Is Your Productivity At Odds With The Life You Are Producing?

Our Cross Coaching™ event June 10, 2015 – with 16 members engaged in the debate – strived to uncover what productivity really means. How do you manage it? Does it manage, or drive, you? Does it help you discover your self or  ‘cover’ your self? What if you are over-productive and too focused on goals? Do you need to recover your self?

Greg inspired this topic, with a comment he made at a previous event. So, Greg began. He’s a deep mine of great content formed from the layers of experience he’s had piled upon him. Once again, he got to the point. After spending decades working – producing – for others; doing not being, as he put it, he recently chose to work for himself. He’s keen to find ways to stay as self-aware as he has become over the years, now that he doesn’t fit into an employers model. This time he aims to avoid having a productive career at odds with his self-realizations and the life he now wants. How do other Cross Coaching™ members approach this? Greg asked.

Trishia shared her daughters success story; one out of sync’ with the model Trishia got caught up in. Her daughter spent only 9 months in a corporate career, dutifully in tempo with the productivity, revenue-producing, demands of the leaders orchestrating the company before honoring the realizations her ‘self’ was telling her. She quit and works for her ‘self’ now. She produces at her own level of motivation, within a model of her own design and is happier and more productive for making that choice so early in her life.

Kelly is a high performer but her son is the priority. Work will always be there. Her kid won’t! She can make her day productive in a balanced way, but measure it in intangible ways too, while helping ‘produce’ a son that matters in the world by the increased ‘productive’ influence she has on him when she does spend time with him.

Productivity, or performance, can be measured and encased with motivational maxims about potential without interference leading to great performance, as Eric shared, but do systems and structure – designed to support models similar to the one’s Greg  spent decades encased in – produce an improved individual or just an improved bottom line?

Yes, results ought to be measureable. We live in a performance-based society, but we still forget to look within. Even if we do look within to gain clarity, we often forget to make that ‘check within’ a habit so we can remain true to why we chose to be encased in our employer’s model, or apply ourselves to building our own model, in the first place. Striving to be productive is admirable, if we do so consciously and don’t get caught up (stress, anyone?) in the milieu of to-do lists, sales targets, and deadlines too exhausted to think about why we are even doing this and lose our balance, connection with family, community, or ourselves

Kathy experienced this. She had a million goals she was striving for – with appropriately lengthy to-do lists – but stopped long enough, one day, to realize she was in fact being less productive by reaching for them all.

I’m an avid promoter of living life in balance. I do things over time, not in overtime! I took six months off in 1984 to literally travel around the world. Prior to leaving Atlanta, I was nervous about re-gaining the work and social rhythm upon my return, even though my boss said he’d have a job for me whenever I got back. Long story, but it all worked out. Big lesson! Honor your own inner desires and rhythm of productivity and fit them into the demands of your job or business. Kathy did. She took time to incorporate meditation, reading, yoga and a gratitude journal. She is now more content and more productive.

Ana-Maria reminded us that results are always the end goal; because – yes –  a goal is measured by results! Yet, there’s power in retaining a sense of personal power in how you reach them.

An engineer, entrepreneur, athlete and artist all measure results and how they feel about what they accomplished differently. Guy, represents a web business, but at night he paints. He brought an example of his work too. Stunning amounts of detail. Gallery worthy, indeed!

Guy needs the structure that his web-developing team provides, then at night determines his own structure and level of productivity by focusing on one area of the large canvas and completing that – no matter how much time his self-absorbing art absorbs! He realized he has to learn not to let the no time-limit habits of painting overflow into his work, however. Spending hours artfully constructing an email isn’t as productive as putting the same amount of time toward painting a canvas!

Work ethic is good, but is the way you work ethical? Does it serve you, the company, or your business well? Are you monitoring, or measuring yourself so that your level of productivity adheres to your personal standards, matters in the market and satisfies the client and company needs too?

Gabe declared he was not happy unless he was productive. His love for the IT business, his  Twitter coaching business and his daughters’ Kids Are Heroes project keep Gabe productive. Yet, if one or more of those three enterprises don’t produce the results he wants, does that level of contentedness change? We left that one to be pondered upon later.

How many of you connect your degree of self-satisfaction to a job or enterprise and how successful it is? I feel good when business is good! Who wouldn’t? But, on a deeper level, I believe it’s important to get that ‘I feel good’ kick from a personal decision to feel that way no matter how good, or bad, productive or unproductive your day is!

In response to Greg’s question about how other ‘cast’ members retain a connection with their own ‘script’ and manage the production called their life, while still securing a satisfying level of productivity in their work, the consensus was a balance of approaches works.

Our Health Coach, Peg, knows she’s more productive when operating from a level of personal balance.

Bob is all about producing in accordance with his own high standards, not striving to produce at standards others dictate. They are unlikely to be any higher than his own anyway!

Nancy, has a photography business that fills her calendar and her soul.

Our Wedding Planner member, Kim, brings us back to the other side of how people interpret productivity differently. She bases it on meeting the daily needs to market, ship and fulfill orders! She separates business and pleasure in order to be ‘productive’ in both.

So, another productive Cross Coaching™ event! The goal is always to develop business by developing others via each members’ willingness to teach what they know, or learn what they don’t  – across the table! (Hence the name Cross Coaching™). We also strive to develop ideas around each event’s topic to stimulate ‘committed conversation’ that permits the ability to quickly connect with each other to produce friendships, business and influence the community.

Productivity, like success, should be gauged internally by each individual, whether she works for someone or for herself. We all tend to be too focused on short term levels of production and ‘to do’ lists instead of the more balanced low-stress approach of knowing where we are heading. Toward which horizon. And how that impacts who we meet on our way toward that horizon.

We must engage with each other as we share our journeys – aware or not of how our interaction with each other plays a role for each other – knowing that by being present and via fully engaged ‘committed conversation’ we are productive. How many times do you look back and realize how critical your presence was in the life of another and theirs in yours? How do you measure that? Not by applying known productivity tools, but perhaps by embracing that somehow – on your way to your particular horizon, that time was productive – measurable, or not!

This century must surely produce better ways to weigh how productive we are. Every past century has! Perhaps engaging with each other again – as we do in Cross Coaching™, will stimulate enough minds to produce a gap that shrinks between people, instead of a gap that our reliance on email, text, even blogs, widens.

Don’t measure your social, or business, productivity on how many connections you have, or how effective your ‘networking’ efforts are, but on how many people you can create a ‘committed conversation’ with. Risk measuring productivity differently. Seek to keep it in it’s place, so that you can keep your place in it. Balance again. Now that’s productive!

Peter Gibson, Realtor, Speaker, Author, Creator of Cross Coaching™



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