Social Topics

Redefining Productivity

Productivity is usually defined by how much you get done in a certain amount of time, the difficulty of the tasks completed, or the measure of the tasks finished. This leads to many people, myself included, trying to get many things done in a day so that they can feel their day was well-used. Those who sit on their front steps and watch the world go by, go for a stroll, play some video games, spend time reading, etc. may not get as many tasks finished in a day, but were they truly “less productive?”

If a person gets five individual projects done in a day and then plays a video game with their teenager the rest of the afternoon, they weren’t less productive than a person who completes 10 tasks. Spending time with your children, spouses, friends, or with other people in general is productive in and of itself. Human beings matter, and how they interact with each other matters as well. We can be the light in another person’s darkness, put a smile on someone’s face, help a person find value in themselves, or feel valued by you.

Taking time out of your day to spend it reading or going for a stroll can be a great way to fight stress or weariness. Seeing to the needs of your spirit and soul are just as, if not more, important as finishing the paint job in the nursery. If we wear ourselves out and spend all of our time going from task to task we get frazzled, burnt out, impatient, frustrated, depressed, and even feeling like life is just a drudgery. Where is the value of having the nursery painted if you feel like that afterwords?

Do not measure the productivity of your day by the shear number of, or size of, the projects you complete. Instead, define it by the importance of what you do, whether it is fixing a busted water pipe, taking your dog for a walk, or checking in with a family member to see how they are faring.



  • Dianne

    Generally speaking, I agree with what you have said. However, I think that people today tend to be lazy. They use things like playing video games with their kids as an excuse to sit around and do nothing yet claim they were productive because they were playing the game with their kid. A father and son, or mother and daughter, can spend quality time together while working. I think it’s important to “stop and smell the roses” but you don’t need to do that every day.

    • Junior

      I understand what you are saying, and I do think some parents take advantage of the “spending time with my kids” excuse in order to simply do what they want to do. You made a good point about being able to spend quality time with your kids while working together. I wish I would have thought to include that in my post. Perhaps I will write more specifically about that, as well as the importance of passing skills down to your children, in a later post. Thanks for sharing!

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