The Wall Street Journal:
How often have you had a work day when, as mid-afternoon races toward late-afternoon, you realize that you haven’t really gotten anything done?
Painfully often, if you’re like many of the professionals we talked to for a recent study on everyday work life through Harvard Business School.
Not only do unproductive days like this detract from the success of your projects, your team and your organization; they can endanger your own well-being.
We discovered that nothing makes people feel happier and more engaged at work than making meaningful progress on something they care about. We call that the progress principle. But this progress principle has a serious downside: Nothing makes people feel worse than being stalled in their work – and this negative effect is much stronger.
Most often, the cause of an unproductive day is fragmentation – trying to juggle many competing, and usually unexpected, demands on your time. It’s what happens when you’ve worked like crazy all day, and still you have the sense that you haven’t been productive. Sound familiar?
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