To say productivity is important is an understatement, but it’s especially important when you work away from your team. Not only because you want to stay employed (if you don’t get your work done you won’t have a job very long) but your team relies on you getting your work done and being productive. That’s one of the main differences between being a team member and being a teammate.
Admittedly some days that’s easier than others. We all have times we feel stuck, and when you’re a long-distance teammate you don’t have someone in the next cube to help you. And let’s face it, occasionally it’s your teammates being the reason you’re stuck. Constant interruptions on Slack or through text messages, too many meetings, multiple requests for help…All this creates the big question: How do you manage your own performance while being a good teammate?
Remember that we’re not talking about just being busy. Lord knows we’re all “busy.” It’s not all that hard to be busy. But being productive is different. Productivity is getting the right work done in the right way at the right time.
Kevin and I came up with four questions to ask yourself when you’re stuck that may help you get some traction under those wheels and help you get on with it:
- What am I focused on right now?
- What should I be focusing on?
- What am I teaching others about how to help me be productive?
- What habits do I have that impact my productivity?
It’s easy to sacrifice your own productivity in the name of being a reliable team member or being seen as a good employee. But when we focus on true productivity, rather than just completing tasks, (and help others do the same) we become the kind of teammate we aspire to be and that the rest of the team values having.
About the author
Wayne Turmel is the co-founder and Product Line Manager for the Remote Leadership Institute and is the author of several books that demystify communicating through technology. Wayne and Kevin teamed up previously for The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership. Their latest collaboration is a follow-up, The Long-Distance Teammate: Stay Engaged and Connected While Working Anywhere can be found on Amazon.