More With Less. A Personal War Cry

Should we care about what Mark Carney and Kevin Page think?

The Bad News

On February the 4th, Mark Carney the Governor of the Bank of Canada gave a most ominous warning. In what was referred to as his sternest speech he warned that “every Canadian stand to lose $30,000 in income over the next decade – unless Canada improves its “abysmal” productivity levels”.

On February 22nd, The Report on Business referred to Mr. Kevin Page The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PMO) as a professional “killjoy” for his “foreboding report” that at the rate we are going, we will never get out our staggering deficits.

Mr. Carney and Mr. Page could be considered the two people with the greatest influence on our national, corporate and personal finances. There concerns and warning stem from the fact that we have been living on borrowed money for far to long. The artificially low interest rate that has been given to us by our central bankers and the drunken spending by or governments is digging us into a deep debt whole. So what are they saying:

  • Carney: interest rates will go up, up and up. The result of goods and services will cost more, more and more.
  • Page: taxes will go up, up and up leaving us with less spending dollars.

That is the reason Mr. Carney warns that every Canadian stands to lose $30,000 unless we improve our productivity.

The Good news:
We can improve productivity.  Those of us who take ownership of improved personal productivity have the potential to excel a very competitive world. Governments fail to do much, and corporate leaders can do little unless individuals find parasol ways to do more with less. The greatest results will come when individuals like you and me take personal ownership of our personal productivity. The key is to improve our value contribution with out endangering our health and quality of life.  The good news is that it can be done.  The following tips are based on the experience of some our workshop clients.


  • Focus and prioritize your high value roles.At work each of us plays many roles. Focus on the roles that stretch you to develop and grow. Delegate roles that you have outgrown to teachable people who grow in the process. This is the main objective of effective delegation.
  • Invest time with your important and teachable people. These are people who help you grow and/or learn and grow by being working with you.
  • Avoid draining people or at least control how much of your energy you allow them access to.
  • Set SMARTGoals that are Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon by people who support you, and can be Realistically achieved in a short term Time horizon.
  • Limit time killers. studies indicate that most of us spend far too much time in low value activities. So:
    • Limit the time you spend on e-mail.
    • Decline attending meetings unless YOU can define a clear objective and role for your participation
  • Control technology imposed urgency by turning of e-mail notifies, phone ringers, blackberry vibratos, …
  • Simplify your filing systems so you can easily find what you need when you need it.
  • Simplify: There is power in simplicity. Reduce the options in your decision making process.
  • Control technology imposed urgency. The misuse of e-mail, cell phone, PDA is creating a culture of urgency that has a negative impact on your thinking and decision making quality.
  • Plan and commit to blocks of time in your calendar to think and plan.
  • Invest in professional development.Personal professional development is to voluble to be left in the hand of any one other than yourself. Own it.

Never Retire but change roles. As long as you have a breath you have a role to play. Keep growing to offer a higher value role. Our future depends on it.