Being productive can sometimes be a selfish thing. And maybe that’s good.

This year, my work will be guided by two things : automation and outsourcing. These are two of the biggest hurdles I needed to overcome in 2013 and its my over-riding goal for 2014 to deal with this.

I didn’t wait till December last year to start planning goals and resolutions. It’s been a big focus area for most of the year. As always, I have been on the lookout for ways to further develop the habits I am trying to cultivate and how to increase productivity levels even further. Today, I came across Maynard Webb’s article, Productivity Hacks: Why I Don’t ‘Do’ Coffee and it was pretty intriguing.

As the Chairman of Yahoo!, the former COO of eBay and an author, I expect that he is someone who is always getting requests to meet up. What’s intriguing about the article is that Maynard is happy to come clean and confess that he has a screening process. We all have a screening process and we don’t need to be rich or famous to do this. But for a high profile person to lay it out there is pretty interesting in that he tells it like it is :

1. I don’t have a lot of time to catch up with everyone.

2. I need to be fairly selective of who I meet, why I meet them and what I will get out of it.

3. I still want to be sure I don’t miss out on anything so the screening process helps with that.

The feedback from the article is to be expected. While some understand a stand such as this, others view it as a little bit of (as the term was coined) humblebrag.

What can you get out of this?

1. You got to do what you got to do. So, just get on with it and do it. If you worry what others will say or think, you’ll never get around to doing anything you truly want to do.

2. There will always be some for and some against. Just let them be. It’s actually fairly unimportant what others think until such time you’ve clarified your stand on the issue.

3. I personally have been to a good number of meetings over the years and can safely say, that most of them were  a waste of time, took more out of you than it returned and could just as easily have been handled via the phone, email or skype first. As such, I prefer to meet in person much later in the game once the ideas have been articulated and objectives raised. Everyone understands how time is such a commodity nowadays and we owe it to others to realise and accept that their time is as important to them as ours is to us. Therefore, we should get to the point quickly, find the best way to get our point across and be as clear and concise as possible.

4. People can read you. If you are too caught up in your own game, you fail to see that even if they couldn’t read you at first, over time, they will be able to. So cut to the chase. Get to your point. Don’t tell someone you’d like to discuss ways in which you could collaborate when you don’t have any ideas to bring to the table yet know exactly what you want from the relationship.

5. Being productive is and can be a selfish thing. It involves prioritising what is important over what isn’t and deciding on what you can commit to within your sphere. Sure, things need to get left out and there will be people you can’t meet with sometimes. Perhaps not in the timeframe they so desire. But at least you are on your way to getting accomplished what you need to get done.


About rowena morais

Media Communications and Editorial Specialist. With my strong professional network of contacts, I help individuals and organisations, particularly those within Human Resource and Technology, strengthen their skill-base and brand through compelling writing, beautiful design, content marketing and publishing. Let's talk.

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