Is it better to be productive or present?
There’s a growing trend in workplaces. As a student who’ll be joining that workforce soon, it's important you keep up to date with these trends. Workers are staying at their desks later and later every day. Sometimes it’s because they’re busy and really do have tasks to complete. And sometimes it’s because they’re trying to look busy and impress the boss. But being present doesn’t mean you’re being productive This trend has even seen the emergence of a new word - presenteeism. It’s defined as “the practice of being present at one's place of work for more hours than is required, especially as a manifestation of insecurity about one's job”. That definition makes it clear that these workers are not there to complete tasks but instead to create an illusion of work. Productivity will always win over presenteeism When you’re working, make sure to complete all your tasks and meet all deadlines. That’s what will really impress a line manager. You could be at your desk, browsing Facebook and Instagram, while looking fully engaged in your work. That helps no one. Rather, make a conscious choice to be productive. Productivity is a choice The world is filled with distractions. Sometimes it seems like everything is out to distract you from completing the most simple of tasks. Everything from the constant buzzing of your cellphone to the never ending stream of emails, the lure of funny videos online to that hot new person in class. To be really productive, you need to find ways to block these out and concentrate on the task at hand. Decision fatigue Successful people can often be found wearing the same outfits and eating the same meals. The reason for this? They don’t have the time to think about trivial issues and make small decisions. That’s why Steve Jobs wore a black turtleneck and jeans daily. And that’s one of the reasons Apple became one of the most successful tech companies in the world. He knew he had to block out those distractions. Get there on time Virgin founder Richard Branson has a simple and effective solution to improve productivity. Start at the start, he says. “Whether it is a meeting, a flight, an appointment or a date, ensure you are there when you say you will be there. This may feel like an old-fashioned tip to give, but it has served me well for five decades in business. Are you going to be on time for your next meeting? Don’t be late.” Even now, don’t pretend to study There’s no point sitting behind your desk, pretending to be studying and wishing you were wrapped in your duvet covers. If you’re feeling like you can’t study, rather get up and do something else like get something to eat, spend time with a friend or take a walk outside. You may think you don’t have time to stop studying, but if you’re not really working, a short break will make you more productive when you get back. Image: Pexels