Productivity is a great thing. I do not believe that you have to schedule every minute of your day or that you have to be in work mode 24/7. I do believe that it is important to do our jobs and do them well — whether you are an investment banker, an office manager, an artist, a stay at home parent, or a research analyst.
I read a lot of books and blogs and I have seen people on both sides of the productivity issue. Some people say “get as much done as possible.” Others have a “who cares about productivity?” or an anti-“life-hack” attitude. Of course, there is everything in between.
The dictionary defines productive in the following ways:
1. having the power of producing; generative; creative: a productive effort.
2. producing readily or abundantly; fertile: a productive vineyard.
3. causing; bringing about (usually fol. by of): conditions productive of crime and sin.
It is not a bad thing to produce, to generate, to create. Most everything we have in life was produced–the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the movies we watch, the music we listen to. I would be pretty let down if musicians stopped producing great music for me to listen to. I do not plan on being a hunter or farmer any time soon, so I appreciate the productivity of people who help produce the food that is on my table.
While we often have to go the extra mile at work, or put in more time at certain points, do not work yourself to death. Work is important–but if it kills you, what good is that? Step back for a minute if you feel overwhelmed. Take time for yourself. Relax. Have fun. Take a vacation–even if it means not leaving town, but just spending time at home with family and friends–or alone.
Once you adopt a healthy view of productivity, you will stop seeing it as the enemy. You will not feel as pressured to always be in “go!” mode or to shun the idea entirely.
What is your view of productivity and how does it impact you?
Copyright 2008, Alaia Williams. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express permission of the author.