Talking Points
December 2023

Simplifying Productivity Into Three Essential Elements

Are you reading every productivity book you can get your hands on and still not feel like you’re getting much done? Here’s a way to simplify productivity into three fundamental parts.


Finding a purpose is essential. Working without purpose is like driving a car without a steering wheel. Simply put, purpose is why you’re doing what your doing. It’s the problem you’re trying to solve, the reason you’re trying to solve it, and the goal you hope to accomplish in the process.

  • Defining your purpose by writing it out. (e.g. “I’m writing this article to help readers become more productive.”)
  • Clarifying and believing in your purpose will give you direction and inspiration.
  • Keep in mind that a passionate, driven person always outperforms those with no purpose.

“A near infinite well of energy is available to people who take the time to identify their personal motivation.”
— Tony Schwartz


Purpose and vision are similar, but not identical. Vision is your ability to foresee the final outcome. It gives purpose a mental blueprint, so you can picture the results in your mind.

  • Envision an outcome that reflects your purpose.
  • When your vision is clear and confident, you get swept up in it.
  • Vision gives you a tangible idea to pursue.

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
— Steve Jobs


You’ve written down your purpose. You’ve clarified your vision. Two steps down, one to go. Now we address commitment. You have to be fully committed to doing whatever it takes to get the job done and transform your vision into reality.

  • You will encounter obstacles–it’s almost certain.
  • Your ability to focus will determine your success. (It’s very easy to get sidetracked.)
  • Force yourself to eliminate distractions and concentrate on the task at hand.

Commitment, like anything else, takes practice. But stick with it. Because your commitment, along with your purpose and vision, will have a profound impact on your productivity.

Diagram and source, Broderick Durisseau,

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