Is Too Much Productivity Bad for Your Health?

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What if you could double your productivity in 14 easy steps? It sure would take care of that pesky To-Do list that reminds you every day how un-productive you’ve been. Imagine the rush of crossing off all the entries in your planner or clicking the check mark on your smartphone’s digital list. Good feelings, yes. 


Melissa Stanger and Elizabeth Cutrone’s Business Insider’s article, “14 Ways to Dramatically Increase Productivity,” reviewed a list of productivity tips from Robert Pozen’s book, “Extreme Productivity.” This Harvard lecturer proposes tips on how to get better, more and higher quality productivity results. 


Improving productivity has long been a hot subject for business professionals. With only 24 hours in the day, made shorter now with all the distractions of the Internet, digital devices and social media, how do you get things done? Pozen’s tips are a reminder of some time-tested techniques and new innovations for today’s workplace and lifestyles. All are sure to promote a healthier outlook on life and use of time. Here are a few of Pozen’s tips with comments on using them to making you healthier as well.


  1. Set priorities and allocate time accordingly. Day-Timer planners, with their structured time management system, used to be mandatory in many companies. Part of the system used assigning priority codes to tasks as a planning tool. Blocking time according to priority is one way to make sure you’re not rushing through an “A” task because you got sidetracked on a bunch of “B” and “C” items.
  2. Ignore 80 percent of emails and requests you get during the day. Yes! Permission to ignore junk mail, spams, texts, and low-level stuff. Pare this one up with another tip--Saving face-to-face meetings for introductions and serious conversations. Using the right tool for the task is one way to maximize your time and energy. Putting A+ effort into a C- task is unproductive.  So is a long email introducing yourself and your life story. 
  3. Don’t fill up every hour in your schedule. Unless every meeting or task on your list is in the same location, you’re doomed before the day starts. You need time to travel from one place to another.  Filling in all the blanks may make you feel important, but you can’t keep up the pace. Schedule down time. Travel time. Time to eat. All that work on an empty stomach with crashing blood sugar is dangerous for your health and mental stability. Put in “End of Day” or “Leave Work” on the page to remind yourself that you have (and deserve) a life outside of work.
  4. To work well in a team, avoid criticizing your employees at all costs. For managers, this is the Powerball ticket with the multiplier option. Managers forget that their success depends, for the most part, on their team’s success. Managers are supposed to get work done through their employees. Telling them they’re stupid or wrong or incompetent every time they turn around is the worst strategy for productivity. And criticizing or undermining their results or methodology when they are successful kills initiative, morale and future productivity. Effective feedback acknowledges success and good work, while offering helpful suggestions to improve on success. 


Pozen offers many other great tips for productivity on writing, speaking and organizing your life. A long list of tips can be daunting and stressful. Instead of trying to adopt them all at once, use tip number one as a guideline. Prioritize according to your needs and allocate enough time to make each one a habit. 


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  • Sanjeev J
    Sanjeev J
    Companies should support their employees over customers. I work in BPO and i have seen many times that my company wrongly supports abusing customers.

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