture, it's hard to resist the temptation of working hard just for hard work's sake. Busyness doesn't always equate to productivity and won't directly translate to success.

Use this move to make sure all your efforts and resources align with your goals. Set up ways to measure actual results without falling into the trap of being unproductive.

Setting the Move in motion:


If you really want something, give it your all purposefully. What makes working productively different from working hard is that the former aims to create results.

You can make sure that all your efforts are productive by benchmarking. Set standards and targets. Perform and review your performance. Along the way, ask yourself, “How much of my hard work brings me closer to my goals? How much of my outputs translate into meaningful outcomes?”

If you don’t set benchmarks, you might as well throw your shots in the dark.

Take risks

Opportunities come to the people who are bold and daring. Conversely, opportunities just pass by those who are too scared to grab them. Make taking risks a part of your personal manifesto.

Identify your non-negotiable goals and follow through. Take the necessary steps to get there, even if you’re scared. You’ll be able to build your confidence in taking risks by doing it repeatedly.

Don’t make excuses

Making excuses for everything is an easy trap to fall into. Before you know it, making compromises for your goals will be your default.

To lower the risk of making an excuse, start with your most desirable tasks and set deadlines. Prioritize what you want to do and accept that there are things you cannot actually accomplish. It can be either because they are beyond your capacity or they simply don’t interest or excite you.

The next time you accept projects or take on clients, be clear with what it is you offer and what’s clearly off the table. This way, you can set proper parameters and expectations. It’ll help you avoid making excuses for procrastinating to the point of not getting things done. 

The Possibilities of Purposeful Productivity

Debbie Millman, the co-founder of Master's Program in Branding and host of Design Matters Podcast, talks about ways you can make productivity purposeful for your goals. Named as one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company, Debbie’s book, "Why Design Matters: Conversations with the World's Most Creative People" provides a lot of significant insights and perspective.
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