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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
 
  May 2016
 
  April 2016
 
 
 
 
LEGAL ARTICLE
PRODUCTIVITY
Shilpa Bhasin Mehra

What did you achieve today? Was it a fruitful day? Make every day of your life count. So often, when I hear people lamenting "I am so busy", I am so tempted to ask them doing what. Does your busy schedule result in any success or is it just a pillar to post routine. Some honest people admit that the running around was quite in vain. Being busy or at least saying so is the latest chic statement, hence used frequently by all and sundry.

One doesn't have to be signing a million dollar deal in order to be productive. It could be a simple deed that brought a smile on a dear one's face. It could at times, just be lending a listening ear to someone who needs that badly at a particular time, or even a shoulder to cry on. When I would spend a day with my grandmother, it was such a productive day for me. I knew she would not be around for very long, so the other tasks could wait. When a friend was going through a divorce, she just needed someone to pour her heart out. Spending hours listening to her, was being productive according to me, though in the most passive sense, because I was providing her with what was her need of the hour. Just like everything in life is reference to context, so is it with productivity, we cannot give it a strait jacket definition. What may seem productive to you may seem like a useless exercise to the others. But it is not about satisfying any common norms or standards, it is about self-satisfaction and self-fulfilment.

In offices, productivity has a specific meaning for every person and department. You have targets, key performance indicators, dead lines to be met and vigorous work schedules to be adhered to. I really liked the logic of one of the senior lawyers I worked for many years ago. The work approach was totally result oriented. He was not interested in the clock watchers in the office, who seem so busy watching the hands of the clock. One has to deliver the goods on time. If I spent 18 hours in office and still was lagging behind, he wouldn't be impressed at all. In fact, he would seriously doubt my competence and efficiency.

Just like we say penny wise pound foolish, I feel the same logic applies to our work. We should not get so involved in the nitty-gritty of things, that we lose focus on the main job at hand. A few small errors can be over looked if the final result is good. There is little point in being so meticulous, if the dead line for the matter has gone past. Then the whole effort would be completely in vain.

The whole world has only 24 hours in a day, but the successful people achieve so much in those very hours. Their key to success is productivity. I often hear some really busy lawyers say, it was a tiring but a productive day. Meetings, court cases, thirty minutes on the treadmill too and winding it up with a family dinner, all in one day. Plus one cannot forget the travel involved nowadays and the time wasted in travel. But it's amazing to see them utilize the waiting time at the airport and the idle time in the flight so well, by having their reading material handy and the correspondence to catch up on. The very successful lawyers have meetings in the flight too with their clients.

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. Corporate houses have realized this truth and are investing in motivational courses for their employees to enhance their productivity. Incentive schemes are initiated to provide a driving force to achieve better results.

To be productive - motivation, communication, and implementation are imperative, but you must work with each player and every team differently.  Some players are motivated by a gentle pat on the back. Other players need their pat a bit harder.  Some players need verbal communication, and others have to see a diagram of the play drawn out on a board. Just as the modes to encourage productivity are diverse, so is the definition of it individual to each person. So whatever your meaning of productivity is, here is wishing you productive days ahead!

 
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