You know Seth Godin, right? .... author of more than a dozen books full of business changing advice, like Linchpin, Tribes, Purple Cow, etc.?
Seth has a theory about the most productive thing you can do and he describes it like a pyramid. Starting at the bottom (least impactful) and working our way up (most impactful), he says:
1) Get better at the task that is assigned to you, so that you can do it faster and better.
2) Find people who are cheaper than you to do the assigned tasks.
3) Invest in existing technology that can boost output.
4) Invent a new technology that can do the same thing.
5) Figure out better things to work on.
So, according to Seth, the most productive thing we can do is to find a more useful way to contribute - to revamp the to do list from what you think you're supposed to be working on and instead shift to work that's really going to matter.
I think Seth has a point. So many of us start each day with a really full to-do list that is remarkably similar to the list we had yesterday, and the day before that, and the week before that, and the year before that.
When was the last time you really thought about whether there is a better way to approach the work that sits on your to-do list? Can you push it to another level of the pyramid?