How do you increase your productivity at work? Does it have to do with what you are doing – or with what you wish you were doing? Sometimes we do not perform to our best standard or need to put in more effort; our job might not correspond to what we really want to do or to what our character, or life mission, is all about. It is important to be true to our core values in order to increase our productivity in the workplace, because circumstances might change but our values remain the same.
Since the 2007-2008 financial crisis, many companies have had to restructure. The effect of this has been visible not only on the employees who have been let go but also on those who stayed behind, in many cases uncertain of their future. This uncertainty has led to many people questioning every professional decision they ever made – and even their very choice of career.
Values withstand the test of time
Your choices can also influence you. You choose your path according to circumstances and when the circumstances change, you become dissatisfied. The situation changes but your basic principles do not; therefore, your principles should serve as a basis for your choices in life. For instance, some people might choose their careers when they are very young according to their financial needs. When they get older and start a family, their needs change: spending quality time with loved ones becomes a higher priority than money.
Sometimes, the behavior of others can destabilize you and cause you to lose focus. For instance, if a colleague is going through a significant life change such as divorce or the arrival of a new baby, they can influence how you feel: considering you work in a team, it might be harder to collaborate with someone who is not able to perform as they used to. In most cases, if the team is well structured, team members know how to support one another. Otherwise, things might get complicated if you have the mentality that one’s personal life does not belong at work. It might therefore be difficult to know whether to ask your colleague how you can help them – or if they even want any help at all.
A journey of self-discovery
Working at Global Fund, Puja Deepanjali Sapkota has witnessed firsthand how many of her colleagues have been affected by the restructuring that has been taking place in the last few years.
She took the initiative to start a lunchtime program to lead her colleagues through a journey of self-discovery. This is both an emotional and a spiritual journey that helps them to rediscover their fundamental beliefs. The participants emerge more aware of how their behavior and choices affect their coworkers, and with a better understanding of how they can help themselves and others in the same situation.
Puja grew up with a grandmother who instilled in her the belief that the most important things in life are our beliefs and our values. Everything else is superficial and changes with time; all our choices affect others and have a significant impact on our lives. Puja came to know more about these principles as she faced problems in life and started asking difficult questions. It is through this process that Puja now helps people realize that unless their core values are aligned with their present career, they will not be as productive as they can.
To illustrate this point, we talked to a fundraising coordinator who, after working for several years at an organization, now feels that she is not really making a difference in this job. She would like to do something that would give her own life more meaning and where she would have a positive impact on other people’s lives. While she is still able to perform adequately in her current job, she is experiencing a lower morale and a dip in motivation. Her job has not changed; but her priorities have. Her values are no longer aligned with her work.
You might feel frustrated that there is nothing you can do about the economic situation; however, you can improve your job satisfaction by making sure you make choices that are aligned with your core values. This will help you to make choices that guarantee your productivity for a very long time.
Photo credit: Sean MacEntee via photopin cc