What does it mean to be productive “enough”? Is it simply meeting expectations and getting the job done, or is there more? Author and Time Management Coach Elizabeth Saunders created a flowchart to help you decide if you’re reaching your maximum potential as it relates to productivity. According to Saunders, there are three questions you need to be asking yourself in order to answer the overall question, “Am I productive enough?”
1. Am I meeting expectations?
When it comes to your job description, responsibilities, and current tasks, are you meeting expectations? Ways to answer this question: Direct and indirect feedback from the people around you; outcomes of past and present projects; whether or not personal standards are being met.
2. Are these expectations my own, and not required by others?
If the expectation of productivity are being set too high by others, it might be impossible to meet, and that shouldn’t impact whether or not you’re being productive enough. Ways to answer this question: Where do your personal standards lie compared to what others around you are expecting of you? Have these expectations changed or increased on either side?
3. Am I owning my time management and using productivity resources?
There needs to be a plan in place on a daily basis to manage your tasks and responsibilities. Ways to answer this question: Do you have a system for getting things done? An app or a website, a planner, etc? How do you manage your time, and do you do it intentionally? For reference, here’s the flowchart: If you’ve found you’re not productive enough, go back through the three questions and figure out how to turn “no” into a “yes.” Saunders suggests negotiating expectations, honing in on your time management skills, and researching potential time management tools you can utilize. If you’re not there yet, don’t worry. The potential for productivity is there for everyone. You just have to be intentional about becoming the most productive you can be.
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