What does being productive mean to you? We have come to notice that each person has their own meaning and interpretation of the world, so what does it mean to be productive?
Here is what Dictionary.com has to say:
Pro·duc·tive prəˈdʌktɪv Spelled [pruh-duhk-tiv]
1. having the power of producing; generative; creative: a productive effort.
2. producing readily or abundantly; fertile: a productive vineyard.
3. causing; bringing about (usually fol. by of ): conditions productive of crime and sin.
4. Economics . producing or tending to produce goods and services having exchange value.
5. Grammar . (of derivational affixes or patterns) readily used in forming new words, as the suffix -ness.
6. (in language learning) of or pertaining to the language skills of speaking and writing (opposed to receptive).
Now what does that mean? Of course, my interpretation will be different, but I’m going to attempt to go at it from more than one angle.
Productive could mean having a high level of output. Churning out a lot of stuff, be it e-mails, notices, articles, blog posts, etc. Just a lot of whatever it is that you’re doing. So if you are a writer, you will write a whole crapload of short articles that touch on a single subject briefly. Or if you’re a veterinarian, you’ll try to process as many sick (or healthy, if it’s a check-up) animals as you can in your working hours.
Productive could also mean getting things done properly the first time. Doing your best to provide the best possible output you can in an appropriate amount of time. So an example of this would be if you are writing up a report for work, putting enough effort in so that it isn’t sent back multiple times for editing. Or if you are a chef at a restaurant, putting the effort in to ensure that each order is cooked as requested to avoid dishes being sent back.
But to me, personally of course, productivity means spending the majority of your time doing things that are important to you. Doing tons of busy work to fill time just seems like a way to kill time. Why do that, when I can spend my time doing things of real importance?
Making sure that any important things are taken care of is certainly important, but do you have to do it all? The short answer is probably no. There is always someone who is willing, and probably able, to do the busy work for you. So hand off the simple things, and focus on what’s really important.
There is a common saying that I see pop up just about every productivity website that I visit, the Pareto Principle, which says basically that 80% of your income/output/rewards come from 20% (the top 20%) of your input/efforts. So if you focus more of your time on the top 20% of your input, you will see greater results. This can apply to just about everything in life.
The simple matter is: the more time you spend on things that are important, the better results you will yield from them. Therefore, the more time you spend writing productive and informative posts and articles, the better the results you will receive from them. Alternatively, the more time and effort you put into your relationship (either with your friends, spouse, coworkers, or child) the better results you will see and be able to benefit from in that relationship.
Spending your time productively, in this scenario, would relate directly to the quality of work and time spent as opposed to the quantity. When you go about your daily life, consider the impact that your work and efforts in even the smallest things will have on those around you. Consider that even the smallest thing you do will have an impact, then strive to create the biggest positive impact you can.
Peace and serenity,
Also, I am featured over at Green ABC's today for a guest post on eating locally! Check it out!