Do you strive to be more productive, each and every day?
Are you wondering if you’ll ever get the hang of this thing called “productivity?”
When it comes to getting things done, it pays to reframe your overall view of productivity.
Expressing your gratitude at where you’ve been, and where you’re going, can be incredibly inspiring.
In this post, I offer three ways to better appreciate your journey in becoming a more productive person.
Whether you’ve accomplished a little or a lot today, these observations will help put your actions into perspective.
Understand that you are always learning and growing.
It’s not uncommon for people to view productivity as a final destination. Some people think that only when they reach a certain “peak productivity level,” that they have succeeded. The truth of the matter is that being productive has nothing to do with reaching a final endpoint
Being productive means that you are making the most of your situation as it is, right at this very moment. You are actively using all the bits of knowledge, information, and skills you’ve accumulated over the years. You’re finding ways to solve problems with a certain skillset available to you at a specific point in time.
Now, part of solving problems means that you’re aware of the fact that your current set of skills may need a bit of an upgrade. You are always learning and growing as a person, so it’s unreasonable to think that the skills that served you two years ago will be the exact same ones that will serve you today.
What should you do if you feel as if you’ve hit a wall when it comes to being productive at home, work, or school? Try learning a new skill, technique, or different way of going about your daily routines and tasks. Your newfound knowledge may help you get more done in a shorter period of time.
Realize that your workflow changes over time.
Like many things in life, there will be an ebb and flow to your professional and personal projects. Things may be slow for a time, and then quickly become busy. And once you’ve mastered dealing with the busy season, you’ll have to switch gears and adjust to a less busy, and even possibly, boring pace. That’s just the natural cycle of things.
What’s important to keep in mind is that your workflow can, and will, change over any unit of time measurement. Your workflow can change from second to second, minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, month to month, year to year, and even decade to decade!
The very best thing you can do when it comes to these changing workflows is to: 1) be aware of which workflow cycle you are in, and 2) know how to appropriately deal with the cycle.
Dealing with these changing workflows is as simple as “going with the flow.” If some parts of the year are very busy and frantic, maybe it’s time to recruit more helpers or assistants, create a checklist, system, or plan for how to deal with these unusually fast-paced times.
And what if some parts of the year are crawling along at a snail’s pace? Maybe it’s time to cash in your vacation hours and personal time for a rewarding dream-vacation or break, backup electronic devices, archive or shred documents, or spring clean your living and work spaces.
Know that your work does not exist in a vacuum.
As much as we’d like to think our work exists as a finite and contained unit, it’s important to realize that our work does not exist in a true vacuum. You and your work are part of a larger whole.
Even if you become amazingly productive at performing a series of tasks, say, running a variety of reports every month at work, or completing a round of weekly chores at home, it is pretty much guaranteed that other things will change in your world, including your immediate environment, the tools you use, and the people with whom you work, relate, or associate.
At the office, your company may move to a different location in town, you may acquire new supervisors, or you may find yourself working with brand-new office equipment. At home, you may move house, welcome a new family member, or decide to use different brands of cleaners for your home.
Just as you’ve made changes and modifications to your life in times past, it’s important to remember you need to adapt to changing conditions and environments. Be open to change, and learn to embrace it.
Pay attention to what’s going on right at this very moment. Your next life experience may bring you a series of skills, tools, and techniques that can be applied to another area of your life, which in some ways, is productivity at it’s finest!
How about you? What’s a recent productivity breakthrough you’ve made at home, work, or school? What do you appreciate the most about your newfound awareness? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2015.