Finance Indaba Africa is the largest 2-day yearly expo and conference for financial professionals in Africa. Around 5000 visitors make use of the abundance of sources, knowhow and the inspiration that is available there. During those two days, it’s all about the insights that can be obtained concerning the lowering of costs and the increase of revenue and productivity (personal productivity and the productivity of the company). Obviously, our Productivity Ninjas weren’t going to miss it either…
In 2016 Finance Indaba Africa was being held on the 13th and 14th of October in Johannesburg and Think Productive was there as well! Besides having a stand there, which was being manned by our Productivity Ninja’s, Marcel van den Berg (the director of Think Productive Western Europe) was also one of the most anticipated speakers. People know Marcel mainly as a Productivity guru who wants to help people to become more productive by working smarter, not harder. This was also the theme of the given session and the goal was to turn the audience into Productivity Ninja’s or to help them on their way at least.
To achieve this, it is important to know what productivity means for us. We define productivity as follows: “Achieve what you want to achieve with the least amount of effort” or “The ability to achieve what you want to achieve with the least amount of effort”. It’s about what you want to achieve (the decision lies with you) and once you know what you want to achieve, it is good to do that with the least amount of effort. Don’t waste time and energy and do everything in an efficient way.
Many people still believe that time management plays an important role in this but that is just a myth. Due to the large amount of information that we receive on a daily basis and the fact that times are changing, it really comes down to managing your attention, which is your scarcest resource. Every day we can only focus ourselves for 2-3 hours and in those hours we can do our best work.
One of the characteristics that was discussed more in-depth during this session was ruthlessness. It is important to be ruthless when you make decisions but you also have to be ruthless with yourself and others. Most people find it hard to accept that there is never enough time to finish all the things that they need to do. They like to finish things and make everyone happy. We are not superheroes and no one can finish all the work without consequently affecting the quality of the work by working half-heartedly. It is therefore important to lower your expectations and to do some things really well by giving it your full focus and attention.
Your attention can easily be disturbed by distractions and your brain loves to follow the path of least resistance. Guard your attention therefore by switching off your notifications and limit the time that you are available for your colleagues during the day. You have to make conscious decisions concerning what you want to allow into your life and what you don’t want to allow into your life. As a knowledge worker, you really add value by thinking, reflecting and taking decisions. Everyone needs time to think and to do the work that really matters.
Start the process yourself and become a Productivity Ninja by watching the whole Finance Indaba Africa session that was given by Marcel!
Please contact us if you have any questions after this session or if you are interested in one of our Time Management Workshops. Our Productivity Ninja’s are eager to help you on your way.
By Callista Vink
Callista is part of Think Productive Western Europe and is the voice behind a the Dutch blog content the Western Europe Website.