Productivity Is Always Personal

Published Thursday, March 18, 2010 11:15 AM


At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.  - Lao Tzu

No matter where you work - in the biggest corporation or at the kitchen table you call your home office - productivity is vital to your business success.

 But, what exactly is productivity?

It is commonly defined as the quality of being productive. Digging a bit deeper, we find that the word productive has multiple meanings, including:

  • Capable of producing abundantly
  • Yielding positive results
  • Marked by great fruitfulness

However you define it, productivity is essentially personal. This clearly holds for the business soloists among us. But, it is just as true for team players since a group's productivity rises and falls with the productivity of its individual members.

Given its personal nature, it makes sense that a little self-awareness goes a long way when it comes to optimizing our productivity. We need to be aware of what keeps us from being efficient and effective on the job. Or, to put it another way, we need to identify our workplace energy drains.

Energy drains are all around. They are the people, conditions and activities that tend to distract and deplete us. Some of the more recognizable workplace energy-sappers are:

  • Difficult, overbearing or annoying co-workers or collaborators
  • Workspace clutter and disorganization
  • Email/IM/chat
  • Noise pollution and recycled air
  • Unproductive meetings
  • Repetitive tasks
  • Bosses who do not delegate well
  • Outdated and poorly maintained equipment

With this list in mind, you can take an energy inventory at work. Keeping a physical log for a few weeks, note any sources of depletion you identify and how they affect your day-to-day productivity. If you take steps to counter or cure the energy drain, note them down, too. Even if they prove to be missteps, they are valuable reference points.

Productivity is always personal. By exercising some self-awareness at work, you can identify your energy drains. This is an important first step towards optimizing your productivity in - and beyond - the workplace.

We invite you to share your thoughts on personal productivity and energy drains with us here or via the Beyond Folders Community's Twitter and Facebook pages. For more productivity tips and tools, visit our blog, Beyond Folders.



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# Motivation to lose weight said on Sunday, April 08, 2012 5:23 AM

vs1yyU Really enjoyed this blog.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

# Fayik said on Monday, August 13, 2012 2:55 AM

I relaly wish there were more articles like this on the web.

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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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