Is Productivity a Skill? (7-Minute Read)
Productivity is a soft skill that encompasses problem-solving, time management, prioritizing urgent and essential things, and more. It is the ability to perform efficiently and consistently, making the most of available resources in a given time frame.
Everyone wants to be productive regardless of whether they are in school, studying for academic reasons, looking for a job, at their current job, working at home, or running a business.
Nonetheless, some people are incredibly productive in both their personal lives and careers, while others still struggle in this department. So what’s the secret to productivity, considering we all account for 24 hours daily?
High achievers have honed the ability to block their most productive hours. The likes of Jeff Bezos and Oprah have mastered the productivity skill. They have refined their time management and decision-making abilities.
To become a highly productive person like them, you must practice the qualities that define productivity to perfection. Tag along to find out more.
This post reviews productivity as a skill, substantiating if you can learn it, and expounds on the factors defining it as a skill.
Let’s dive in!
Is productivity a life skill?
Yes, productivity is a life skill because it helps you make the most in life. You thrive in school, home, work, business, and beyond.
If we revisit the definition of productivity, it is getting more work done with less hassle. On the other hand, a life skill is the ability to overcome challenges in life effectively and perform well in day-to-day responsibilities.
For example, emotional intelligence at work will help you keep your job because you can manage your relationships with colleagues. You are self-aware and avoid anger triggers. You’ll also control your anger and disappointments and look at conflict issues objectively, providing much-needed solutions.
Productivity helps to meet daily life demands, qualifying it as a life skill.
Let’s see some tips on productivity with examples to substantiate productivity as a life skill.
Assuming you need to achieve specific goals within a short timeline, your performance will be high if you:
- Set milestones with deadlines
- Limit distractions
- Work in a clean and organized place
- Take healthy breaks – working non-stop is unproductive
- Eat the frog – prioritize the most challenging task
- Manage time effectively
- Stop multitasking. Multitasking is a concentration killer.
If you remember to consistently and effectively do the above, you can tackle life demands easily. If you don’t, you’ll constantly worry your employer will lay you off due to poor performance.
If you’re a student, time will never be enough to cover all your studying materials, and your grades will reflect this.
For people in business, your competition will always be ahead of you.
With these examples, we can conclusively say productivity is a life skill because it helps you meet expectations and overcome life’s challenges.
Can productivity be learned?
You can learn productivity if you are willing to pursue it. It involves studying skills like effective time management, attention, and task management. It is a science best taught by productivity professionals like Iris Reading in their Productivity Course.
Furthermore, it would be best to look at what works for you, especially your most productive hours, and develop habits from the best approaches.
So, what’s there to learn in a productivity class? Iris Reading’s detailed online course teaches you simple ways you can boost your productivity. You’ll learn the science of productivity, what works and what doesn’t.
You’ll unlearn multitasking because it is not good for productivity. It confuses the brain and lowers efficiency and IQ! That’s because you can only concentrate on one thing at a time.
Society ingrained in us that multitasking helps you achieve more, but the truth is you lose concentration, and it takes time to refocus on what you are doing.
A lesson on productivity also covers improved focus, limiting distractions, how to avoid wasting time, ways to prevent procrastination, decision-making, and more.
What factors define productivity as a skill
There are many thinking and behavioral skills that define productivity as a skill. Some key factors include:
- Being able to focus and stay on task.
- Having a good work/life balance.
- Being able to manage time effectively.
- Being able to work in a collaborative environment.
- The ability to work with others to achieve common goals.
Let’s look at a few.
The ability to solve problems
The ability to reason out and suggest workable solutions during a crisis at your workplace or in your personal life is admirable.
Problem-solving as a skill is highly sought after by employers because it impacts organizations positively. It allows organizations to meet their goals despite internal and external hurdles.
Problem-solving also involves risk management and the ability to think even under pressure, which impacts productivity.
Effective time management
A goal that is SMART has a time cap to it, be it in an organization or your personal life. Everyone must do school, business, and work projects within a specified schedule.
Therefore, learning time management skills is critical. We all have the same days, but you can make more of a week than a month!
Effective time management reduces stress and affects the quality of a task. Rushing through a project to meet a deadline is poor time management, and you may miss some essential items.
Time management also goes hand in hand with good organization skills. If you have a messy workspace, it isn’t easy to focus. A file with easy-to-retrieve sheets ensures you don’t waste time looking for something.
Decision-making is the art of weighing options and choosing the best depending on your goals, values, timelines, and more. Making good decisions is a practice you learn.
A good decision maker analyzes problems objectively. They can check different solutions and their outcome and weigh the costs and benefits before choosing one option.
The ability to be a team player
A good team player actively participates in group projects by effectively communicating their opinion. Good team players perform the tasks assigned to them and are flexible.
Human beings do not always agree. Team players who are active listeners compromise and collaborate to see the goals met.
It is easier to do more as a group than as an individual since groups harness different skills, expertise, creativity, and innovation.
You probably played The Broken Telephone game where you tell someone something, the other person does the same, and the final person says what they understood to check if that’s what you said. Often, the message is entirely different.
Effective communication is the ability to pass the right message across. It improves when you’re self-confident and think through the information before relaying it.
Effective communication impacts productivity because there is no back and forth to get clarity. Instructions are clear, and work gets done right after you relay the message.
Now imagine a scenario where your message is vague; it is prone to misinterpretation or interpretation in all manner of ways.
Prioritizing tasks using Eisenhower Matrix
Prioritizing tasks is critical to productivity. To improve your performance, you need to know what matters most.
What should make it first on your to-do list is what matters, is urgent, and has set guidelines. Adopt a reasonable to-do list the day before and focus on the task at hand, limiting distractions such as frequently checking post updates on social media.
It is good practice to tackle the most difficult tasks first during your most productive hours, commonly referred to as ‘eating the frog.’
Schedule the critical non-urgent matters that are milestones to a long-term goal so that none falls through the cracks.
Assign duties that don’t require your expertise, which leads to the last point, delegating.
Delegating is a crucial skill to master. It is assigning duties to people who are competent enough to handle the task.
It doesn’t mean that the job will get lesser attention or that the outcome will be short of what you’d have accomplished. The result will be the same.
Assigning duties frees you to tackle the most important things and also builds the confidence of the assignee.
Productivity is a lifelong skill essential for success in every facet of life. You can learn it by reading productivity books or getting it all condensed from productivity professionals.
To improve productivity, make sure to hone abilities such as decision-making, teamwork, and effective time management. Other core factors affecting productivity are effective communication, task prioritization, and learning to delegate responsibilities.
If you are ready to increase your productivity, don’t be overwhelmed by the above information. Productivity is a science of habit stacking, and Iris Reading’s Personal Productivity Course can help you with that. Reach small milestones with the final aim in mind. Eventually, these productivity skills will become your habits.