Man­ag­ing One­self

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page -

‘Pro­duc­tiv­ity’ means dif­fer­ent things in dif­fer­ent set­tings. One per­son might spend an hour ex­er­cis­ing in the morn­ing be­fore drop­ping the kids at school and con­sider the day a suc­cess. Another might opt to use that time locked in her of­fice, re­turn­ing emails and call­ing a few clients, and feel equally ac­com­plished.

A re­search sci­en­tist or artist may see pro­duc­tiv­ity in failed ex­per­i­ments or dis­carded can­vases since each mis­take, they hope, gets them closer to dis­cov­ery, while an en­gi­neer’s mea­sure of pro­duc­tiv­ity might fo­cus on mak­ing an assem­bly line ever faster. A pro­duc­tive week­end might in­volve walk­ing through the park with your kids, while a pro­duc­tive work­day in­volves rush­ing them to day care and get­ting to the of­fice as early as you can.

Pro­duc­tiv­ity is the name we give our at­tempts to fig­ure out the best uses of our energy, in­tel­lect and time as we try to seize the most mean­ing­ful re­wards with the least ef­fort.… It’s not sim­ply a prod­uct of spend­ing longer hours at your desk or mak­ing big­ger sac­ri­fices.

Rather, pro­duc­tiv­ity is about mak­ing cer­tain choices in cer­tain ways. The way we choose to see our­selves and frame daily de­ci­sions; the sto­ries we tell our­selves, and the easy goals we ig­nore; the sense of com­mu­nity we build among team­mates; the cre­ative cul­tures we es­tab­lish as lead­ers: these are the things that sep­a­rate the merely busy from the gen­uinely pro­duc­tive.

From “Smarter, Faster, Bet­ter: The Se­crets of Be­ing Pro­duc­tive in Life and Busi­ness”

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