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The Three Levers of Productivity - Zat Rana

The three levels of individual productivity

There are three main elements that lead to a certain outcome when it comes to individual productivity: energy, information and creativity.

The first two go together very well, as we need energy in order to be physically able to work, while information is what guides us in regards to how to make better use of our energy and time, in order to reach a certain goal. Creativity, on the other hand, can be perceived as a unique feature, as it enables us to be more efficient while also discovering new ways to do things.

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The Three Levers of Productivity - Zat Rana

The Three Levers of Productivity - Zat Rana

https://zatrana.com/productivity/

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Key Ideas

Getting the most out of everything

Productivity is about to get valued at a whole new level: people are slowly realizing that this is the ultimate key to a life of abundance and advance in technology.

Getting the most of everything seems to be the new motto of an entire world.

Measuring productivity

The common way to tell the importance of our work is by how meaningful this is for us. Practically, it is about how well, how rewarded we feel after having done our shift.

When it comes to economics, productivity is what measures this meaningfulness. And it most often translates into the amount of money that has resulted from doing our work.

The three levels of individual productivity

There are three main elements that lead to a certain outcome when it comes to individual productivity: energy, information and creativity.

The first two go together very well, as we need energy in order to be physically able to work, while information is what guides us in regards to how to make better use of our energy and time, in order to reach a certain goal. Creativity, on the other hand, can be perceived as a unique feature, as it enables us to be more efficient while also discovering new ways to do things.

Time and productivity

From all existent resources, times is by far the most precious we all dispose of.

While energy, creativity and information can enable us to make the most of our work and life in general, time is something we can but try to use as efficiently as possible.

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The two states of being: surviving and thriving
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In the modern world, our senses are abused by artificial lights, sounds, and smells in the cities we live in. Our media devices fill us with more helpful and useless information that we can consume in multiple lifetimes. Our problem is not with the abundance, but that we don't know how to manage all of this.

What successful people have in common

When the most successful people were interviewed in the 1990s, they all shared one commonality: They were incredibly complex people. They were both differentiated and integrated.

They were differentiated because they took it on themselves to get exposed to the world. They were integrated because they learned to make sense of this diverse absorption.

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Failure As A Tool
Failure As A Tool

If we look at the number of failures and setbacks in Elon Musk’s life, we begin to see why he is so successful.

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Early Years Of Elon Musk
  • Right from childhood, Elon Musk preferred books over people, often devouring them at one go.
  • He was an introvert and a deep thinker and began to gather deep insights about life and how to shape humanity and the future of mankind.
  • Musk eventually developed a practical and efficient approach towards goals and carried the drive to follow through.
Reaching Golas By Embracing Failure

Elon Musk shows the world how big, audacious goals can be achieved by dividing them into smaller milestones and embracing failure and negative feedback.

His goals are not something he is doing for the media circus, but something in which he is emotionally committed. Goals work when they are bigger than ourselves, enhancing our commitment and responsibility towards them.

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Labels are important
Labels are important

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Don’t wait for inspiration

Breakthroughs are seldom made through sudden inspiration. Insight is the result of action. Doing creative work is about setting a schedule and getting on with it. Eventually, the combination of your effort will energize the push towards a final result.

Albert Einstein worked at a Swiss patent office, a rather uninspiring place relative to his interest in physics. Between the hours he spent on the job, he also dedicated hours to scientific work. He was deliberate in his commitment to creation, which led to the formulation of the two fundamental theories in physics: general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Seeking connections between existing ideas

Creativity is not equivalent to originality. Creativity is just a new way of combining old ideas.

Albert Einstein saw invention as a product of "combinatory play." He would separate his existing ideas from language, so he could freely visualise and mix these known elements of information to arrive at some new logically connected concept.

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Finding Meaning
Finding Meaning

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The Meaning Of Meaning

The concept of meaning, points to objective and subjective modes.

  • Objective: The world or the universe as it exists.
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Isaac Newton gave visibility to this very fabric of reality, making meaning an action, a synthesis of objectivity and subjectivity, both of which are vital.

Vitality Of Life

The architect Christopher Alexander concludes that life is everywhere, in an interconnected way, by design. Nature, animals, plants, mountains, clouds, rivers, valleys, birds and insects just fit together in harmony. Nature’s design is integrated and flawless.

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The Value of a Shared Culture
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The culture built in an individual relationship is more open and meaningful than a group culture, because it gives the possibility for differences to exist without them getting in the way.

When we're developing individual friendships, we’re setting up tacit, but dynamic rules for these relationships (with each conversation and shared experience we go through). This creates organic connections and sets the rule for the future - every future communication we have will be defined by the rules and the context set by our past communications.

When Happiness Is Related To Other People

Happiness is related to the connections and the relationships we form - they define and shape us.

If happiness and fulfillment rely on the quality of our relationships, then we all need to prioritize the act of understanding and nurturing our shared cultures.

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  • When novice players play chess, they focus on what to do with the pieces. They may try and visualise a few steps ahead, but mostly just react to the board without considering the reasons behind the pieces.
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Whether in chess or life, don't be fooled by what's on the surface. The best approach is to have a framework in place to trim the fat and focus on what matters. Ask enough pointed questions to lead you to clear answers.

Balance Calculation with Imagination

In chess, students learn famous patterns and tactics. If an opponent does one thing, you are expected to react with another.

While it is good to recognize appropriate cues and employ the tactics you have learned, sometimes it is good to look towards where you want to end up and fill the gaps in a new way rather than using the past to move in a predictable direction.

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Moving Away From Pseudo-Work
Moving Away From Pseudo-Work

Pseudo-work is when one works just for the sake of work, and is productive on paper but hasn’t really achieved anything substantial, or contributed to one’s core objective.

Focusing on Meaningful Work
  • When the focus is on the essential, we start to work on what matters to us the most. It makes us avoid the urgent work shoved in our faces which may not be important at all.
  • Focusing on meaningful work helps us prioritize our day in the order that aligns with our purpose and mission. It makes us less stressed out and more joyful.
  • Productive work, which is challenging and even discomforting is welcomed as it is important and meaningful to our lives. The distractions then no longer disturb us as we are giving the work our entire focus.
Keys To Essential Meaningful Productivity
  1. Be clear on what matters to you, and focus on that.
  2. A lack of structure makes the entire day random and accidental. It is good to have a certain structure for all your tasks while keeping it flexible.
  3. Remind yourself the reason for it being important to you, and then give it your heart and soul. Keep yourself in a playful, relaxed mode.
  4. Move towards any fear you encounter, and not away from it. It may be a small obstacle but our psychological fears make us feel discomfort or groundlessness.
  5. Batch out small errands into specific, time-bound activities, leaving time for more important things.