December 31, 2018

Below is a lesson from Forbes on how being outcome oriented can help drive greater productivity, as well as our key learning.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


Stop Thinking In Tasks And To-Dos. Start Thinking In Outcomes

by Marcela Sapone

We all toil under a tyranny of to-dos. Life can feel like an endless succession of tedious tasks we struggle to complete, and we may cross everything off our to-do lists, but it can still feel like we aren’t achieving what we really want. It’s why we click on every productivity hack that pops up in our feed while half-read self-help books pile up on our nightstands.

I run a company dedicated to helping people get their tasks and to-dos done. If there’s one piece of advice I’ve learned that can make all the difference in how we approach work and productivity, it’s this: Stop thinking in terms of tasks and to-dos you need to complete — instead, think of the outcomes you want to achieve.

Continue reading here.


Key Learnings:

  • Tasks and to-dos may be the building blocks of work and productivity, but an outcome is more than a blueprint — it’s the most nutrient-rich version of a goal.
  • An outcome is a goal that tells a story — to ourselves and others — about where we want to arrive.
  • An outcome builds on the proven power of visualization by encouraging us to envision an end state we can not only see but feel viscerally.
  • Ticking off tasks on our to-do lists might make us feel productive. But to truly be productive, we must clearly visualize the outcomes we want and design everything we do around getting them.
  • That’s not to say you should trash your to-do list. To-do lists are a time-honored tool for getting things done. 
  • A 2017 LinkedIn Survey found that 63% of professionals kept daily to-do lists — but only 11% actually accomplished everything on the list.
  • The problem isn’t that we write lists of the things we want to get done. It’s that we write down the to-dos we want to complete when we should be writing down the outcomes we want to achieve.
  • What happens when we lose sight of the end state we want to reach: we lose the meaning and context for the actions we take to get there.
  • The ability to articulate an envisioned outcome and share it widely is imperative for collective productivity.
  • Thinking in outcomes can help an organization to focus and clarify its mission by forcing it to clearly state and communicate its goals — particularly to the people within the organization.
  • Outcome thinking not only defines the service we provide to our customers, it organizes how we work as a company, from our yearly and quarterly planning to our day-to-day operations.
  • Anyone can do it, here’s how:
    • Write it down: clearly articulate and record the end state we want to reach. Write it down for reference and accountability. 
    • Act like an owner: take responsibility for our own productivity and how we spend our time.
  • That mindset can transform any job — no matter how repetitive or tedious it may appear to be — into a challenge that requires creative solutions. 
  • Empowering your people to own their outcomes and find creative ways to achieve them opens up new possibilities that task-oriented thinking can foreclose.
  • Imagining an outcome as an end state that can be visualized and deeply felt is essentially an exercise in storytelling.
  • When everyone shares a common outcome and visualizes the same end state, their work necessarily assumes a common purpose as each task ladders up to a shared mission.

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