Examining Productivity

Do you wish you were more productive?


Are you caught in the trap of being extremely busy but you still don’t feel productive?



Are you ‘productive’ yet you don’t reach your goals?

Read the statements below and consider which ones you agree with.

For each statement grade it out of 5.

5  = I strongly agree with the statement

3 = I moderately agree with the statement (There is some truth in it)

1 = On occasion I may believe this but as a rule no.

0 =  I do not agree with the statement at all.



  1. If I am busy I am productive
  2. The more hours I spend working the more productive I am
  3. The more productive I am the more money I will make
  4. The more productive I am the greater the chance to reach my goals.
  5. To increase my productivity I cannot waste time doing nothing

Now total your score.



Quick analysis of your score out of a possible 25 points

25 – You may be laboring in vain quite a bit. You value busyness a lot. Perhaps it’s time for you to slow down and become more strategic and experience more rest. You would do well to look at working smarter and less hard.

15 – 25 – You are hardworking but you are also a realist who has experienced that working hard does not automatically reap the rewards you want. You may find resting difficult. You perhaps sense you could enjoy a better work life balance.

O – 15 – You are strategic in your thinking. You plan ahead, set life goals and live intentionally towards them. Your ability to plan gives you a sense of control and life balance. You value friendships, relationships and downtime over completing many tasks.

let’s examine what lies behind these statements


Myth #1

If I am busy I am productive

For some reason the more tasks we have on our ‘to do’ list, (whether our list is on paper or in our head) the more busy we feel, therefore the more productive we feel. Most of us just love the feeling of crossing things off our list. Or being able to list a big number of things we have done. Here’s a question to challenge that belief: – is productivity about completing many tasks or fewer tasks really well?


Myth #2

The more hours I spend working the more productive I am

Similar to number 1 this is a typical mindset. Many corporates have a culture where working evenings and weekends is considered ‘normal’. Many small business owners allow their working day to have no defined start or end, allowing work to drift into any time of day or night.

Apparently, the average person spends around 45 hours per week on their work. By work I mean their actual salaried job. Research shows they do not feel productive for 17 hours of that. In other words, only 3 out of 5 days feels productive. When I was managing a dept., I noticed sometimes new recruits used to stay behind late. I use d to tell them, that they would not get extra brownie points for that. Here’s what I used to ask. Why can you not do your job within reasonable working hours? Working smarter is better than working harder and longer. Some of the world’s most productive and successful people are millionaires who work no more than 20 hours a week.


Myth #3

The more productive I am the more money I will make

This one is applicable for organisations and small business owners. The fact is productivity does not necessarily mean more profit. You can be producing a lot of work, but no one is buying it or paying for it. As an organisation you can be working smart and efficient and productivity can be very high but this does not necessarily translate into more money. For those of you, who can remember, consider Betamax video recorders, the Sinclair C5 or Concorde. These are well known inventions that did not endure long term success. For organsiations, where you put your effort must be strategic if you want these efforts to make you more money. The same applies if you are working for someone, working harder and producing more may well not get you that pay rise!


Myth #4

The more productive I am the greater the chance in me meeting my goal.

In a similar way to the above myth, working harder does not mean you will reach your goal. For example, imagine your goal was to lose weight. Going for extra walks or joining the gym is definitely a good idea and healthy but unless you change diet accordingly you could well not reach your goal. Being super productive does not necessarily mean you reach the goals you want to reach. It’s obviously about being strategic and putting in effort which will get you to where you want to go.


Myth #5

To increase my productivity I cannot waste time doing nothing

Hmm, well there is some wisdom is this one of course. We all know if we sit around doing nothing, nothing will get done. However, more typical than this problem I find people who cannot sit and do nothing and rest. The very idea of sitting still and resting, as a regular lifestyle rather than just the couple of weeks a year of holiday time, fills some people with absolute dread. Here are some facts to consider. Studies have shown time and time again that the age old tradition of a ‘Sabbath’, having one day a week to rest, overall increases productivity in any 7 day period of time.  Just imagine, one whole day to REST, every week, enables you to do more. Also, studies show that time spent in stillness and thinking or daydreaming if you like, helps us in all kinds of other ways. Free time, time with no responsibilities or commitments, time that can be spent in quiet contemplation and reflection is vital for good emotional health. Studies show that when we are calm and feel in control, we are happier and more productive.


So just what could you achieve if you got less busy and more productive?

Coaching helps you set strategic life and work goals and manage your time setting your healthy priorities’ for your life!