I facilitate workshops in corporate America and around the world. I’ve taught in many Veterans Associate hospitals across the United States. I teach nurses, doctors and administrators many different classes on topics such as How To Manage Your Team Through Change, Building Resilience, and Creative Problem Solving. And one of the things that comes up is productivity.

People who come in early and leave late cannot understand people who come in late and leave early. People who get projects done on time and within budget cannot understand co-workers who are late with projects and over-budget. It makes some people mad as heck. But when you think about it—life is a choice. The people who come in early want to come in early or they would not do it.

Why get mad at the people who come in late? Why get mad at people who can’t finish projects on time? If you are a manager of late people, talk to them. Put them on notice, write them a letter, two letters and if they don’t comply—fire them. For the rest of us, why concern ourselves?

I had a lady in one class who was so annoyed about her co-workers she told me, “I go home every night and talk to my husband about it!” Can you imagine what it is like for him to listen to his wife go on night after night about her co-workers?

If someone is not being as productive as you, you can do one of two things, 1) get on with your work and mind your own business. 2) If it affects your work flow, talk to your manager and seek their advice on how to best handle the situation.

I don’t recommend going to the person directly unless you have a great relationship with them, or unless you’ve taken a class on how to have a “Crucial Conversation”. But if you are having a problem, then you most likely do not have a great relationship, and that is why you need to seek help. If your manager doesn’t help, then stop worrying. If they’re not worried why should you be? Don’t cover for your co-worker. Don’t stay late to get their job done. Don’t take up their slack. Be productive in your own job; but do not do so much that it makes you ill.

Today, be productive in the way that makes you feel good. Not too much and not too little. Just like the porridge in Goldilocks Tale: Not too hot and not too cold. If you cannot handle your work load talk to your boss, “I just want to go over my projects with you, so I can prioritize them. I am doing this, and this (show them a neatly typed list of your projects). I would appreciate your advice on prioritizing the work. As you can see I won’t be able to get to everything and I want to make sure the important work gets done first!”

Be productive but do not harm yourself my friend. Enjoy being productive but do not get overwhelmed. And if you do not have a job; then be productive in the best way. Clean up the home, the yard, the garage. Do your best to make things better for everyone around you and you will feel good about yourself and that is what this life is all about my friend, feeling good.

About Val Gee

I believe we all want to love and be loved. If we are not in love or being loved, then what are we doing here? I choose to wake up every morning filled with love and so I make it my mantra, "My purpose in life is to be loving." Check out my books published by McGraw-Hill.
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