Top Reads of the Week: Sharpening Your Self for Productivity and Growth

We all want to perform better.

Who doesn’t want to be faster or more productive?

But I also know how overwhelming it can get when all we read about productivity is mere tips and tricks.  

Don’t get me wrong – tips and tricks are practical and guide us along in our journey of developing a work flow or lifestyle that works for us. However, piling on new actions or constantly changing our work flow according to what works for another person may not always be effective. Also, if you are always trying to create new habits without eliminating preexisting harmful ones, change is not going to be effective.  

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln  
"Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent, and not enough time on what is important." - Steven Covey

What we should be aiming to do, is not to do more within a shorter time but, to do less and get equal or more value. Like Lincoln said wisely, we ought to sharpen our axes before taking down gargantuan tasks no matter how little time we may have to accomplish those tasks.  

Axe sharpening could mean: admitting personal shortcomings, shifting wrong mindsets and having the humility to learn something new but unfamiliar. It may seem counterproductive to do so during busy periods, but how else would you improve yourself in the long run?

Focus on the important and not just the urgent: channel some time into reflection with 3 articles that push you to evaluate your mindsets towards work and people. Then, pick up some tips from CEOs who manage their time using nifty tricks in our last article.

Looking to increase your company’s productivity instead? Watch the video on how to balance two types of company performance. Improving your and your company’s performance is literally our business and passion at Timeo-Performance. We have been boosting performance, increasing productivity and facilitating culture change for companies in APAC since 2008. Let us help you make a difference in the world of work.

Before you try to become better:

Do you want to be a more inspiring leader? Or connect more with others? Or be more productive and influential?

You could get better at anything but, Peter Bregman states that you need to ask yourself these two questions before you ever start getting better.  

What is this prerequisite to growth exactly? Find out in his article.

1. If You Want to Get Better at Something, Ask Yourself These Two Questions  

When work has not been going smoothly…

Are there too many crises at work? Perhaps there are root issues that you do not know about.  

Sometimes, the “fires” that we constantly run to put out may not be as huge a crisis as we think them to be. In fact, you can change stop all the madness and firefighting with a few changes to the way you do things.

Abby Wolfe lists habits that could be root issues and proposes solutions to counter them. Find out how in her article.

2.4 Reasons You’re Always Putting Out Fires at Work (and How to Stop the Madness for Good)

Always was one of the smartest or brightest in school but find yourself progressing slower or achieving lesser than you feel you should?  

Alice Boyes lists 5 patterns smart people tend to have and helps you to understand how any of these longstanding, psychological patterns actually hold you back. Practical steps and solutions are also given. Read her article to find out more.  

3. 5 Ways Smart People Sabotage Their Success  

Rounding it off with  

CEOs work an average of 62.5 hours and attend 37 meetings a week. Learn some nifty tips and tricks from successful CEOs who strive to make the most of their time. Read about the nine tips in the article.

4. 9 CEOs share their favorite productivity hacks  

About Timeo-Performance

We were founded with a vision to improve the world of work for everyone

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We are in the Skills Business!

Through recruitment, training and consulting, Timeo-Performance provides solutions for increased performance of companies, teams, and individuals. As our clients are in the center of global business and often serve the APAC region, our solutions need to be sustainable in a multicultural and remote context.

Our joint venture with Akteos, the European leader in intercultural training, and partnership with digital learning solutions provider CrossKnowledge have therefore been organic and logical additions to our service. Timeo-Performance has been helping companies in APAC increase business performance since 2008 with offices in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

We love what we do, feel the Timeo-Performance experience!

As busy professionals, our schedules are often filled to the brim with meetings and tasks to complete. We can get so caught up with work that we might even forget our all-important lunch and power through dinner as well. Alas, we can only do so much given the 24 hours we have in a day. While time management is vital, being productive is another matter in its entirety.Enter time batching.


Isabelle Larche

Managing Director, Recruitment & Executive Search at Timeo-Performance

Isabelle is a Human Performance expert, with over 10 years of professional recruitment experience, and 15 years of Business Management Consulting experience. Isabelle is the Vice President of the French Chamber of Commerce and Trade Counsellor (Singapore Chapter) to the French Embassy.

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