Productive is one of those firmly squishy words that we like to use as adults. We like to be efficient, even lazy folks want their tasks to be over (efficient) as quickly as possible so that they can get back to the good stuff.
So you’d probably like to know what I mean by ‘firmly squishy’, right? These two words don’t tend to go together, being rather polar opposites. But we use lots of firmly squishy words in life – like go-to person, on the same page – notice that these are also buzz words. If the two people or the group using these words doesn’t make the effort to confirm base definition, there can be serious problems once the real work is started.
Back to productivity, we want to feel and be seen as productive people. In our personal life, we are only held accountable to our own definition of productivity for the most part – although children are held to their parent’s definition (is this definition the same when the parent applies it to their own activity as to the child’s?) and folks who are in a stable relationship are held to the standard or definition that their significant other uses. In our work life, we had better make certain that we understand the organization’s definition of productivity as well as our boss’, and our co-worker’s definitions.
Now you see where this firmly squishy thing comes in. Most likely the definitions have nuanced differences as you move from yours to those of the folks in your sphere. And these definitions can have significant effect on results of your effort to be seen as productive. What’s a person to do?
Well, make certain that you clarify the definition with the folks that matter most to your current task or effort of course. In advance. And make notes for yourself because once you get into the task itself, this will slip to some dark space in your memory banks. Start with your own definition of what productivity means to you so that your counterpart understands what you mean.
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