What Does Being Productive Mean? (Part 1 of 3)

Aug 24, 2021 | Aussie Nurse

Productivity is about determining how to manage life in a better way on an everyday basis, that is more efficient


Productivity is beneficial to complementing work-life balance as it is easy to be caught at times where we are rushing to complete tasks at the last minute, especially when we are working or studying

Trying to juggle everything in life and not maintaining some balance can lead us down one of two paths- The first path offers avoidance by procrastinating and the second is where we become workaholics, we just never stop. These two factors are important to be aware of as they make us less productive and at the end of the day it may lead us to become frustrated with ourselves.

This is where being productive can take a person on a journey as it begins with doing some upfront work, the aim is to win back some time and reduce the amount of effort that it takes to complete any activities. Eventually when some room has been made in a persons life from being productive, it allows for the pursuit of any other opportunities that could open up in the future.

Procrastination –

With procrastination instead of completing what is important and of highest priority, its easy to get distracted by other things an example is browsing social media, I think we’re all a little guilty of this as time can fly away quickly.

A way to combat procrastination is to do the hardest or the task you don’t like first, this way you will feel that the rest of the day isn’t going to have that task looming on ‘your back’. Its done, out of the way and the rest of the day will flow with more of an ease.


Being A Workaholic –

A workaholic may feel like they are being busy, they are constantly working with time passing by and yet not actually completing any work fully. Being busy may mean a person is just ‘chasing their tail’ or distracted as they are not working with clarity or even being present.

Workaholics may constantly work past allocated work hours, maybe even saying no to social catch-ups on days off, not giving themselves the time to rest or recover and even not taking the time to recognise any recent achievements. Eventually this wears any person out and burn-out may be a negative consequence.

To make the most of the day is to recognise when you aren’t being productive, putting limits or boundaries in place may help to win back some personal time, especially when the work day is over.


1. Distractions To Productivity –

There are so many distractions bombarding us and a massive distraction again is social media, as we all know it is designed to keep our attention and of course hours can suddenly disappear. Also, it is unfortunate that our attention can be seen as a commodity, a phrase about social media has become widely known – ‘If you are not paying for the product. You are the product!!’

Reducing the time spent on social media will eliminate a lot of the unnecessary noise that grabs us and will allow time to be spent on other things that are more meaningful and help you to be more focused as a whole.

Another distraction is the change in work settings, a lot of nurses would be working from home and be experiencing distractions especially if working from a family home or are in shared accommodation. Clear boundaries may need to be set especially with keeping noise down or avoiding interruptions, as it would be essential to keep any distractions from breaking a persons focus.


2. Routines & Forming Habits –

Routines are unique to the individual as some people naturally wake up early or known as ‘early-birds’ and some are ‘night-owl’s’. Knowing when you’re at your best in a specific part of the day can help you allocate time and lean into tasks when you are the most focused.

Myself, I know I’m not my best in the mornings and thats when I choose to complete chores around my place, go for a walk to grab a coffee or have a work out. The afternoon is when my brain finally switches on and when i’m my most productive, its when I can focus and maximise the most in just a few hours.

A way to prioritise and maintain routines is to separate what is important now and what is to be completed later. The easiest way to do this is by writing things down in a diary, on a white board or typing into a note app. It is written down, its visible, you don’t have to remember it as it in a clear place and you can get on with whats important to you at that time.


3. Switching Off –

You are allowed to switch off, I think we all would have been guilty of just working and working, only to sleep past the alarm clock and feel extremely tired even before the day has started. Working all the time by over-extending can be counter-productive and can lead to feeling detached, frustrated and drained.

In any day with so many tasks to complete it can feel like a tick box exercise to get to the next thing that awaits us, yet on a personal level determining how effective you have been in a day may be done by being aware of the outputs of your effort, energy and time. Using strategies of productivity to do what matters to you will improve, grow the quality of your work and help you to enjoy life along the way too.

“Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed” 

– Peter Drucker

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