I recently crossed paths with a colleague at a networking session. The discussion went like this.
Me: “How have you been?”
Colleague: “Busy and I hope it is productive.”
Me: “I’m curious, could you share how you measure that?”
Colleague: “Hah, I wish I knew!”
Ten years ago, this conversation would have continued to award busy as a badge of achievement. Today, however busy is too frequently a sign of overwork. Overwork precedes the burnout cycle according to Matt Plummer, who shares how he and colleagues address burnout and productivity.
Source: Harvard Business Review, December 11, 2017.
Most people have no idea whether they’re really being productive or not, says Plummer. His efforts discovered what enables people to scale back on the hours they put in, while actually improving their performance:
- Be strategic
- Define a metric
- Focus on one thing at a time
- Change your behavior
- Find someone to hold you accountable