Busy Vs Productive – What do you Think?

    

Take a moment to relax

Take a moment to relax

How are you feeling these days? This weekend I had a Barbara weekend.  Barbara weekends consist of doing only what I want to do.  I don’t commit to anything and allow my days to unfold moment by moment. I love these weekends. Sometimes I disconnect and sometimes I stay connected.  This weekend, I stayed connected via the cell phone but did nothing on the computer.

I recently posted a comment to a blog comment from Tish about Obama using Twitter to market and campaign. Between the cell phone, instant messages, text messages and Twitter and Facebook, how did our parents do with out them? We are quite a busy group of people aren’t we? Whew! Being busy means being engaged in action. Being productive means yielding results, benefits or profits. We are busy but are we really productive?

I am truly grateful for being born in the 60’s.  I grew up having dinner at real table with my family, writing a list to go grocery shopping, and being able to learn to think critically without having to call someone on the cell phone to discuss every thing that crosses my mind.  I think that having a perspective of living in a time when we didn’t have answering machines, cell phones, instant message and such allows me to disconnect when needed. By the way, when was the last time you disconnected from all the technology? I have discovered that disengaging and disconnecting often leads to more productivity because our minds have the opportunity to relax and enjoy simple things.

Technology is absolutely wonderful. I have accounts with Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, WordPress and several other social networking groups. Some of my best friends and colleagues are on these networks and have helped me recognize the importance of truly being “connected” on the web. I have met great people through all of these groups and value the relationships and the people I have made and continue to create.

This quote from Albert Einstein resonates with me, “We shall require a substantially
new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”  With all these new ways to communicate, I wonder, “Are we really connecting with these tools and being productive, or are we simply engaging in action? Click the comments below and let me know your thoughts or experiences.

Be Accountable: Do You have AP’s ™?

Have you ever needed to do something and lacked the motivation? I have struggled with this in the past and often in the present. I would start a project and in the middle of it I would find something more interesting to do and move on to it before I finished. My I (idea) to I (implementation) ratio was very low.  It was around 5:1. I needed help. I had to find a way to increase my I:I. I came up with the idea of having an AP™.

An AP™ is an accountability partner. The AP is who you report to about the status of your project, idea or task to be sure that you are held accountable.  Here’s my example: I needed to recreate my script for my meditation cd before I could record it in the studio. My AP for this project was Wendy Y. She is one of my regular AP’s so I called her and told her what I needed to do and by when. The role of the AP is simple and specific.

The AP needs to know two things; 1. What needs to be done and 2. When it needs to be done. When I started using an AP™ my ratio was much better, it was 2:1.

Why did I need an AP? I needed to be held accountable. I knew that I couldn’t depend on motivation and inspiration to get me through, I needed discipline and commitment.  Knowing I had to call Wendy Y on April 29th kept me focused and I was determined to call her and say, “Wendy Y, I finished my cd script early.”  And I did. I often complete things faster when I have an AP involved.Why does this strategy work? Often time we are more accountable to someone else than we are to themselves. The AP approach works very well for me and I encourage you to try it.

There are three easy steps, here’s what you do:
1.  Who – decide who will be your AP™.
2.  What – decide what you need to get done.
3.  When – tell your AP when you need to have your project/task completed- be realistic.

What happens if you don’t get your project/task done by the timeframe you desired? Let your AP know the new timeframe, if you are still interested in completed the project/task.If things have changed, you can always find another project/task. There is always something to be done.Your AP can be different people based on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are on a team with people, you may choose to pick someone involved on that team. An AP is a great way to develop and enhance discipline around specific projects and get things done more timely.

Let me your thoughts by clicking on the comments and leaving me your thoughts.