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The question I would like to discuss with you today is “Am I productive enough?” Well, what is productivity? Productivity is defined by Oxford as the rate at which a worker, a company, or a country produces goods, and the amount produced, compared with how much time, work, and money is needed to produce them. The use of the term “productivity” started accelerating post 1900s, most likely due to a revolution in industry. But nowadays, productivity has become a universal language. It is no longer applicable to industry only. No matter where you work, or in what sector of expertise, productivity is occasionally held against us, whether by others or by ourselves. This stems from the universal belief that productivity shows how effective we are, and the fast paced world loves highly effective people. 

In some cases, one can be fully fixated with this belief that they use productivity as a metric to measure themselves. They are used to maximizing time to the fullest potential, spending it wisely to reap the best benefit, that it sparks the question of productivity itself. And soon, everyday lives are filled with the question, “Am I productive enough?” “Should I be spending less time watching that TV serials and start working on that report instead?” Or “Today is a bad day. I’m tired and I’m not productive enough. Tomorrow, I have to compensate and be more productive!”

Now aiming for productivity has been proven to be a successful proxy to winning results. The thing is, sometimes we are not measuring it right. When you are standing on a broken scale to measure your weight, for example, you can get the illusion that your diet has worked, when in reality it doesn’t. That will prompt us to cut ourselves some slack and take it down a notch. While the same goes for the opposite, where you can feel that you have done everything you could but seen no result anyway. That can make us go hard on ourselves, and usually it can lead to a burnout.

So, how do I know that I’m using the right scale? Most importantly, how do I know that I’m being too hard on myself, all because I’m not using productivity in the right way? Well, to be assured of it, you need to be assured of two signs. First, you need to ensure that you know your style of doing things and be the master of it. Nowadays, it is extremely easy to gain information from the internet. And while it is a good thing, we tend to forget that the internet and social media mostly speaks about other people’s views and opinions. When we take those to be used as our own standard, then that is where it all went wrong. For example, people can give you the illusion that being productive means working 8 hours a day, and starting as early in the morning as possible is a habit of successful people and can lead to success. Well, really? If you know that you are a night owl and you work better at night, then why should you change the way you work to fit those overly-generalized standards? Stick with your proven ways and be the master of it. And, use that as your productivity metrics instead.

Second, you know what needs to be done and how to do it. Now let me ask you a question, how often do you find yourself working on a schedule, yet you find yourself spending too much time working on things but producing no result? In other words, we call that counter-productive. You might have the right intention to be more productive with your tasks and your time, but sometimes you just find yourself stuck in the process, that it becomes not productive. The thing is, productivity and time are seen as parallels. Being productive means being on time. It is true. But what we missed is that “being on time” is the result. It is not the process. When we are productive enough, we find ourselves meeting the deadline and delivering results as expected. To achieve that, not everyone needs to stick to a schedule. That might work for some, but not for all. So what’s important, is knowing for sure what needs to be done during the process and how to do it. The timing? Decide for yourself. You know what’s best for you to do to achieve the best result. Again, create your own standard and stick with it.

So, are you ready to become more productive in life? I would love to hear what you think! Shoot me an email at dannis@lifeforexperts.com. Or, connect with me through my website in LifeForExperts.com, my Twitter in @lifeforexperts, or my Instagram in @lifeforexpert without the letter “s” at the end.

Thank you for trusting Life For Experts. Never stop learning to become an expert in life. I’m Dannis, and I will see you next time. Bye!

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