Becoming More Productive (Surgeon General’s Warning: DNWFE)

I ‘ve spent much of my life reading articles like “12 tips to a better life” and “10 tips for saving money.” And I’ve tried to follow the tips and found that often they don’t work. Maybe it’s because they are not usually written by an for an No matter, the real problem is that they lack a warning label – YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary), DNWFE (Does Not Work For Everyone), DNTAAO (Do Not Try All At Once) – which would alert you to the fact that not all of these tips may work for you. In fact, none of them may work! Instead, they should be presented, not as categorical imperatives but as suggestions, much like the New York City traffic laws (“Come to a full stop at a stop sign,” “Pedestrians have the right of way”). That is, they are not hard and fast rules but are suggested methods that one might want to follow. And if the suggestion doesn’t fit into your lifestyle…don’t worry…ignore it.

With these caveats in mind I’d like to point you to this recent posting that I found: 25 Tips to Become More Happy and Productive at Work. [note 1] Some of the tips are great [note 2] but what’s most important is that you take a look at this list. You might want to try one or two, see if it fits your lifestyle, and then try to incorporate it into your daily living. For example, the very first tip says

Keep a question like this at your desk to help you stay focused: ‘Am I making the most of my time right now?’.

I happen to have the following taped onto my computer monitor: “Hope Is Not A Plan Of Action. “ [note 3] Tip Number 12 is one that I definitely need to think about: “Pace Yourself, Especially on Bad Days. Go slow. Don’t be in a hurry. Just take one thing at a time and keep moving forward.” I have a habit of not pacing myself and thereby having one productive day followed by one day (or more!!) of burnout.

So, take the chicken soup approach. Have a look at the list. No guarantee that any of the tips will make you more productive but looking at it couldn’t hurt.

  1. If you are like me and you cringe when you read a phrase like “More Happy,” I ask that you ignore that part of the title. And if you are a cringer, check out this posting, Taking On the Cult of Cheerfulness.
  2. A “great tip” is defined as one that works well for me. Surgeon General’s Warning: DNWFE.
  3. As A.D.D.ers we need that mental kick every once in a while. And I should probably also tape to my monitor, “Updating your blog does not make you money.” ;)
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