13. Mar, 2017

You can do anything but not everything at the same time

You can do anything but not everything at the same time.

There are no set metrics to measure productivity. But, one thing is for sure — measuring a person’s productivity by the number of hours he/she spends at work is wrong. We live in a world where the whole premise of productivity is set wrong. We believe that more the number of hours spent at work more is the person’s productivity. Whereas, reality is exactly the opposite.

Let us take a look at the definition of productivity to help you explain this better. As per Oxford Dictionary productivity is the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.

The key words here are — rate of output per unit of input. So as per this definition if you are spending more number of hours doing the same amount of work, then you are actually less productive than others.

What is the root cause of why we are more and more unproductive?

May be we are at a stage where being productive has started to become counterproductive.

Stuck playing ‘The More Game’

Ask yourself how much time do you allocate to do and how much time do you allocate to think long term, to strategic thinking?

The core focus of management is to get people to produce more. And it’s turning out to be the biggest roadblock in their progress. A recent study from Mellon University shows that ‘the one factor that’s slowing advancement down in today’s time is our ability to focus and think. Why? Because our mind is too occupied in the more game.’

Our brain is under the avalanche of one task after another and then another. Amidst all this we don’t get time to think and focus. That’s why we are becoming productively dumb. After all, human brains are not machines.

Being productive or being busy?

The irony is that most of the professionals today jump straight away to their tasks, without planning. They work to justify that we are putting more number of hours in the office, by choice or because our peers or line manager is still there and we would feel embarrassed to leave the office! Does that mean they are productive? Well, no.

So rather than being busy, try to focus more on being productive. And, doing things which add to the progress of the team and business in the longer run. Putting more number of hours at work will not mean growth. Growth will come only when you will think, use your analytical mind and come up with ways to improve the processes.

Stop doing, start experiencing

The counter productivity disease is spreading like an epidemic. In the constant struggle to do more in the set number of hours that we have, we are killing our analytical thinking. This can lead to more production, but less innovation.

So, how to overcome this struggle? The answer would be to stop focusing on doing, but emphasize more on experiencing. It’s human psychology — when we focus on getting ten tasks completed in 8 hours we will do them only for the heck of it. Whereas if we focus more on the experience of doing those tasks, and the reason behind,  it will help us evolve. It will give us time to think on how to improve those processes.

It will give us the motivation to come up with something innovative. And that’s the real meaning of progress. Isn’t it?

Go for a walk, calm down, breath and think where are you heading this year. On a personal and professional level. If you want to be more productive , chuck those things down, see what actions you should be taking and what can you delegate by giving direction.

You can do anything but not everything at the same time.

All the best.

Nieves