Work hard. Don’t stop. Keep going.
One more task…one more hour…one more box checked.
For as long as I can remember, that was how I defined productivity. I measured my success each day based on how many items I crossed off the list, how long I cranked through work without taking a break, how much longer I worked than those around me.
It was a testament to my strong work ethic, my determination, my drive, my dedication to my clients and my job. My behavior, my habits were something of which to be proud. I had earned bragging rights…right?
I produced quality work the majority of the time. But, to be truly honest, when I was so focused on the quantity of tasks I was completing, the quality was probably compromised more often than I’d like to admit.
To others, I was perceived as the “productivity queen”, the textbook definition of PRODUCTIVE. Since they saw me as highly productive, I reasoned I was doing it ALL RIGHT.
In hindsight, I had it ALL WRONG.
What I’ve Learned
I am still learning, of course, but here is what I have learned so far.
*Productivity is NOT defined by the sacrifices made, meals skipped, work parties averted, and late nights/early mornings spent at the office.
*Productivity is NOT defined by the finished to-do lists and the ratio of hours worked to tasks completed.
*Productivity is NOT quantity over quality.
The Lessons Within
It has not been easy, but I have learned that:
*Productivity is “EATING THE FROG” – starting and finishing the toughest and most important task of the day, first.
*Productivity is TUNING OUT the non-urgent, unimportant messages blowing up your phone and inbox.
*Productivity is DEFINING my own urgent and important tasks for the day, not allowing others to do so.
*Productivity is working with clarity and focus for REASONABLE amounts of time, with frequent mental & physical breaks to fuel my body & my mind (Still working on taking those lunch breaks; old habits die hard!!!)
*Productivity is getting my butt out of the desk chair and WALKING outdoors for fresh air & daylight.
*Productivity is being home for dinner, fully engaged & present for my husband and sons, and trusting that the work will get done – but that work is never more important than the people I love.
The journey isn’t over, but I have finally begun to define productivity by my own standards. Not by the standards of others.
Are YOU ready for a new perspective on productivity?
Are YOU ready to take a break from the daily grind, and define what productivity means to YOU?
Here is one way to begin making the shift. This may sound counter-intuitive, but hear me out.
You’ve been taught to think you can’t define or measure productivity until the end of the day, right? Once you’ve made your list, checked your boxes, cleaned out your email inbox and submitted reports (and worked through lunch, per normal); that’s when you can take a breathe and bask in the glory of being extremely productive for the day, right?
*What if you decided BEFORE the day begins, what will constitute productivity for your day?
*What if you measured productivity based on accomplishing only 2 or 3 IMPORTANT, HIGH VALUE tasks, and allowing yourself to feel accomplished after that – even if it is only 2:00 in the afternoon?
* What if your to do list had fewer than 5 boxes to be checked, and once they were checked off, everything else you completed for the day was “icing on the cake”?
It certainly requires a shift in MINDSET.
It certainly requires a change to your typical BEHAVIORS.
It certainly requires QUIETING the judgemental voice in your mind.
You are up to the challenge; I know you are.
So when you decide to take back CONTROL of your calendar, your priorities, & your path for 2019, LET’S TALK.
Let’s discover your new definition, and set it into motion.
Here’s To Redefining Productivity~