Knowledge Areas for Productivity – Learn Productivity, Better, Faster, Deeper



One of the best ways for making sense of a space is to have a lens for looking at it. 

The productivity and results space are well-traversed and the body of knowledge is enormous. 

That’s part of the problem. 

Without an effective lens, it can be difficult to find, organize, and share the productivity strategies, tactics, etc.

Use Knowledge Areas to Chunk Up a Topic

You can think of a “frame” or a “lens” as a set of knowledge areas that make it easier to learn a space. 

Together, the knowledge areas form a constellation of knowledge.  (And you will light up this constellation with your insights and “ah-has” as you dive deeper into productivity.)

For example, the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) and SWEBOK (Software Engineering Body of Knowledge) use knowledge areas to cluster related topics, concepts, tasks, and terms to help share the information more effectively. 

It’s a way to frame out the space.

The Productivity Body of Knowledge

While working on Getting Results the Agile Way, one of the first things I needed to do was carve out the space into meaningful buckets.  

By “framing out” the results and productivity space, I created a more effective lens to look at productivity.   This is how I created a “Productivity Body of Knowledge”.   I named the collection of knowledge areas for productivity and results, the Agile Productivity Frame. 

Giving it a name and putting it into a simple table, made it easier to refer to and to share as a mental model with others.

The Productivity Knowledge Areas

Here are the Productivity Knowledge Areas (or as I call it, The Agile Productivity Frame):

Hot Spot Description
Action How you take action and manage your activities towards results.
Efficiency and Effectiveness How you manage the cost and speed of your results, as well as how you manage the quality of your results.
Energy Management How you manage your energy in terms of thinking, feeling, and doing, as well as how you take care of your eating, sleeping, and working out.
Expectations How you set and reset expectations with yourself and others.
Focus How you focus your time, energy, and attention.
Goals and Objectives How you set meaningful goals and objectives for your results.
Information Management How you organize and manage information, as well as avoid information overload.
Learning How you find the lessons, improve, and correct course.
Mindsets and Motivation How you get your head in the game.
Planning How you map out the work to be done.
Prioritizing How you choose what’s more important.
Self-Awareness How to improve your knowledge about yourself in terms of achieving results.
Self-Discipline How you correct your behavior.
Task Management How you manage your tasks and action items.
Time Management How you manage and schedule your time.

The Productivity “Hot Spots”

You can think of the categories as Productivity “Hot Spots.”  They are great containers or buckets for productivity principles, patterns, and practices. 

By building your distinctions in each knowledge area, you effectively build your personal library of profound productivity knowledge.

The Agile Productivity Frame or the Productivity Knowledge Areas will help you learn and explore productivity faster.

You will also learn productivity more effectively because you can ground yourself in a firm foundation of well-established topics.

The key with these knowledge areas is that they are can contain insight and action. 

How I Created the Productivity Knowledge Areas

To create the buckets, I first gathered up all the “rocks” (the individual principles, patterns, practices, terms, concepts, etc.) , then I group the collections, and then I labeled the buckets. 

This is the opposite of making up buckets and then looking to fill them. 

I was more interested in creating buckets for proven practices and applied knowledge, rather than treating productivity as an abstract or academic exercise.

Not only did the Agile Productivity Frame help with organizing my own body of knowledge for results and productivity, but it made it incredibly simple for me to very quickly parse just about any body of knowledge or significant work in the productivity space. 

Test-Drive the Productivity Knowledge Areas Yourself

This frame also helped me quickly pressure test productivity systems against a more holistic view, as well as to find their more specific strengths and weaknesses. 

Interestingly, you can also use the categories to help evaluate project management approaches and software development approaches. 

The Productivity Knowledge Areas are useful whether you use it to organize your own knowledge base on productivity, or you use it for teams, or organization. 

Don’t just take my word for it though … test drive it and you decide what works for you … you’re the ultimate expert on your context and scenario.

The simplest way to test-drive the categories is to try to advance your knowledge, skills, and abilities for productivity.

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