When it comes to productivity, I believe it’s important to find what works for you. There is no ultimate one size fits all solution. In fact just because something works for you, doesn’t mean it works all the time. What you find helpful at work, might be too involved or overly complex for your family at home.
Everything in moderation, as the Greeks would say.
There are many examples I can think of where a good productivity practice can be pushed too far and become unhelpful.
Being too early – This sounds a like a good thing, but this is an absolute pet peeve of mine. In fact it’s gets a special mention in my course Lights Camera Expert, because I know how much producers dislike it when guests are early. There’s nothing wrong with being 5 minutes early to give yourself some time to settle, but I’ve had interviewees show up over a hour early for a segment. As a producer we have our day factored in down to the minute so when someone shows up early it throws my whole schedule off. I know early arrivers will often say they are happy to wait, but it still creates a frantic energy and makes me feel like I’m trying to play catch up and then have to figure out what to do with you for all that time!
Fixing a problem (and not telling anyone) – It’s not unusual to run into some complications or issues while at work. Maybe you find a bug in the IT system or you realize your boss has double booked a meeting. It’s great if you can fix that issue before anyone even notices or it spirals into a bigger problem. However, you should still tell others about it. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming across a problem and someone saying ‘Oh yeah, it did that before.’ It’s great that you’ve fixed the issue, but it’s good to talk it over with someone in case it’s a symptom of a larger problem. Communication people!
Using business jargon – Having a business language can help you get to your point quicker and create a sense of community in the workplace. But there’s definitely a time and a place for it. Don’t always assume that everyone is up to date on the latest ‘lingo’, it can leave you awkwardly explaining what you mean or coming across as trying to hard. I find teachers actually do this a lot. They’ll go on about this test or that and I tend to get lost in the conversation. It’s happened more than once with different teachers!
Being too specific – Before we embark on a new task it can be good to get as much information as possible. If I need to do something complex or intricate I like to have it broken down so I understand every facet of it. However when I’m still in the planning stages sometimes all I want is a yes/no answer. I don’t need to know all the ins and outs just yet I just want to know is this possible. Do we have all the resources we need? If in doubt just ask if someone wants the long or short answer!
Following up (over and over again) – As a producer I love it when people follow up on a pitch. There can be a variety of different reasons why I might not have got back in touch and just bumping themselves back to the top of my inbox can be a great reminder. However there is definitely a point when persistence turns into nagging. That’s true of workplace relationships and personal ones, it’s important to know when to let go.
Have you had any productivity practices gone too far experiences? I’d love to hear about them.