Are You Productive?

October 16, 2021

How do you define productivity? For example, if I asked you if you’ve had a productive week, what criteria would you use?

Defining productivity is tricky. Productivity content has an idea that the goal is to get as much work done as possible.

Jade Bowler described productivity as “spending time well.”

This idea aligns very well with how I view productivity.

It’s not about getting more work done. Work is one part of the picture.

  • Was I present with my daughter when we were spending time together?
  • Did I choose to focus on the best things at work?
  • Did I give myself enough margin around activities this week, so I felt calm?

What is the best use of my time right now?

The answer is usually not “work more.”

If It’s 4 pm and I know I’ll be busy with my daughter that evening, the best use of my time might be to take a nap or a relaxing bath. That way, I’m recharged and not stressed out when I see Piper.

If it’s 8 am on a workday, and I know I have some mentally taxing projects ahead of me, it’s best to get started. What can do before my 9:15 morning standup? A walk might be an excellent use of my time, but I’ll leverage my morning brain to solve challenging problems. I can go for a walk later when I need an energy boost.


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Written by Andrew Shell, a web developer from Madison, WI.