The world is full of people of varying productivity. Some people are highly productive — others are highly unproductive. Most people float somewhere in between, with productive days and unproductive days sprinkled in between. The trick to becoming an effective worker, employee, and boss is to have more productive days than unproductive days.
Some people, however, are mostly unproductive. These are the people we should avoid looking for in coworkers, employees, and bosses. They constantly come up with excuses for not accomplishing much, and their excuses can be varied. Here are ten examples:
1. They focus on how much they are paid before increasing productivity — not realizing that in the employee-employer exchange, the employer perceives them to create more value than what they are paid. To increase your chances at a raise, increase your productivity!
2. They will also constantly put things off. They won’t just reprioritize things, they will simply put these things off for days, weeks, and months at a time. Much like the high school senior scrambling to get work done before the end of the grading period, they’ll scramble to finish work before deadlines.
3. A highly productive person is a versatile person. They will work outside the confines of their job profile or their title, realizing it to be merely a guideline and a recommendation to prevent stepping on toes.
4. Self-interest is a great motivator for any worker, but effective self-interest is focused on the broader goals. Unproductive people will look at immediate goals and see only work and no reward. If they can’t find an immediate payoff, they’ll put the work off.
5. Being afraid of failure is understandable — failure is scary and can hurt — but effective, productive workers (and especially entrepreneurs) will jump in the face of failure and attempt to prove it wrong.
6. If somebody simply forgot about a task that was asked of them or that they agreed to do, then they didn’t see the task as important in the first place. Write reminders! Set an alarm on your phone! Use a calendar!
7. If somebody doesn’t know how to do something, then they should either outsource that to another person or learn how to do it themselves. The best workers, bosses, and employees are always growing in what they know, never being stagnant and reaching to achieve more and more.
8. Emergencies happen — and most people understand that. The thing is: emergencies usually happen only rarely and are, by their nature, unpredictable. If somebody can predict the frequency of your emergencies by looking at your work calendar, then chances are you are finding excuses to not finish work.
9. To drive motivation, productive people realize that they haven’t earned anything new until after they have striven to achieve it. Unproductive people view themselves as already having earned something, and merely waiting for the paycheck or customers to roll through the door.
10. Just like emergencies, if somebody can predict the rate at which you get sick by looking at your work calendar, then something is wrong. While work-related stress does have a negative effect on one’s immune system, somebody shouldn’t be predictably sick because of work (pending any kind of serious condition).
Look out for these ten excuses in your own work and others. Unproductive people don’t have to stay that way! They can strive to become better, more productive people in time, and just need to be aware of any unproductive shortcomings they may have!
Infographic images courtesy of jobcluster.com