Quantity does not equal quality

Just because you have a lot to do, doesn’t mean you’re doing a lot. I said this today as I was meeting with a recent graduate and mentee of mine. I am currently reading Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week, and he says something like this as well. “Few people choose to (or are able to) measure the results of their actions and thus measure their contribution in time. More time equals more self-worth and more reinforcement from those above and around them.” (p. 32). I could not agree more. I see students and student leaders, employees, parents, faculty and administrators stay busy, but not always productive.

In a finite work week, and with limited time on Earth, we have to focus our attention on being productive with our time. And that doesn’t always mean being a busy body, or always running from one appointment to the next. I have to remind myself of this as I am known asĀ  “busy guy” on campus. I like to believe that I spend my time mostly where it matters; sometimes that is in the office, sometimes that is with students, and sometimes that is in reflection, thinking about how to transform the campus around me. Think over this next week how much you actually DO in a week, and try to make an assessment of how valuable your time is using these measures: a) did I add value to someone else’s life, b) did I learn something new and/or challenging, c) was I consistent with my core values, and d) am I content. If you can answer affirmatively and positively to those questions I believe you have made good use of your day and week. No matter if you “worked” 80 hours or 10 hours. Stay productive folks, and help me do the same!

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