Getting more high-value things done in less time often comes down to how well you can manage your consistency and efficiency.
It’s a pretty simple equation, but it can do wonders for your productivity.
Consistency vs. Efficiency
You’re probably familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare.
In the story, a tortoise and a hare decide to have a race. The hare, who is naturally much faster than the tortoise, takes off from the starting line like lightning. He’s waaaay ahead of the tortoise in no time.
Seeing that he’s so far ahead, the hare decides that he can afford to stop for a bit and have a break. He’s built up such a lead that he can have a snack, something to drink, and maybe even a siesta before the tortoise catches up.
But, what happens?
Of course, as you know, the hare falls fast asleep and, by the time he wakes up, the tortoise is about to cross the finish line.
It doesn’t matter how fast the hare is, he can’t catch up and he ends up losing the race.
The moral of the story is that it’s better to work slow and steady at something than in quick spurts of intense focus.
Consistency, in this case, is more important than efficiency.
And, at the basic level, that’s absolutely correct.
Devoting just one hour a day to a project will take you much further than spending 20 hours on it every second Tuesday.
Become the Tortoise AND the Hare
But what if the choice isn’t either/or?
What if there were a way to combine the very best of the hare (efficiency) with the very best of the tortoise (consistency)?
Well, in a lot of ways, that’s what productivity is really all about.
It’s about pushing yourself to become faster and more efficient … consistently.
The secret to productivity is figuring out the proper balance between consistency and efficiency and then maintaining that balance.
The Productivity Equation
You see, each one of us has a tipping point where we combine maximum efficiency with maximum consistency.
If you try to push past that point too soon, either your consistency or efficiency will suffer.
Your job is to find that tipping point. And then stick to it for a few months.
You just might be surprised by the results.
Then, after you’ve become used to living at that tipping point for a while, you can start pushing past that point.
And that’s when the really crazy results start showing up.
The productivity equation will look different for each person, and it might vary from task to task.
But the point is that you need to resist the temptation to focus on either consistency or efficiency, as if they are mutually exclusive.
Because they aren’t.
It is possible to combine the best of the tortoise with the best of the hare.
And, when you do, you’ll be able to skyrocket your productivity beyond your wildest dreams.