Different researchers have conducted studies on productivity by asking people questions based on their personal perception of what they define as being productive. There were questions like: How do you define being “productive”? Do you think of it as literally producing more? Or is it about helping you feel more in control or “balanced”? Do you tie it into impacting your bottom line and making more money? Or is that less important to you than its effect on your peace of mind?
In the previous posts on the Personal Productivity Series, I shared with you; the 7 Keys to Achieving Optimum Personal Productivity, Why You Need to Increase Your Productivity, How You Can Build Your Own Productivity Cycle and so on.
It is essential to revisit the concept of productivity on a more personal level because it is very important for you to learn those things and consciously understand what being productive means to you and those around you.
It is not enough for you to assume a general perspective to being productive but the more you personalize it, the better the results you get.
When it comes to productivity, it’s different strokes for different people. To be more productive, some people need to literally do more. Others need to do less. Then there is doing the right things at the right time in the most effective way possible. Using the qualifier “right” (as defined by you), helps to really hone in on what makes the most impact to help one to be productive, as opposed to just being busy.
Some people do, in fact, think of being productive as producing more, or getting more done. And that’s not a big surprise as to be productive literally means to produce. Therefore, many of us tend to translate being productive to mean that we need to keep doing and going and producing, and all at the same time.
However, this can cause a ton of stress in our lives and make the quality of what we are producing decrease. So it takes a brave person to realize that you can have it all, but just not at the same time! This is a perfect example of why multitasking is not always the best course of action.
In fact, many people are busy for no reason, or for the wrong reason. They think it makes them more productive. Or they feel more productive because of all of the activity, but yet they aren’t truly more productive. Being busy does not equal productivity at all and that is one of the biggest fallacies of our society these days.
In the first post of this series, I gave different definitions of Productivity but you might want to ask why there are differences in the definition of productivity important to recognize? For one, productivity consultants need to keep this in mind and can’t try to give a “one size fits all” solution to clients. From my perspective, most productivity consultants are quite aware of this, but it still bears mentioning. And all of us need to give this some thought and determine what our personal definition of productivity is.
That is the best way to measure whether we feel (and are) productive. We first have to know what being productive truly means to us. So I encourage you to determine what YOUR personal definition of productivity is. Don’t worry so much about what everyone else is doing or thinking.
Yes, it is great to read, research, model and learn all about productivity. But it is also important to march to the beat of your own drum and measure your success in the area of productivity against your own personal standard.