Tuesday, July 08, 2008

How Do You Measure Productivity?

As my workload both at work and home have increased, I find myself depending more and more on my to-do lists. Not only do they take some of the pressure off of my over-taxed memory, but they also provide a certain amount of satisfaction in being able to scratch through tasks that I've tackled.

However, it is far too easy for me to define a "productive" day as one in which multiple items are scratched off my to-do list. For one thing, I may work on several different projects in a given day but not complete any of them, so when I leave work at the end of the day without labeling any projects as "done", it can be quite discouraging.

Furthermore, I'm realizing that what I deem productive and what God deems productive may be two very different things. I may get six projects done--but did I do them with excellence? Did I do my best? Did I have a good attitude while I did them? Did I pass up opportunities to serve others because I was too focused on getting my own work done?

When I come home at the end of the day and reflect on my work, I'm trying to stop focusing on my to-do list, and instead asking myself these questions:

-What did I learn about God today?
-What did I learn about myself today?
-How did I see God at work today?
-How was my attitude toward my work, my co-workers and others today?
-Did I do my best?
-How did I react when a problem or setback came my way today?

Viewing my day in light of these questions radically changes my outlook on productivity. How about you--how do YOU define a productive day?

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