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You're Not Productive, Unless You're Producing

I'm sure you've heard productivity is a primary key to success. But what does productivity really mean? Productivity is the tangible result of your work. It's not just about completing tasks or meeting deadlines, it's about the outputs. The goal of being productive should be to create outputs that will move you towards your goals, instead of just accomplishing activities which are routine and have little value in of themselves. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to look at your productivity by focusing on outputs rather than activities, so you can start producing more meaningful results for yourself!

Now, let's focus on productivity itself. First things first: what is it? Productivity means producing something of value to you or someone else. This can be anything from writing a book, finishing your taxes on time, all the way down to opening up an email and sending out some information to a co-worker or business partner. There are many different ways to be productive. Set schedules, get up early, put in the extra mile at work - but are you spending your time on activities or outputs?

What is an activity?

An activity is defined as a task we complete, much like a to-do list item. It takes up time and mental energy but doesn't actually move us towards our goals. Activities and outputs can be very easily confused, they may even overlap at times. A great way to analyze your production is ask yourself if a result can be associated with the task completed and the time spent.

What is an output?

Outputs are the tangible results of productivity. They contain real value and progress us towards our goals. Outputs can be reports, presentations, or articles written - anything we can tangibly associate to our work. In order for someone to be productive they need to focus on producing these valuable results by being aware of their daily schedules and tasks.

Why does it matter?

Managing your outputs and results directly correlates to time expended. As we all know, time is non-replenishable resource. Taking a binary approach to evaluating if a meeting or task is worth doing can be very helpful. Meaning, does this meeting or task move me closer to my primary goals? If not, don't proceed with that meeting or task. If the answer is yes, move forward, achieve a trackable, results based output and move forward.

As we mentioned before, outputs can be associated with results. This is key in differentiating between activities and outputs, is there a tangible or trackable result stemming from the task completed? Contrast these results against your primary goals, if efforts of your work produce tangible results pushing towards your goals, you are successfully focusing on outputs.

Productivity is the result of all your work. Looking at our productivity through time (past, present, future) can help improve it! You aren't productive unless you're producing - focus on the outputs and make sure it's moving you forward.

Author: CCG Coaching Team

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