Self-Assessment – Productivity and Change

I recently discovered Eric Barker’s blog site, Barking Up The Wrong Tree, after one of his
posts was shared on Facebook. The title of the post that caught my interest was

6 Subtle Things Highly Productive People Do Every Day

My first question to myself was – “How productive am I, really?” I clicked on the post and started to read. Here is my personal assessment:

1. Well, I have learned how to manage my mood on a day-to-day basis. Today, I took the “long” route to work along the Potomac to watch the sunlight sparkle on the water and the summer breeze blow through the trees. A delightful detour that only took an extra 10 minutes. Did my mood shift? Absolutely!

2. Over the past year, I have moved myself away from morning emails. I peek if I am expecting an appointment confirmation but that’s about it. I don’t actually open the emails, I just look at the header on my home screen of my iPhone, which is much less engaging and less stressful. I read the paper version of the Washington Post instead.

3. Do I do too many things? Well, yeah. I am a bit of a workaholic. I have learned that my ideas don’t always have to be carried out by me, so I have a support team to help me do the tasks I don’t do well or that take me away from the focus of my core work. The next step is to stop checking emails during the day when I am working on worthy projects.

4. My distractions are emails and phone calls. As I mentioned above, I am backing off of the “Speedy Gonzales” method of answering emails and phone calls in order to stick with my priorities. Not easy, so I recommend you wean yourself off of these habits slowly.

5. I have personal systems and a schedule that works for me when, and only when, I remind myself that my systems are there for ME to use, not ignore. Superwoman does not exist and a few deep breathes help me to stay with the plan.

6. Defining one’s goals the night before is a great idea. I like to define my week and month and review the next day before I leave the office and shift into my not-at-work persona. That is tough for me because Superwoman did not have a phone booth like Superman so I can’t change in private. Often I have trouble shifting when I first arrive home. One reason is that I love my work and the other is that when greeted by family (humans and pets), I don’t always have transition time.

My request for you is to consider the points in this article and take stock of your work/life balance, productivity and level of self-satisfaction. What works for you and what are you willing to change?