Putting People Before Productivity

Practice people before productivity.

—DiAnn Mills

“If you need to take time off, it’s okay to do so if that will help you work through things.”

Those words, coming from my boss at the time, meant the world to me. It was June of last year, the lowest point I’d been in my life. I truly wondered if I’d ever feel like my old self again. Thankfully, I did make it through that valley.

His words exemplify the quote above.

Let me put this into context.

DiAnn Mills gave one of the keynote addresses at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference earlier this year. She was talking about several tips related to attending the conference. They also applied to all of us writers beyond the conference.

Practicing people before productivity was one of them.

Yes, to be a good writer, I’ve got to put the hours in at a keyboard, but at the conference, much of what went on was relational as we gathered at meals, during breaks, and at the end of the day. Did I write? A little, but I hung out with others who were writers like I am.

Beyond the conference, it’s easy to get caught up in the solitary nature of writing. Novels aren’t written by committee. Instead, it’s a long process of writing, re-writing, and editing by ourselves.  

It’s easy to get isolated with such an avocation. We writers need friends outside of writing who can keep us grounded. Friends outside of writing can encourage us and pull us into other interests that can help round out our lives.

This statement also applies at work.

With my day job at the Division of Water Infrastructure, it’s easy to get overly focused on productivity. We all have a lot of work going on, be it preparing reports, attending meetings, or reviewing must-do items. It never goes away and will be increasing in the near future.

I’ve been lucky. For me, the technical aspects of my job have changed around me to challenge me. That’s helped to keep me at this job.

But what sealed my workplace as my home for the past almost fifteen years are the people. We see each other as family. We have a common goal of serving the citizens of our state. We also look out for each other. My boss did that last year. Or, if someone has to be out for a bit, we create work-arounds to get the job done.

In my mind, when companies or agencies put people first, the job takes care of itself because the workers are engaged in what they do.

It’s not easy, but it works. And for that, I’m very thankful.

When we put people first before our work, be it in our jobs or beyond, the work takes care of itself. #authenticity #encouragement Click To Tweet

Question: What has been a job where you felt valued the most as a person, be it in the workplace or beyond?

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