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Worst Productivity Advice Ever

17 Feb 2017 | Being Human, Tips, tools, tricks

What’s the worst productivity advice you’ve ever heard?

I think one of mine has to be “just try harder” along with “do better”.

My son’s been struggling with high school lately – for many reasons which are his story to tell, not mine – but one thing I have noticed is how he’s mostly been left to his own devices to ‘get organised’.

He’s gone from primary school where he’s had one teacher, one room and all his books in one tray, to being in different rooms in different buildings throughout the day, with multiple teachers, multiple books, varying rules for handing in homework and a two week rolling timetable.

Yes that’s the way with high school life in general, and yes he’ll have to get used to that, but it amazes me how often people are just left to figure it out for themselves – and not just in schools but in the workplace too.

Imagine starting a new job where suddenly you find yourself hot-desking every 90 minutes and answering to 8 different bosses who each have their own way of doing things. Add to that an increased workload, more responsibility and a whole new culture and people you’re getting to know from scratch.

That’s what’s tricky about today’s world of work. It’s often not the individual tasks that are difficult, it’s the multitude and complexity that expands when there are so many moving pieces, so much uncertainty and change, to the point where ‘keeping on top of it’ feels like a full time job, instead of being able to just get on with doing the work and doing it brilliantly.

Skills and support. That’s what we all need, especially when in a new situation – whether that’s a new job, a new team, a new season in life, new targets or new challenges. And getting organised is a skill. Some, like my daughter take to it quite naturally (who else spontaneously decides to organise the shoe cupboard at age 3?). Others, like me, need more training, support, nurturing and practice to flourish.

That’s why I love running Stress Less Achieve More workshops. It’s about giving people skills and support to free them up from the nagging worry of “am I missing something?” and the extra work of having to retrace tracks, find things, fix things, make amends and play catch up – so that they can get to their brilliant work more often – and enjoy that deep satisfaction when they do.

If you’re fed up of “just try harder” or “do better”, book a place now for my Manchester workshop in March – I’d love to support you in developing your productivity skills.


Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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