I started following tech geek blogger (and former Microsoft employee) Robert Scoble and his vast line-up of online content a few weeks ago, and every so often he writes or broadcasts material that resonates with me.
On July 11, 2008, Scoble's Workfast.tv web program hosted Matt Rissell, a web entrepreneur and founder of TSheets.com. Rissell talked about his on-going research on the principles that highly productive business people follow and described them during the show. Rissell also posted his list of principles on his blog.
After reading the list, which I recommend everyone should do, I could identify with certain items on the list - and in some twisted way, I saw how the opposite of these productivity tips were active in my life.
So without further ado and with tongue in cheek and satire stick in hand...
10 Secrets of Highly Unproductive People
You are bored with your work. You feel indifferent on most days. You could not care less if the work you did or the company you work for suddenly curled up and died.
2. Surround yourself with cynical people
There is no better way to become more unproductive than by surrounding yourself with cynics, naysayers, and complainers. Observe how your innovative ideas are laughed at and then skillfully tossed aside to be replaced by the notorious 'same old same old' or the dreaded 'business-as-usual'.
3. Create an environment where shallowness prevails
There are many types of work environments. Some are energized, innovative and focused, while others are discouraged, depressed and demoralized. Be sure to pursue the latter environment to become unproductive and as mentally deep as a kiddie pool.
This is a tricky one to achieve since most folks want to simplify their careers. But to be truly unproductive, complicate your career. Make sure your employer and the entire company do not understand what you do, so that way you end up doing a whole bunch of stuff (and not get paid extra for it). You'll certainly do a lot of stuff, but you'll never become proficient at anything. Just another graduate chasing the four winds. Perfect.
5. Know your motivation and then throw them out the door
Yes, there are moments when you want to be the best, to deliver the best, to make sure the user is satisfied, that you feel satisfied. These are the correct motivations to steer you in the proper direction. But hold on, motivation, values, work ethic, there's that productivity nonsense again. You're at work to collect a pay check, thank you, and walk out the door at 5:00 pm sharp and look forward to the weekend. Period.
6. That "Special Something"
If you have a desire to provide excellent service to the community, to communicate and help others, to make a difference; in other words, if you possess that special something that you can bring to the table, well, in those immortal words, you know, fugetaboutit!! That's right. Forget it. Your career does not need your special something, so leave it at the door.
7. Don't make decisions
You are on a committee, either the Chair or member, and the committee has convened five or maybe six or more times on the same blasted topic and no decision has been made yet. While some folks will get restless, and others will be bold enough to make a decision, why not sit back, sip a coffee, and wait. And wait. And wait some more. Maybe in 2-3 years things will change and a decision will simply fall in your lap. Now that is un-productivity at its finest!
Besides simplicity, some of us strive for balance, making sure our days are rich and complete with a variety of personal and social activities. How boring! Become unbalanced for once and watch your days grow longer and nights get shorter. Soon you'll be so exhausted, becoming unproductive will be inevitable.
9. Talk talk talk and no action
To see this tip in action is truly a thing of beauty. To become proficient, observe the masters. They are often seen talking, and talking, and talking. They talk endlessly about superfluous nonsense that is wrapped nicely in a symphony of buzz words. But in the end, no one rolls up their sleeves and no one delivers the goods.
10. Don't pay attention to successful people and their silly principles
Successful people, smart people, rich people - each are probably doing something that we unproductives are not doing. But why bother listen to them? Their philosophies are so convoluted, anyway, they'd never work. Stay true and stick to what is familiar and comfortable.
Hope you enjoyed this week's Friday Abstract.