Are you bragging about and consequently damaging your productivity?

How many times a day do you brag about being busy?

That you don’t have time to do the fun things which you like about your work? That you are so swamped that you cannot find a moment’s rest during the day? What would you do if the day had 32 instead of 24 hours?

What is wrong with these statements?

We have become so accustomed to shouting how busy we are, and we are convinced that being busy is what makes us successful and relevant. We are expected to be busy, and we expect our employees, colleagues, partners, family and friends to be busy too. We have become masters in overbooking the time of our children with extracurricular activities, hobbies, and sports. We expect our partners to be active all the time with work, children, household, shopping. And our colleagues have become slaves to the lack of time, cutting coffee breaks, socializing extra-long working hours, and often doing the work of two people. We think this is normal behavior, even though we are all complaining about how busy we are.

Wake up! Choose to be productive, not busy.

What is productivity? And how can we create a balanced work – private life?

Productivity is about investing energy and effort in making/doing something with the purpose to directly or indirectly satisfy human needs. This means that productivity includes: building things, preparing meals, taking care of the children, working and earn money. It is also about taking care of other human needs, such as rest, having fun, being healthy and having an undisturbed nap on the sofa.

Productivity is not about how much you do or how full your agenda is. It is about what you accomplish and how you feel at the end of the day. If at the end you are exhausted and frustrated, you have not been productive. Remember, productivity is about satisfying human needs.

Seven tips to be more productive:

  1. Do less and do what matters: decide what is essential and what you like doing and leave the rest for others to take or to forget about.
  2. Delegate, delegate and delegate: when delegating, give the full responsibility to the other person and do not micro-manage.
  3. Plan your daily goals by taking your needs as the starting point
  4. Do things that are good for you: take some ME time throughout the day, to think, empty your mind or to do nothing.
  5. Do one thing at a time: multi-tasking is the worst habit you can have with the goal of being productive. Re-doing stuff because it was not done correctly the first time will eat up your energy and productivity.
  6. Learn to say NO. This should be your number one resolution: saying no to things that are not your responsibility and/or are not necessary.
  7. Remember you are not successful because you are busy; you are successful because you are meeting your needs.
Edmée Schalkx

About the author:

Edmée Schalkx is an anthropologist, MSc and a professional trained Coach.

Edmée’s expertise is leadership development of leaders and teams. She supports entrepreneurs, managers and coaches develop the cultural competency as to become better leaders, team members and create effective teams. She has an excellent feel for working across cultures, in diverse groups as well as with individuals.

Edmée is a real globetrotter. Born in Caracas- Venezuela, Dutch parents, she lived and worked in several countries in more than one continent. She combines blended learning and coaching skills with cultural awareness, commands Spanish, Dutch and English, almost to the native level.

She is the author of Congratulations You Hired a Coach: six steps to achieve your goals and vision (2012).  What Michael J. Gelb, author of the international bestseller How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, had to say about Edmée’s book: “A wonderful guide for getting the most from the coaching experience.” www.ande.nl