This article is last in a series called, "Maximum Productivity " in which I’ll explore the topic of connections.
See the rest of the series here:
Intro: Maximum Productivity: Series Introduction
Part 1: Maximum Productivity: Perspective
Part 2: Maximum Productivity: Attitude
Part 3: Maximum Productivity: Focus
Part 4: Maximum Productivity: Persistence
Part 5: Maximum Productivity: Adventure
Part 6: Maximum Productivity: Connections
After writing so much on specific areas to maximize productivity, I’ve found myself continually wanted to add points that belong in this last section. Looking at productivity from the angles of perspective , attitude , focus , persistence and adventure leave me with a challenge to in some way connect all those together and to help you anchor in not only what it is that fits these puzzle pieces together, but also why? I hope this article can portray that and show where that has become much more apparent to me in my life.
You Can’t Do It Alone
It seems obvious that you can’t reach your maximum productivity on your own. You need to have resources, learning material, people to motivate you, give you feedback and to help you along your way. Even though we all know this when we stop to look at things, we still have this weird natural tendency to do it by ourselves. There is this strange force that is drilled into people (and I think even more so in North America) that you should learn to be independent and able to handle anything on your own. We separate ourselves from others and then hope to achieve great things. I’ve learned one thing, that doesn’t work! You will not ever reach your maximum productivity or potential in other things on your own. You must rely on others and build connections!
Of course there is some room for argument in this but I think those arguments only apply when looking at a small slice of time. Yes, it is possible to be very productive on your own, for certain things but I’m thinking of productivity now on a much grander scale where it applies across some longer period of time; weeks, months and even years. That definitely requires connections to make it last and to be able to sustain it. Life has it’s cycles up and down and there is no easier way to get out of a slump than to have close relationships to rely on. Stuff happens, bad stuff happens and close friends and relationships make it whole lot easier. This enables us to move on with things in our lives and keep that productivity up.
Connections in Numbers
Human beings are social animals. We always have been. We always will be. Having others in our lives gives us everything from security and confidence to trust and accountability. Having more than ourselves is valuable for getting things down as well. Momentum can build by involving others, you have access to more ideas, and creativity. You can easily be more productive by getting help from others!
Now what about helping others? Wouldn’t taking precious time away from your productive tasks prevent you from getting your maximum productivity? I’d say absolutely not. At least not in a longer time scale. What it does is bring on an even higher level of productivity, but with delay. It amazes me how inclined others are to help if you simply ask or offer it first yourself. Building the numbers with connections enables more of this and gives you access to so many helpful resources it can make any task something much much easier to be productive at. Having that strong network for help and support not only gives you access to more resources it enables you to utilize all the resources to be productive. That is something I’ve learned about teamwork and productivity that has an absolutely massive payoff. Take some time and think about whether you are really using ALL the resources available to accomplish what you want. What about doing research and learning from others? Isn’t that where having a large number of connections improves productivity? I think so.
Depth of Connections
I personally know that even in blogging, these connections and number of relationships is a crucial component to be productive. If you have a network of people who inspire, question and challenge you, support and help, you can much more easily research topics, come to conclusions, put down ideas and have discussions that take that even further. That same principle applies in work, fun and relationships in life. I think that allows people to understand things with more depth and coverage and reach a higher level of productivity because of it.
While I certainly don’t want to contradict myself, I do want to mention that I feel that the depth of connections you build is MORE important than the number of connections. In the sense of productivity, relationships are key to getting things done. The accountability, rapport and collaboration that is available through others far outweighs any offsets of time lost by utilitizing these traits. I wrote on technology already in the focus article in this series but I think it again needs to be carefully balanced here for building connections. Technology makes it easy to quickly connect with many people. However, it doesn’t inherintly enable us to make deeper connections. That takes time, commitment, trust and LOTS of communication. While things like website and blogs certainly help to find like minded individuals that allow you connect immediately at a more personal level, they don’t do much to ensure you take that deeper. It’s up to you to do that with or without the technology.
By building deeper relationships I mean where you understand each others dreams, hopes, needs, fears and you really KNOW the person. You spend time together and you are genuinely interested, caring, compassionate and wanting to spend time with them. It’s not another friend in facebook, another visitor to your site or a contact in your cellphone. It’s someone you could rely on in the time of need or someone you’d help out without a second thought. These type of deep connections enable all those characteristics of productivity through others to be at their highest level. That brings on maximum productivity!
Feedback For Improvement
Productivity obviously doesn’t happen on it’s own and perhaps this series is a little overwhelming as to what it involves to really reach your maximum productivity. However, I think the that feedback in that cycle of improvement is really the easiest way to progress. This also relies on your connections so builds that area at the same time. Feedback to and from others is as simple as asking or informing others of what they do well, don’t do well or could change by specific suggestions. Feedback should address specific things a person does so that it isn’t taken personally and it should also be something you go looking for. If you want to increase your productivity, start asking others around you how they think you could do that.
Connecting It All Together for Maximum Productivity
These topics have been a great way to explore productivity and I personally believe that they all tie together in this connections segment. Without this area to explore things with others, I can’t put much value on productivity outside of selfish and short term thinking. The connections that develop and enable us to be at maximum productivity are the things we will remember, value through our lives and have the most impact to others. So that is what it’s all about for me.
As well, I think this series has led me to understanding the purpose of productivity better. I think it is simple and explains why anyone would want to reach their maximum productivity:
To become the best person you can possibly be!
Special Thanks and Shout Outs from this Series!!
Talking about how connections are so important I can’t help but send some shout outs to all of you who helped me out with this series. Many of you helped promote it on digg, stumble upon and even your own sites and I’ve tried to respond in return in those social arenas. Thank you so much for this! I’ve also had some great discussions in this series and so wanted to sent out a few shouts to those of you who’d been commenting. I love the similarities you write about and I think that is why the discussions come so easily. I urge people to check out some of the sites below as these people have all been a big part of this series for me and I definitely appreciate it!
Lance – Jungle of Life
Ross – Will It Change You
Avani – Avani-Mehta
Jennifer – Principles For Peace
Stephen – Balanced Existence
Viriya – Tedded
Robert – Reason 4 Smile
Armen – Timeless Information
Bryan – The B.Wilde Column
Jeff – Getting Better Television
Stella – How to Talk With Confidence
Laurel – Laurel Plum Online
Nathalie – Billionaire Woman
Nicolas – Time Management Master
Nick – Be Good Ventures
Juliet – Life Made Great
Rahul – Take 20
Daniel – Daniel Richard
Husain – Strength in Diversity
Karl – Work Happy Now
Simple Meditation – Optimum Self
Richard – Self Improve Blog
Ananga – Living By Design
And of course Sam and Ben!
Please take a minute yourself to create another connection by subscribing to my RSS feed or by email . I’d love to hear from you and get to know you better and please don’t hesitate to ask for help as well!
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Next: Book Review: Stumbling on Happiness