Productivity looks different now than it did pre-pandemic. In this hybrid way of working that we’re currently experiencing; our lives look different. Productivity isn’t bound by the space of our desk or the doors to the office. Working from home looks like being a productive and present parent during home schooling, or taking a break mid-afternoon to clean the kitchen, or showing up with your breakfast to a lunchtime meeting because you were in flow.
Productivity isn’t just defined by outcomes, KPI’s, financial targets and metrics anymore. In this new age of hybrid work, diverse work environments and the uncertainty of returning back to the office, we as leaders, need to redefine what it means to be productive for our teams.
This pandemic has really taught us some pretty big life lessons. We have been forced to acknowledge and evaluate how we are living our lives – and that includes our lives at work. One major lesson that has been quickly learnt throughout corporate businesses in Australia is the wellbeing of individuals directly affects and contributes to how that person shows up at work. To unlock our full potential, we must nurture and take care of ourselves first.
It’s the old saying,
You can’t pour from an empty cup, so take care of yourself first.
So, naturally, as we begin to reassess how we work, not just when or how much we work, it has been deduced that burnout does not equal success. Quantity does not equal quality. More hours doesn’t equal more productivity.
There are so many factors that go into a healthy life balance and keeps us working efficiently and staying productive (even in shorter time frames!). These are:
- Social connection
So, how we can harness these life factors to improve and redefine productivity and success at work?
Boundaries in all areas of our lives, help us stay focused, on task and on track to reaching our goals. It also means our mental capacity and cognitive ability stays optimal because we’re not overworked from the minute we wake up, to the minute we fall asleep. Setting time based boundaries for work and in your personal life, will help to make you feel productive and in control daily.
To do list
Productivity pre-pandemic looked like tackling and checking off a long to do list every day. It was measured with metrics and KPI’s and made sure we were doing a lot during our day, without considering the impact or what we were working towards. It’s easy to fall into the habit of thinking you’re not doing enough, because you haven’t checked off 9/10 things on your list. Now, productivity in regards to your to do list is moving into a considered and sustainable approach to working and what we are working for.
Being present at work means being focused on the task at hand, and therefore, productive. Productivity can also look like being present so that you’re more engaged, more open and increasingly more thoughtful. By being present, you are allowing yourself space to think creatively and innovatively and re-inspiring those dormant neural pathways. Being present means focusing solely on one thing and producing inspired and high-effort work.
The last, and potentially most important life factor to increase your productivity is:
Self-care doesn’t mean a face mask or a beauty regime. Self-care is doing something that will benefit you in some way. That can look like:
- A daily walk at lunchtime to break state and increase your productivity
- Not watching the news one morning because you’ve noticed a major shift in your mindset
- Chatting to a friend on the phone instead of texting
- Being present during a games night with your family, instead of checking your emails or working late
- Cooking a healthy lunch instead of ordering Uber Eats (again)
By allowing yourself time to reconnect with you and checking in on how you’re feeling, means you’re better able to communicate that, to seek help or just switch up what you’re doing. It means that you’re able to be productive because you’re taking care of you.
Instead of pushing yourself to do more work or activities that will progress your career, focus on you. By doing this, the benefits and limitless! You will be happier, less stressed, more motivated, more productive, more focused, kinder to people, more confident – the list goes on!
Productivity looks different now than it did a year ago and that’s okay. We just need to embrace the uncertainty, look for the silver lining and do things that make us happy as individuals first, so we can better serve our children, our spouse, our families, our team and our organisation.
Happy individuals are inspired and motivated team members.