How Productive Are You Really?

As a career coach, I spend a lot of time working with people on their productivity. You might not expect that, but being productive is actually an important skill - both inside the workplace and out. When people tell me they have big goals—or even small ones—and they just can’t seem to make progress on them, I know it’s time to evaluate their productivity practices. Nine times out of ten, people get stuck because they’re not using their time, energy and other resources effectively. And that’s what productivity is all about. Whether you’re searching for a new job or working to get that big promotion, you can’t afford to waste your resources. Regardless of your personal or professional situation, it’s always a good idea to hone your productivity skills.

Why Does Productivity Matter?

Think about a time in your life when everything just clicked—when you were accomplishing amazing things with minimal effort, and yet you weren’t buried beneath the stress of an overwhelming to-do list. You were in control and moving quickly toward your goals. Maybe you’ve never felt this way in your life. Or maybe you’ve only experienced this in occasional bursts. But, by implementing a few simple productivity strategies, you really can create a life like this now and in the future. When you master productivity, you naturally experience less stress. You can rely on the systems and processes you’ve put in place, so you know you won’t forget important information or miss important events. You won’t forget that great idea you had in the middle of the night. Things won’t fall through the cracks. You can concentrate on just getting things done instead of worrying. When you’re a truly productive part of your workplace, you contribute on a level that brings real value to the organization. Productive professionals experience a great sense of job security, because they know their importance to the success of the team. Outside of work, people who understand productivity even have better relationships. After all, can you imagine spending time with family and friends without worrying about your growing to-do list or all the errands you should be running? Instead, you’re simply concentrating on having a good time because you know you’re already on top of everything else.

How Productive Are You?

Now that you think about what it’s like to be truly productive, let me ask you: How would you rank your current productivity on a scale of one to ten? Imagine one is an unbelievably unproductive day and ten is a perfectly productive one. Where do most of your days fall? If you’re somewhere between five and seven, congratulations—you’re normal. This is the range that most of my clients typically fall into before they implement my strategies and recommendations. Of course, once they have the tools they need, they easily land in the nine to ten range.

What Kills Your Productivity?

If you’re not experiencing the level of productivity you want, it’s important to figure out what’s causing your problems. For most people, the common productivity killers are perfectionism and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Both of these lead to procrastination either because you’re afraid of getting started or you simply don’t know where to start. Lack of focus may also be harming your productivity. If you have a hard time concentrating or if you’re trying to do too many things at once, you’ll inevitably fall below your ideal productivity range. Are you guilty of these things? Scratch that. No guilt. We all fall victim to these productivity obstacles now and again. If you recognize a few as your own productivity killers, don’t beat yourself up. The good news is there are plenty of strategies out there to help you. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!