I’ve been reading (and seeing) a lot of articles lately about productivity: How to be more productive, productivity killers, how managers can be more productive, how to help your employees to be more productive, and so on. Each article is full of really good tips on how to manage your day. Each article is written from the perspective of the author*. Obvious, I know. But they’re writing tips that are based on their own work, schedule, etc. And if there’s anything I’ve learned as a PM at various companies working with several personality types, it’s that there is no single solution for anything. What one person finds helpful, the next finds annoying. How we work is personal, and it should be.
It’s easy to follow some of the helpful guidelines that are out there, but you’ll never achieve true productivity if you aren’t motivated to do a great job. It’s simple: if you are motivated by an outcome or even a feeling that work gives you, you’ll find ways to be more productive, and it return, successful. When you’re excited about work, you’re willing to take more on. You want to work, because something about it excites you.
What does that mean if you’re in a job where you feel productive enough but not excited? It could mean that you should find something new. But before you jump ship, take the time to examine what makes you happy. Ask yourself some questions: Out of all of your tasks, what are the things that you really enjoy? What is it about those things that you enjoy? Why do you like them? Are there ideas, practices, or approaches that could cross-over to the tasks you don’t love as much? From there, take the time to think about ways to make the mundane tasks exciting, and maybe—JUST MAYBE—you’ll find a newfound love for them. Sometimes all we need to do is mix things up to rekindle the love we once had for something—even work.
So go on, read the next “productivity” article you see. Implement some new ideas. I’m pretty sure that the tips in those articles will help you! But be sure to think about what motivates you, and do what you love.
* I might be one of those authors.