How do you get your greatest sense of accomplishment? What’s your focus? Producing or productivity. There is a difference, and we must give ourselves credit for everything.
Producing: to bring into existence by intellectual or creative ability.
Productivity: the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, or bring forth goods and services.
Recently I’ve had to grapple with my definition of productivity. Having spent many years in Corporate America, my vision of productivity was exhaustingly unending physical In and Out boxes.
Frequently, I judged my productivity based on how many items were transferred from my In Box to my Out Box daily. Or how many e-mails I worked my way through, how many reports were created and distributed, etc. You get the drift . . . my vision of productivity was physically moving or creating something.
Now that I’m a solopreneur and my business is about helping others create change in their worlds, my physical In and Out boxes are mainly non-existent. Sure, some are productivity that goes on in my world like processing e-mails, creating webinars, writing articles and blog posts, etc. However, a substantial portion of what I do is meet with clients, engage with educational opportunities, marketing, networking, etc. There are no In and Out boxes for these efforts, but they take substantial time.
To help manage expectations, I looked at a typical week, intending to shift my productivity perspective. Here are some examples of what I found:
- Client meetings (12 hours): Productivity
- Creating client invoices (1 hour): Productivity
- Creating blogs/newsletters (3 hours): Producing
- Consuming educational webinars/podcasts (5 hours): Producing
- Business-related reading (3.5 hours): Producing
As you can see, the hours spent producing and the hours spent on actual productivity are very similar. Until now, I wasn’t giving myself credit for the producing hours as there was no In and Out box, but they are equally as important.
What can you do to change your perspective on your productivity?
Cindy Jobs, PCAC, ACC
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