Driving impact over output in a new era of work
As Google’s productivity advisor, I spend a lot of time coaching executives on ways they can make the most of their work day. Over the years, people have come to me with very different ideas about what productivity is, why it matters, and how to achieve it. Often, they think it’s about extracting every last ounce of output from a day—likely because the idea of productivity comes from economics and is most closely associated with factory conveyor belts and efficiency.
My definition of personal productivity is different. It’s less about getting as much as you can out of each day and more about achieving the things you set out to accomplish and making an impact.
Productivity is grounded in understanding yourself as a whole person. What makes you happy at work and outside of work? What are your natural rhythms and peak times for creativity, focus, or efficiency? When are you most engaged in meetings? What makes you feel unstoppable when responding to emails? And when do you need to take a break, do some uninterrupted thinking, or deepen social connections with your colleagues?
When people don’t understand these aspects of productivity, they struggle to make an impact—no matter how well they manage their calendars and inboxes.
During the global pandemic, we’ve realized the importance of sustaining the wellbeing of ourselves and our families, setting healthy boundaries, and bringing intention to the work day. Among those lucky enough to have the flexibility to work from home, many had to juggle new obligations, from homeschooling to caregiving. And without a solid plan in place, people often found themselves working longer hours and facing burnout.
Now, even as the pandemic enters new and unforeseen phases, many organizations are gearing up for a hybrid work model, Google included. As we make those plans, it’s important that people take a fresh look at personal productivity and plan to maximize wellbeing and impact across all the places they work.
I developed this new guide with these challenges in mind. It gathers up all my best productivity and wellbeing tips from over the years, including how to:
Rethink your time and your calendar
Transform your inbox
Make meetings more meaningful
Bring productivity and wellbeing together
As we embrace new ways—and places—of working, all these areas feel more important than ever.
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