Think Differently; Add Value

What is more important — Doing things that are valuable or doing things efficiently even if they are not so valuable?

There were these people called the ‘knocker-uppers,’ way back in the 1900s, in England. Every morning it was their task to walk up the streets and wake up people. With long sticks in their hands, they would tap on the windows of houses until people woke up.

Most of these knocker-uppers were very efficient in their jobs.

Then one day the alarm clocks came into the market. And all these people lost their livelihoods within a jiffy.

The Knocker-uppers took their jobs seriously and worked really hard. Yet they lost their jobs. So, where exactly did they go wrong?

It was the choice of their job. They chose to do a lesser valuable task rather than a valuable one.

No matter how efficiently you do your task, if it is not something valuable there is no use doing it.

It is about what you do; not about how you do.

That said, not all tasks can be valuable. Nevertheless you can prioritize your tasks.

Use the 80/20 rule — 80% of your energy should be devoted to the most important 20% tasks of your daily life.

One thing that you need to remember here is that you cannot do everything and be everywhere possible at one time. Most of us, unfortunately think that this is possible through multitasking.

But did you know that multitasking can cost you 40% of your efficiency?

Moreover, it can be hazardous to your health by creating brief mental blocks as you shift between tasks.

Striving hard is very important in life. However, before you do so it is also important to think hard. Find out if what you are about to do is valuable.

It is often the game changers that win the race. You need to innovate 10 times more than your competitors. You need to focus on moving things from zero to one. This is what the big companies like Google, Apple and Amazon did.

It was not about building better phones, selling books through an easier distribution channel or improving search algorithms. It was about revolutionizing their respective industries.

They didn’t just do things efficiently and differently — they did different things altogether. This is what you need to do too.

No matter how good a cook you are; if the recipe is bad, there is no way the dish is going to turn out good.

So you can no longer live by the mantra — “Karm Kar; Phal ki Chinta na Kar.” (“Work hard; Don’t worry about the result.”)

We are often inspired by big names from Google, Apple and Harvard. But what we forget is that at one point of time they were also sitting and dreaming in their living rooms. Nevertheless, the only difference is that they worked towards those dreams and turned them into a reality. They dare to think differently and it is this courage that takes them towards their success. Don’t fear failure.

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