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Keith Tse

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Unproductivity

I wrote earlier than productivity was very important for our work and lives, and how we measure our efficiency largely determines the quality of our work and hence our rates and chances of success in our respective careers. I recently discovered another cool way of measuring my progress at work, though this time it is to do with my UNproductivity, namely the rate at which I am not moving as quickly or as much as I should. I was going through some old folders of mine, as I was in search of some sheets of paper that I badly needed to review. There is no easy way in locating several pages in the big piles of notes that I had, so I ended up going through all my documents in all my folders, which was a total pain. As I had not touched those notes in a very long time, I discovered that my notes were DUSTY. There were big and thick layers of dust on them, and I had to shake them off before I could even read what was written on them (yuck!). However, the process was surprisingly constructive, since not only did I manage to locate the sheets of paper that I was looking for (which happened to be in the last folder that I checked, so I in effect went through all my documents in my residence, which took me hours…), but by going through my notes I discovered some pretty cool stuff that I had collected years ago but had somehow forgotten in recent times, some of which seemed very interesting and relevant for my current work. It was hence a very productive mission, since I managed to obtain more than I had expected, which is always a pleasant surprise, and although I am usually very rigid in terms of my daily routine, I have come to appreciate the beauty of surprises. As mentioned before, we are often most productive when we are put in difficult situations which motivate us to get out of our comfort zones and go further than we could ever imagine, and this time it was no different, since I would not have bothered to go through my dusty notes if it had not occurred to me to find those sheets of paper, the process of which also led me to some extra material for my current work, so I guess it has been a constructive process. Nonetheless, all this has also made me realise just how UNproductive I have been with my notes lately, as shown in the amount of dust that has accumulated on them. We have all experienced this before, namely removing dust and dirt on our belongings, especially those that we have not touched in a while and have cruelly exiled to one side while we focus on other things, whereas things that we regularly use always look fresh and shiny on the surface due to constant use. It seems that the accumulation of dust/dirt is a pretty reliable way for measuring one’s UNproductivity, as is the case in my search through my old documents. Looks like it is now time to clean my place, as it is getting dusty, especially in certain corners that I have not touched, probably ever since I moved in. Let’s just hope that there are no rats or insects in there!   

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© Keith Tse (2015-) 

London, United Kingdom