Who wouldn’t want to raise their productivity? I know many of them, frankly. In our country, it’s been rumored about anyone working for the government, local or not: “That’s where the lazy people work.” They were the smart ones, who didn’t walk any faster than they had to. They urged and eventually trained their younger and more eager colleagues not to work too hard, as it would reflect poorly on them. Output per unit of input, that’s the most succinct measure of productivity. It’s every foreman’s dream to more work done with fewer people. So why should anyone with a steady job, paid by the hour, ever want to become more productive?
In this article, we propose a rethinking of this age-old paradigm. We even suggest some simple measures, easy to implement, to increase productivity. Because, really, we should.
The cost of laziness
First of all, the picture we painted of the lazy public official might have been true at one point in history, nowadays it’s clearly a nasty cliché. A remnant of other times, when people weren’t connected to the world with their telephone. In those days news traveled slowly, while it nowadays moves with lightning speed across the globe, just like money does, information, people. There’s no denying it: for every employee, there’s a cheaper one available in another country. Businesses know this and act accordingly. They move their plants around like it costs zilch. Like it doesn’t disrupt the local working force and societies as a whole. It’s what brought us the Brexit and Donald Trump, and thereby at least, for lack of a better word, increased global instability. Let’s hope it all plays out well, in the end.
Is productivity still optional?
Whatever your feeling with regard to current political and geopolitical developments, one thing stands out in my mind. For better or worse: with our new and less predictable lives comes more responsibility. And yes, this is a personal responsibility. No government, no manager, no-one will eventually make you decide what to do on a daily basis. You have to decide for yourself. Just as they won’t tell you how to vote (hopefully), you’re at it alone in your cubicle, trying to get the work done before your workday is over. Or, which is evermore the case in our increasingly flexible job market, before you get replaced by a seemingly better fit.
It’s a competitive world out there. You better take every advantage you can get, especially if it’s free of charge.
And that’s where widgets come in
There are no big, sweeping solutions to the bigger problems in the world. I’m truly sorry to say. But there are little possibilities to improve your life, even when you’re on a budget. Yes, you’ll need access to the Internet, but once you’re there you can bookmark and discover more interesting and empowering sites than you should visit every day. You can take notes to make sure your goals are not just in your own mind. You can read newspapers for free with RSS Readers you can configure just the way you want to.
Add to-do lists, with or without Google integration. Check your calendar right from your startpage. Convert currency. And a lot more.
But most of all: like no time before in the history of mankind (let’s not be humble this time!) there’s a unique opportunity to find, curate and enjoy your own home in the digital clouds. Secure and safe, there whenever you need it. And even when jobs or even computers come and go, it’ll be there.
To me, it’s reassuring to know. I suppose it even makes me more productive, every time I open my laptop because I can do more than search online. I’ve already found it.
- Author: Stefan van Dierendonck