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The unstoppable obsession with doing and the contempt for thinking

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The unstoppable obsession with doing and the contempt for thinking

No, doing more does not necessarily mean that you will get more. No and a thousand times no. Productivity is not a strict equation in which the results obtained are directly proportional to the number of tasks performed. We all have to get that precarious idea out of our heads that makes us believe that to increase Namibia Phone Number List  results, all we have to do is work more. A statement that, said without context, may sound elementary and basic, but that many businesses and professionals have not internalized. We live — sadly — in an era characterized and applauded by obfuscation for doing. In most, the behavior that promotes stopping every morning to perform tasks like ants is notorious, because for them that is the key to success. But that is not just a common people’s mistake, many of the seasoned professionals and large companies also fall into it – getting carried away by routine and giving themselves little space and time to think. What many suffer from is a kind of unstoppable obsession with doing and an enormous contempt for thinking. The slogan is: to do without stopping, a mentality that was imposed more than a century ago, a premise that, unfortunately, we have not been able to finish.

But, where did that instinct come from that pushes us every day to do? We believe that from the chain production theories of the first years of the 20th century, that revolutionary process that for the time was implanted in the industries that were successful. In those Henry Ford years, productivity was closely tied to the fluidity and neatness of assembly lines. The motto of the professionals of the beginning of the 20th century was that to be productive and generate results, it had to be done quickly and without errors. Businesses were obliged to synchronize in doing, to never stop and to discard all those who interrupted or slowed down the process.


Unconsciously, that guideline from more than a century ago was implanted in everyone’s mind and passed down from generation to generation — and it is still very much in force today in many heads. For this reason, some are convinced by the idea that stopping doing is bad and always being busy is the best of the productivity and performance indicators. Many professionals are seduced by this watchmaking policy that the best worker is the one who dedicates the most time to the company. The doctrine that rules in some Forex Email List is the thoughtless process. This idea is so embedded in the heads of some that in Colombia the phrase most repeated by one of the most popular political leaders is that we will get ahead if, and only if, we dedicate ourselves to: “work, work and work.”

How to improve the productivity of a company: the one who does the most is not the most productive So ingrained is the issue of doing in professionals that, when the expected results are not obtained, the first diagnosis is: “Surely, we did something wrong.” Well, here we question that primitive idea that pushes us to execute without thinking. We do not believe that the key is in doing, but in doing with a previous stage of thought and planning and with a later stage of analysis. Our motto is: think, plan, execute and analyze. The modern organizations need to learn and implement the preparation, organization and questioning every action, method and result in their DNA in order to achieve high levels of productivity and efficiency. The time has come to stop seeing thinking and planning as a waste of time, a waste of resources or an attack on future results. Thinking, planning, executing and analyzing is the message that we have to spread.

Using the proposed cycle – think, plan, execute and analyze – business processes can be optimized to reduce the consumption of resources and to increase the results achieved. Also, with the cycle, you can eliminate the inportant actions, to focus on what really impacts. Optimizing the way in which the tasks are being executed and reviewing their contribution serves to discard what does not add up and to multiply what is obtained. But how do you get out of that self-destructive loop of doing without thinking? Internalizing the meaning of efficiency and productivity. Efficiency is a concept that is responsible for studying how to achieve the objectives with the least investment of resources. For its part, productivity is the relationship that exists between what is obtained and what is invested – taking into account the time it took to achieve it. What is concluded from these two definitions is that being efficient makes us more productive; therefore, stopping doing what doesn’t need to be done or improving what is being done wrong is the key to being productive.

We are the generation of professionals dedicated to putting out fires
It is sad to arrive at a company and realize how the skills and competencies of its employees are wasted every day putting out fires – in Colombian companies they say to “put out fires” to the execution of eager tasks, to the solving urgent problems in any way. It must be very frustrating for them to get up every morning to repeat a routine that consumes all their time and leaves no room for reflection or questioning. But the path cannot be resignation. Never. You have to fight against this frenzy of execution without planning. Businesses have to propose the eradication of these routine and unthinking attitudes, the suppression of the irrelevant. Managers have to bet on the planning of each of the actions that are carried out. Every minute optimized and every weight saved adds up to the pursuit of productivity. Instead of doing non-stop, employees must get up in the morning with the firm intention of thinking and planning each thing, to stop doing the useless and to do the useful better. In addition, they have to search the space daily to review the results that are obtained. The challenge is clear: achieve a high level of efficiency to improve productivity. And the best way to achieve this is: stop obsessing over doing to focus on the cycle: think, plan, execute and analyze.

The 7 tricks to escape the vicious cycle of unproductivity Wanting to break the vicious circle of non-stop doing is the first thing to aspire to. It sounds easy, but it is not. Shaking off the obsession with doing produces uncertainty and, in some cases, impairs short-term results; because by stopping the circle of doing we would be interrupting what it does not contribute and also what it contributes to the results of the organization. But fear not, all situations are temporary. Stick to the longing for an ultra-productive medium and long term for the business. Sacrifice the results of the next few months to bet on a future out of series. That is the right way.

Here are seven ideas that will help you organize the transition to the cycle: think, plan, execute and analyze:

1. Take the time to think things through.
Today’s companies need leaders who break free from day to day, professionals who take the time to think about the best way to achieve their objectives. The market is hungry for managers willing to sacrifice the mediocre results of the moment for the pursuit of future efficiency. No more false leaders touting planning, but only appreciating and judging those who do nonstop. Companies must steer clear of those leaders who constantly promote thinking, but who are unable to forgo meeting tomorrow’s budget for better results the day after tomorrow.

2. If you do not know what you are after, you will keep turning the wheel
No one should take the first step if they are not clear about their destiny. Setting the objectives and the strategy to be followed are the first phases to achieve business success. Deciding what we want to achieve and how we intend to achieve it helps align talent and choose resources to do things efficiently, optimizing energy. With enormous clarity on objectives and strategy, tasks are focused and teams are led. The next step is not to jump into action without thinking. Reflection must always be present. Leaders must constantly ask themselves if the path to the goal is still optimal, if progress is being made, and if resources are well invested. What’s more,

3. What does not add, generally subtracts
Companies invest a large amount of human and budgetary resources in the execution of a lot of routine tasks that contribute little or nothing to the achievement of business results. These tasks end up being a difficult load to carry that takes away a lot of productivity from the organization. Unproductive everyday tasks have to be stopped immediately. Entrepreneurs have the obligation to stop this operational train to think, plan and measure each action undertaken, with the intention of reallocating badly spent resources and optimizing their use. The objective is to analyze what is done and its contribution, to focus on what adds to the business.

4. Flying goals will raise the daily motivation of employees
Planning for the very long term also creates problems, because the further the goal is, the faster the teams will be demotivated. Distant goals increase people’s unproductiveness and mediocrity. If the goal feels too distant, collaborators will get used to the process and execute it daily without thinking about the ultimate achievement. Savvy business leaders understand this and solve it by building small close goals — hopefully daily — to keep their target active and motivated.

5. Always save the simple for last
Procrastinate is, without a doubt, the most used verb today. And it makes sense, because procrastination has taken on the appearance of an epidemic in modern organizations. Yes, overdoing is problematic, but immobility is, too. Investing excessive time in thinking and planning actions, without undertaking their execution, can be very costly for businesses and the cause of a notorious loss of market share. How to combat this? Setting schedules and promoting team discipline. Another way to reduce procrastination is to order tasks from least to most enjoyable. To a large extent, procrastination is caused by putting off boring or routine tasks. So it’s a good idea to tackle the tough or difficult first and save the fun or simple for last.

6. Control the time spent on each task
Another common problem in business is the lack of control over the time invested. Employees spend hours doing what they enjoy and avoid what is truly important to the organization. The think, plan, execute and analyze cycle is the correct method to reduce this. If there is a plan, the times will be distributed from the review of the contribution of each task to the final result. Prioritizing is also a thoughtful act to use time correctly in what will make us more productive. Take the time necessary to calculate the resources necessary for the execution of each activity and monitor its execution until it is efficient – under the correct time parameters.

7. Avoid the multitasking attitude
Multitasking brains are a hoax of the modern age. People who try to solve multiple things at once end up doing everything by halves and with a low level of quality. We firmly believe that multitasking is not a display of skill or ability, but of disorder. And that multitask attitude takes a lot of productivity out of business. People who focus reduce involuntary errors due to deconcentration and increase their abilities and skills to carry out activities with greater efficiency. It’s about time we stepped in and started a crusade against multitasking.

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