This month’s theme for HR West Magazine is the Art of Productivity, a subject that resonates with me as I enter my 7th week at the helm of the NCHRA. My goal of ensuring value for our members and of “hitting the ground running” has got me asking three questions, “Where does the time go? Am I focusing on the right things? Am I making the right choices today?” Because to me, productivity starts with saving time, focusing it and using it as effectively as possible.
In a very real way, productivity is about saving time. Saved time benefits an employer, lowering overhead costs and satisfying clients quicker. But it also benefits employees, as effective use of time (productivity) might just allow for a distraction-less, worry-free lunch hour, or who knows, perhaps a timely day’s end departure to be with your loved ones in a mindful way. Time, they say, is the one thing they’re just not making more of so we should all be open to ideas, technologies and tools that can help us be more productive. With the right help we can tip the time scale in our favor in a way that best serves us, whether that’s getting more done or getting more done faster — allowing us discretionary time.
Productivity is, in my opinion, a matter of focus as well. I have long observed co-workers that spend their work days focused on the challenges of their private life, only to arrive at home to worry about their unfocused work life. The point here is that we should focus on what’s in front of us as it’s what we have a chance to affect at that moment. I have found working with this focus leaves me feeling clear headed when I’m done for the day because like a professional athlete, I have “left it all on the field.”
Finally, in my experience, productivity has a great deal to do with our choices. The right choice today makes next week, next month and perhaps even next year, more productive, while the wrong choice has the opposite effect. And that choice often includes choosing the right tool. Ask any weekend handyman and they’ll certainly tell you, choosing the right tool makes you more productive and the job a whole lot easier.
So let’s all take the time to read this month’s HR West Magazine with focus, and learn how we can be better at utilizing our time, get more of what we want from each day, and be more…well, productive.