Last week a colleague sent a link to this article on Task-Based Thinking (TBT) vs Outcome-Based Thinking (OBT). Briefly, its point was that TBT makes you less productive than OBT because the former leaves you thinking, "What do I need to do today?" instead of, "What outcomes do I want to achieve today?"
I read it, as I have hundreds of similar "be-more-productive" blogs, and found myself getting really pissed off. Why the hell do I need to be more productive? What's wrong with doing what needs to be done and feeling like that's enough?
Sorry for being quiet on the blogging front lately. It's been a weird time, lurching from busyness to idleness in three or four day cycles.
Image: Len Jingco via Metservice
I'm working with some folk on a project around anxiety and depression, sharing the story of the two years I spent living with hostile neighbours. It's made me wonder if we are living in an age of anxiety, because I meet a lot of people who struggle with it, as well as depression, to varying degrees.
Since doing this work, I've come to realise I've actually struggled with both for most of my life. Anxiety as a kid about being different, or Mum being late to pick up me up, thinking she'd died in a car crash (no "Running late" texts in those days). Depression as a teenager about, well, everything. Anxiety in my early 20s about living independently and getting my support needs met. More depression in my mid to late 20s about feeling isolated and not fitting in.
This is the submission I made recently to the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into More Effective Social Services, in response to Chapter 11: Client choice and empowerment. Submissions closed in June.
I am Managing Director of Diversity New Zealand Ltd. I am recognised in New Zealand and overseas as a social and creative entrepreneur with fifteen years’ experience as a professional, award-winning comedian. My company works to develop capacity in individuals, teams, organisations and communities in the areas of leadership, diversity, complexity and change.
I use Individualised Funding (IF) to manage my support.
Today at a hui of one of my regular clients I was reminded of an important tension and interesting phenomenon in organisational dynamics. It's blogged about ad in finitum.
The tension is the value of meetings over that of individual productivity. The phenomenon is the power of "collective influence" (Alex Smith).
Meetings get a bad rap these days. Particularly online businesses favour virtual teams, online collaboration etc. Alex reckoned 90% of meeting content is irrelevant. People are busy. Time is precious.
Earlier this month I blogged about Obsessive Productivity Disorder, saying I preferred the notion of efficiency (time/effort) over productivity (inputs/outputs).
Sam, over at Rooster Tails, said he didn't like efficiency either. I had to agree with him that efficiency is a lot like productivity, in that it creates expectations of speed and volume, that are often used to tell people they aren't doing enough.
Did you know that NZ has a Productivity Commission? I didn't, until I Googled 'productivity' in order to write this post. According to the website, "The Government has asked the Commission to investigate how to make overall improvements in the design and operation of regulatory regimes in New Zealand."
Productivity is defined by Statistics New Zealand as "a measure of how efficiently production inputs are being used within the economy to produce output." It goes on to say that a key determinant of a nation's standard of living is an improvement in productivity.
But have we gone too far with productivity? Has it become an obsession? Do we conflate the meaning of productivity with stress, busyness and over-achievement?
Is it just me or are you noticing that everyone is incredibly busy at the moment? Or am I just projecting my own busyness on everyone else?
I hate feeling too busy.
I've been canceling meetings left, right and centre –because, it seems, other people are too busy to attend them – and I still feel too busy.