Three levels of productivity

Posted by Dermot Crowley on 26th January 2014

Here we are in 2014. Lets make this the year when you work at your productive best, while at the same time encouraging others to operate productively too. 

Productivity is often seen as an individual undertaking.  We hope that by simply applying a system, or a set of principles, we will be more organised and more productive. This is definitely true. But our productivity is also dependent on others. Every interaction we have has the potential to pull team productivity down. Every meeting we attend, every email we receive, every delegation we give or get has the potential to disrupt our productivity if it is not done well.


So, I believe we need to go beyond the single level of personal productivity, and operate on three levels of productivity, and encourage our colleagues to work across these levels as well.

Firstly, we need to collaborate productively. The most basic principle for a doctor is “do no harm”. Likewise, every time you organise or attend a meeting, send an email, delegate work or collaborate on a project, you should be mindful about how this collaboration impacts on the productivity of those around you. Do no harm!

Secondly, we need to work productively. This is our core focus at Adapt – helping our clients enhance their personal productivity strategies and work more productively using tools like MS Outlook. Make sure you have good productivity systems in place, and work hard to use these systems daily to stay on top of your time, priorities and information.

Thirdly, we need to lead productively.  This leadership is not about being bossy or directive. It is about influencing those around us to create a culture of productivity that helps everyone, and makes getting stuff done that little bit easier and more enjoyable. Model productive behaviours, set expectations and enable your team to work proactively on the most important work, not just the urgent crises of the moment.

My absolute focus this year will be to help leaders and managers create productivity cultures that amplify the effectiveness of those around them. Drop me a line at if you would like to talk about this for your team.

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