Life / Can Do

Helpful tips to living a better life

Productivity Is For Everyone

with 4 comments


The concept of productivity is often associated with the workplace. It is not often discussed in the context of family or social life. I believe it is important to be productive in any aspect of life. Even when the goal is to just sit home and relax with the family it is important to maintain efficiency in your home life to maximize the opportunity to spend that time.

When viewing the popular topics in WordPress, I have yet to see productivity listed there. It is interesting to see “Fashion” as a popular topic but not “Productivity”. Not everyone has an interest in fashion but I would expect everyone has an interest in productivity. Who wouldn’t strive to achieve more in less time?

It doesn’t matter what you other interests are, be it bowling or bingo. We all want to spend more time doing those things that bring us pleasure. In a factory productivity is measured by how much product is produced using the least amount of resources. At home we want to produce as many quality moments with our family and friends at the lowest cost. Playing a game of Jenga with the family is much more productive than mere cohabitation.

Today I spent an hour outside in the snow with my wife and child. We laughed and knocked each other about. My wife aimed a snowball at my back but I turned and got it square in the face. It was worth it to see the two of them laughing. That was just one hour but it was extremely productive. My daughter got to see her parents letting loose and having fun. You can’t pay for that kind of child therapy.

So when you making you lists of things to do, make sure you put in those tasks that matter most.

At work, I don’t get paid by the hour. My boss could care less if I work 30 or 80 hours a week as long as I produce results. I do my best to stay as productive as possible so that I can have time for all the things that matter to me. I schedule time with family just like I would an important meeting at work. The agenda may not have been written down but I had a rough list in my head. If I had written it down I suppose it would have been the following:

Event: Snow Time With Family


  • Knock Emma down in the snow.
  • Snow angels
  • Sled down the hill
  • Snowball fight
  • Drink hot chocolate while reviewing highlights

I didn’t set an official start and end time because it all depended on how everyone was feeling. If we were still having a great time it would have run longer but it started to get dark and the cold started to be exhausting. Plus we had that hot chocolate to look forward to.

I wonder if businesses could learn something by this and maybe schedule meetings based on the level of employee engagement (or lack of). It is almost taboo to consider how people are feeling when making business plans. Employee morale is almost always discussed after the fact and only after consultants have been brought in to advise about low numbers on our employee surveys.

With the recent snowfall and my daughter’s level of excitement, my wife and I planned our day to allow for this time. Each of us had tasks that we need to get done early so we kept the TV off and got those done. If we didn’t plan I’m afraid the day would have come and gone with the opportunity lost.

I’m suggesting that if you want to improve your family or social life you need to plan tasks that can help you achieve that. If you are single and want to have a better social life, you need to make an effort to set up outings with friends or join a book club or go dancing. If you have children you could schedule activities such as model building or art projects. Start yearly traditions like Superbowl parties or game nights. In our case, we have a traditional Chicken Soup get together where we eat bowls of my wife’s chicken soup (it’s really good soup).

Ask yourself if your family or social life is producing the results you want. If you have any troublesome friends it may be time to downsize. If your family is not getting along you need to spend time and resources on improving those relationships. Your life is a factory with the purpose of producing happiness for you and your loved ones. It is important that it run efficiently and effectively to best achieve that purpose.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

January 21, 2012 at 8:54 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Productivity has a lot to do with how motivated people are and how much meaning they find in what they do. To increase one’s level of productivity, it is necessary to increase their level of Emotional Intelligence, optimism and happiness.


    January 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    • Good point. One question I still have is how can the productivity community reach out to everyone, the stay at home moms or dads, the retirees, the struggling student, the aspiring writer and so on.

      I feel that we have an obligation to look beyond the office and the boardroom and find ways to bring the science of leadership and collaboration to the home.

      Tim Thinkauthor

      January 22, 2012 at 9:02 am

  2. I’m glad you got to have more fun in the snow than just shoveling the driveway.


    January 22, 2012 at 11:49 am

    • Me too. I don’t mind shoveling a few inches. It’s good for the muscles (as long as you bend at the knees).

      Tim Thinkauthor

      January 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm

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