Sometimes I find myself sitting at my desk with no particular objective in mind. It is what I call, Seat Time O'Rama. You know. It is when you are just kinda hanging out because you feel you should be working, but you are not really getting anything done.
When I catch myself, I stop, try to figure out what I need in the moment and change course, so that I am not wasting more time. Sometimes what I really need to do is eat, exercise, read, call a friend or family member, take a nap, do housework, take care of finances, make appts or, yes, do another business related task.
Being productive isn't always about doing work.
This past weekend my daughter was reading a Greek myth about Hercules. When she finished the reading, I asked her what she was responsible for doing with it. She told me that she was going to have a quiz on his twelve labors. Listen in on part of our conversation:
Me: Did you finish your assignment?
Me: Do you know the 12 labors?
Me: So, you did not do the assignment.
G: Yes, I did. I finished the reading.
And the conversation continued…
When Working is Not Productive
Working without an objective in mind is often just wasted time.
When I receive inquiries about my coaching services or general questions about ADD, in most cases the concern is about some aspect of productivity.
When people come to me with concerns about a career related concern, they often say that they want to be more productive in order to earn more money or perform better on the job. For most people, the desire to have more money is really about having a greater sense of security, a more balanced life and less stress.
However, in an effort to reach these ultimate goals (e.g. make more or perform better ), many of us forget that we can create some of what we really want (e.g. more balance, more security, less stress) right now. Instead, we just read the story because that was what we were told to do. Alternatively, we sit in our seat doing work, because, well, we should be working.
The Need to Strategize
If we strategize, rather than just working, often we can be much more productive. Productive, as defined in the America Heritage dictionary:
Productive adj.yielding favorable or useful results; constructive.
With this definition in mind, here some alternatives to "just working."
- Have an objective and time frame in mind when you set out to work.
- If you are stuck, do something else. The solution may come to you later.
- Tired or hungry? Eat. Take a nap, if you can. It is hard to think clearly when you are tired or hungry.
- Feeling fidgeting, get up and go for a walk.
- Worrying about a matter that is weighing on your mind? Take care of it, if you can. Then you can move on to what you want to do, without the distraction.
- Need support to work through a concern? Call someone.
- Feeling foggy, but not really tiered? Work on an easier task.
- Got that, "I'm going to bust out of my skin feeling"? Go for or a run or a fast walk.
Being productive is not about just working. It is about knowing what you need at any given moment. So that when you do work, you can work at your best.
What would help you to be productive today?
Want Help Being More Productive?
The ADDED Perspective Coaching program is available to help you. Do you know how to work productively? Are you feeling like you are working, but not accomplishing what you want? Do you not have time for anything else in your life because work takes up so much of your time? Check out details of the support available here.
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