Saturday, February 17, 2007

Productivity, Not Just Activity

Here I am at the end of a peaceful and productive day -- much more productive than usual. Today, not only did I do things, but I did the right things.

Someone once told me, not to mistake activity for productivity. Generally I *stay* busy, but am I usually busy doing the right things? Often times not :-) I've had many days where I was busy ALLLLLL day, but when I got to the end of it, I hadn't really accomplished anything. Today... was a good, productive day.

To start, I got up this morning, made my pot of coffee then sat down and made my list, then prioritized it like usual.. You see, I KNOW what to do, and how to do it, and I even teach it, but often I don't do the things I advise others to do. But today... I did it right. I made a list of the things I had to accomplish and did the Ben Franklin A, B, C and 1,2,3 within each letter priority. I decided there were TWO things that I HAD to do, so instead of putting them at a high priority like normal, I actually gave them an appointment time... and set the alarm on my Palm Pilot to alert me when it was time. In between the "appointments" I worked on my prioritized list.

Now... admittedly, fixing myself a nice breakfast was NOT on my prioritize list NOR was it an appointment slot, but after I finished making the list, I was suddenly very hungry. So, I cooked up some CRISP bacon, cheese and eggs, a couple of slices of toast from this soft-crusted, honey apple oat bread that I love, got some Smuckers strawberry jam, a small glass of ice cold milk and a fresh cup of coffee... and just... pampered myself. Then, after breakfast, I was ready to tackle my list.

So without drawing this out *too* long, one "appointment" was returning a phone call about doing a some wedding photography, and the other appointment -- later in the day -- was to clean up my son's room! You know, the wonderful kid that comes home on leave from the Navy, trashes the rooms I cleaned up last time he left, and forgets to clean them up again before he leaves? Yeah. THOSE rooms. And although I did move the appointments BACK a couple of times, I finally did get up and go do it, and for the first time in a very long time, I forced myself to do what my calendar and task list told me to do, in the order that I had prioritized it. So the result is... both my major tasks were completed, and nearly all of my "A" tasks -- but I still have a little time left -- just for giggles -- so I think I can finish all the A's before I go to bed in about 20 minutes.

So, that's my day; and I even had time for some socialization and friend emails, and still got my lists done.

While I was cooking breakfast this morning, I was sharing this plan with my friend Jill on the phone. I told her how I didn't do what I taught other people to do, and Jill -- ever so affectionately -- asked, "What is that quote? 'Those that can, do; and those that can't, teach ?..." Ugh. I hate that quote, but it was good motivation -- she knew it would be; that's why I have friends :-). I hate it, but it is very often true in life. Those that can, do. Those that can't... teach.

So at least today, I decided to be a doer. And I'm looking forward to making the same decision... tomorrow. I think I'll make a HABIT of succeeding this way.

How about you?

Have a great night.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well Mr. Ringold, I hope you've been nothing but positively productive these past couple of weeks. I'm pulling for you; get rich!