Productivity in the Workplace (and at home): Conclusion
I was recently interviewed by the Juice on ways that I stay productive at work. I thought that I would write a short series on my particular methods of productivity. This is more of a description of how my system works, there will be very little technology mentioned. If there is interest, I could write a followup for the specific techniques that I use, however, I suspect that such information would be less useful to others than the general overview that follows in this series.
[flickr]photo:708857272(small)[/flickr]And people said, Let there be differences in the systems to divide the people; and let them be for priorities, and for urgency, and for energy, and forever confusing.
And let them be for bright and shiny and distract the people from using the systems themselves, and for coworkers, and for family members, and friends.
And let them be for to light the way to productivity, to give light to the people: and it was do.There are numerous productivity systems. They are described in different ways, they are based on different principles, and people can argue for decades over the relative merits of each.They are also all the same.
Every single productivity system out there works by making people focus on what they’re doing and take a proactive approach to managing their resources. They work by making things a bit simpler and a bit more straightforward. They work by giving people a chance to take control of their lives.
There are two important things to keep in mind.
- Start. If you never start, you will never reap the benefits. If wait for the “perfect” time, or try to-do it in the “optimal” way, you will be nonproductive until you actually start.
- Don’t spend too much time tweaking the system. The more time time you spend adjusting the system, the less time you are spending using the system. I suggest making a repeating reminder (every 6 months works for me) to review the system, and make the necessary adjustments to tune it.
The way I implement GTD is flawed. I know this.
- I spend too much time worrying about work piling up in my automated in-boxes (email and RSS) and check email MUCH too often.
- I’m not always good about inputting ideas into my system, so I carry too much in my brain.
- I over-commit each week, so I am always sliding work out into the future.
- I’m not always good about doing a COMPLETE weekly review
- When I get sick, the entire system falls apart because I don’t have the energy to maintain it.
That said, I am significantly more productive than I ever was in the past. I am also significantly more productive and responsive than most people in my company. So, from a measurement perspective, I am winning.
However, I have not won.
Like life’s ultimate purpose is the journey, not the destination, a productivity system is only effective when it is actively used. It’s not a thing that you can have, it is a thing that you do.
- Any questions?