WOW Word-Of-the-Week #304: Productivity

May 24, 2010 by  

Productivity – abundance or richness in output.

Would you say that you are extremely productive, mostly productive, or somewhat productive when it comes to your work? How often do you feel creative? Can you easily tap into your creativity?

Ultimate Positive Distractor

Ultimate Positive Distractor

Following up from my WOW two weeks ago on Robert Masello’s article for the Parade Magazine titled, “Make Happiness Happen” did you seek out any “positive distractors?”

Tal Ben-Shahar the author of “Happier” says, “We’ve all been trained to maximize every minute of our day. But people who are able to focus on just one thing – even for one or two hours a day – are not only happier at their work; they’re also more productive and creative. Less can be more.”

Robert Masello writes, “Studies done at the University of Utah reveal that drivers who talk on their cell phones – hands-free or not – are as impaired as if they were driving drunk. Truckers who text are 23 times more likely to have an accident or narrowly miss causing one. Our minds, it turns out, can’t be in two places at one time any more than our bodies can.”

I must say that my productivity goes up after my morning coffee and my walk. I use that quiet time to plan my day and collect my thoughts. That is a very “positive distractor” for me!

This week focus on your productivity.  Are you constantly juggling more than one thing at a time? Do you find it difficult to complete all those tasks? Knowing that behavior is changeable, how would it feel to focus on just one thing? How would it feel to leave your cell phone turned off for two hours or more?

Reader Responses

“I just knocked out a personal letter to the Honorable Beverly Perdue, the new Governor of North Carolina. I politely took the drivers in her great state to task for their so-called ‘multi-tasking skills’ (cellpones and texting)! I laid out a suggested plan for Governor Perdue to do a new round of highway safety promotions and told her she could sell it to the public!!! Why cover this with you? I overlooked a critical factor; “…our minds cannot be in two places at the same time.” Thanks for sharing, and in this case – caring. Great as always.” PC in Tennessee

“So true.  Love the picture.” – Elaine

“When Kristen calls from work to let me know how much she has to do and how little time she has to do it in, I remind her to “Take one thing at a time, and it will all get done. Don’t try to do everything at once because it won’t get completed the right way. And the reward for that is: Then you get to do it all again! My eight-year-old daughter, Erin Grace, usually tries to get her math homework done as quickly as she can after school so that she can play with her friends there. Invariably, there are careless mistakes in her assignments. When I correct them, I gently remind her not to rush through her work. Of course, she insists that she was not rushing. I also tell her the same thing I tell my wife: Take your time. It will all get done. Hey, I have learned that the hard way myself. In the editing position I hold, there are a lot of things that cross my desk – in some cases all at once – and I prioritize the most important assignments and work on those first. I take them one at a time until they are done – CORRECTLY! This focus, of taking things one at a time, is extended to all parts of my life. Susan, I can multitask with the best of them. But if things are not done correctly, I just have to do it again. That is a big waste of time. And not just my time. Now, I do admit that I like my morning coffee on the drive into work. I try to take special care not to sip or take gulps while driving. I wait until I get to a red light and take my sips. But I do know that I have to watch out for the other guy and stay alert and not concentrate on my coffee. My productivity in all aspects of my life is good. And I try to work routines around both home and work so that my productivity is positive. But if we can remember to take one thing at a time, we will all be better off in ALL aspects of our lives. Great word, Susan. Take care.” Joe”