In fact, some might argue that we need time management and productivity skills today even more than in the Colonial Era. Modern day tools like cell phones and laptops are both a blessing and a curse. They enable us to get more work done. But, they also cause distractions while we are churning out all that work.
I wonder if Benjamin Franklin knew that people would still read his words over 225 years after his passing?
Here are few Benjamin Franklin quotes about productivity
“Well done is better than well said.”
Have you ever been in a meeting—a really long meeting—and wondered when you’d be able to get back to work?
I often lament the time that I lose in meetings, on conference calls, and in talking about accomplishing my goals rather than going out there and achieving them.
Meetings, whether in person, online, or by phone call, are essential. They ensure that your whole team understands goals and directives, has planned for success and allows them to give feedback and suggestions. However, make sure that meetings are effective. Here are a few pointers:
Plan an agenda—and stick to it!
Share the agenda and key points with the team. This allows them to pay attention and take only brief notes.
Set a time and start on time. Latecomers will just have to catch up!
End on schedule.
Allow questions that are relevant to the team. Let team members know to email you with specific questions that relate to their own personal responsibilities. This keeps those not involved more productive.
Setting some meeting rules will get your team back to “doing” rather than “talking.”
Takeaway: Cut out talking time and increase time spent on productive work. You’ll accomplish your goals faster.
“Employ your time well, if you mean to get leisure.”
Do you ever feel like you’re working all the time? You probably are! It appears that Benjamin Franklin advises us that sometimes we need to buckle down, ignore distractions, and get that workload done in order to free up spare time to enjoy.
As a freelancer and solopreneur, I love this advice. It’s often easy to work from sunup to sundown and feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. I’ve learned to curb a few distractions after reading some valuable advice about dealing with technological interruptions.
For two hours each day, I write without allowing interruption. This is when I can really get a lot of my drafts shaped. During the 90-minute timeframe, I do the following:
- Turn off the phone. Literally. I don’t set it to vibrate, I turn it off.
- Don’t check emails.
- Ignore social media alerts.
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I used to have anxiety that I’d miss something important. Oddly, it’s rare that I do. I have carved myself out an extra 90 minutes daily of productive writing time just by shutting out the rings and alerts that distract me the rest of the day. I’ve grown to love that time and find it liberating to disconnect from the rest of the world and get my work done quicker so I can enjoy time off.
Takeaway: Plan distraction-free time so you can complete your work. This will help you achieve a work-life balance.
“You may delay, but time will not.”
Even when we procrastinate, time marches on. It seems like every time that I put off one of my least favorite tasks—like calculating my tax bills—they creep up on me. Inevitably, I am left scrambling at the last moment trying to finish the job at hand.
Benjamin Franklin was reputed to be a man who carefully planned his workload and appointments. He believed that tackling a job early was a key to consistently completing work on time. That’s pretty smart advice!
Takeaway: Quit procrastinating! Those undesirable tasks won’t go away.
“Drive your business or it will drive thee.”
Benjamin Franklin was a savvy businessman. As previously mentioned, he planned well and believed that planning was the very key to that great success.
By trade, Benjamin Franklin was a printer. While he was also a statesman and inventor, the printing trade was the career which earned him a robust income. He was successful in every aspect of his business—securing contracts, keeping the books, and press operations. He set his business up to succeed by being proactive rather than reactive in his business dealings.
But he also gained respect by the very way in which he ran his business and lived his life. If he gave a man his word, he kept it. And, if he set an appointment, he was punctual. People knew that he was a man with high standards who would always get the job done.
Takeaway: Be proactive in managing your business. Identify weaknesses and improve upon them before they become weak links.
Benjamin Franklin issued wise advice. It has withstood over two centuries of time and still remains relevant today. He was a visionary and his contributions to the American lifestyle live on today. Why not take advice from such a sage scholar and businessman?
Author Bio: Deborah Tayloe is a freelance writer & regular contributor to EmailMeForm. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. The PA native currently resides in rural Bertie County, NC.