Productivity on my mind today.
And the question is: ‘How really productive are you?’
It’s an interesting question for two reasons. One is, many of us go through the motions of life – work, family, religion, etc, without pausing to think about this. Two is, many of us that bother to pause and think measure our productivity by ‘comparing’ ourselves to others. Interesting yard stick.
So, you have this friend or schoolmate you unconsciously measure yourself against. And it seems logical. You went through school at the same pace and graduated same year….so you ought to progress through life on roughly the same schedule. At least not so far from each other you rationalise. When they get their first job, you wonder why you don’t have yours. Same thing when they get married, have their first child, get ahead in their career….etc.
Okay, maybe you don’t measure yourself against a friend or old school mate/ colleague. What about your younger sibling. Gotcha! Right? This one seems really logical. You came into this world before them, so you ought to stay ahead of them, at least if only slightly.
I’m sure just reading this would make anyone realize that measuring your results or productivity like this is plain torture.
Our common friend google defines productivity like so:
“the effectiveness of productive effort,
especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.”
And I kinda agree. I scratched the industry part because the definition works whether in industry or otherwise. So, productivity measures rate of output per unit of input.
Therefore, in simple terms how productive you are would depend on your unique combination of gifts and talents; and your ability to recognize them and work them.
I found an interesting bible passage to illustrate this: ‘The parable of the ten talents’ Voila!
(Matthew 25: 14 – 30)
14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money…..”
This man gave to each servant what he thought they could handle. And when he returned to settle accounts with them he wasn’t wrong after all. Each one was judged to have done well or otherwise based on what they were given and their dedication towards working it, so much so that they doubled it.
And of course, the servant who got just one talent also proved his master right. He did nothing with it. His presentation was full of complaints, and fear. Fear! He knew his master was hard and didn’t want to lose his money so he neglected to work it. He hid it instead! Of course the one talent was snatched from him and given to the more productive servant.
Someone once said: ‘God is a capitalist’. Now, this is not anywhere in the holy books, but it’s easy to believe since we are made in the image and likeness of God, and you wouldn’t keep putting more resources where you don’t expect it to grow and multiply, will you? At most you’ll put in the barest minimum there.
My point is, we would each produce greater results in our lives if we focus on working the talents and resources we’ve been graciously given. If we quit comparing ourselves to others and wishing we were handed their own combination of talents. If we quit complaining. If we boldly go for it, and throw fear out the window….And what’s more, the more productive you are with what you have, the more you attract (a.k.a the more God entrusts you with).
So, to become more productive in any sphere of your life – work, family, finances, etc, you must take an inventory of all the resources at your disposal today – time, money, talents/ passions, people, etc; and commit to working these resources till they produce more and help you become more.
Hope you take action today!