What is productivity?

In the August edition of my monthly newsletter, I posed the question to my readers: What does productivity mean to you? In other words, how do you know when you’re being productive? I thought you would be interested in some of the responses I received, which I’ll post here. If you have another one to add, leave your comment here, and I’ll send you a free eBook to thank you for your time (make sure to leave your email address).

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Dear Laura, Productivity means that I am able to work, to network, and to accomplish the goals set by my boss and not feel any undue stress in the process. I feel very goal oriented and goal focused on productivity days. My sense of accomplishment is an elated feeling that carries me into the next day of work. Sincerely, Carol V.

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When I know what needs to get done and I get all of the "tasks" done that are important to me. Mark K.

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Dear Laura, A good day is when "all four burners are firing" and a bad day is when "I’m spinning my wheels." When you’re having a good day, things don’t take as long as you expect. You have the info at hand. The work flow makes sense and you have all the reports from subordinates. The decision is obvious and the words flow clearly and succinctly. You walk away feeling great and that you’ve gotten two days work done. "Spinning your wheels" involves waiting for permission and "CYA" activities, being told to do things with people who aren’t here, a mental lapse that makes things hard that you know perfectly well you can do. Everything takes twice as long as it should and you’re never going to get done. Everything is frustrating and difficult. I find when I’m really in the grip of such a day; the best thing to do is clean out my pencil drawer. Doing something mindless and finite gives me a chance to stop and refocus without feeling like I’m just sitting around. Going on break doesn’t have the same effect because you’re still worrying about the problems. Sharon P.

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I feel that I am being PRODUCTIVE when I am tackling those big, important projects that are moving my business forward and bringing in results. I feel like I am ORGANIZED when the house is running smoothly, I’m on top of the ticky-tacky daily paperwork, appointments are kept, errands are run, bills are paid on time, the bank statements are balanced, etc. I very seldom feel that I am both productive and organized at the same time – usually it is one or the other and that is why I am reading your books and newsletter. For once, I am trying to get it all done and done well. Sandi D.

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Productivity means…having done everything I meant to do yesterday, keeping in control of today, and actively preparing for tomorrow. This kind of productivity is measurable simply in terms of comparing actions taken against goals set – how close are we to meeting a goal, how long did it take us to get there, did we get there in time? Understanding my capabilities day to day is key to setting the right goals; working hard and smart is key to meeting them. It’s counter-productive to allow myself to get despondent if I don’t meet every daily goal but acknowledging a missed goal or an unproductive period is part of designing a more realistic goal or working smarter today. I think that I achieve optimum productivity on those days/weeks/months when I’ve really taken time to analyse my daily capabilities and then used this knowledge to set realistic goals (n.b. ‘realistic’ isn’t a code word for ‘easy’ – these goals can be ambitious and really stretch me/my reports/my colleagues/my company but I have to be sure that we’re all capable of at least getting close otherwise I’m wasting everyone’s time and missing another opportunity by focussing on an unachievable one). Loving the email newsletters – thank you for your continuing inspiration. Mary Ann L.

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Productivity means accomplishing your goals; tasks; etc. in a timely manner. This is a consistent performing activity. You have organized your To-Do’s; planned your day; etc. The rewards of productivity are: 1. Stress-free feeling 2. A clean desk 3. Guilt-free pursuit of quality time activities(what is "special" for you) 4. A sense of accomplishment Lou S.

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So…what does productivity mean to YOU?

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Comments

  1. Productivity means doing more than what we did earlier. It is rising our bar. It also means doing right things at right time.

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