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The Simple Key to Productivity

Last Friday I had a medical scare and ended up in the emergency room for seven hours. Fortunately, it had a happy ending and I’m now fine. Sure, I had the usual experience of “powerlessness and falling down the rabbit hole into zombie land,” that endless wait until someone comes and starts poking you to take blood. But in other respects it was extremely positive–or as positive as being flat on your back with wires and tubes sticking out of you can be.

Last Friday I had a medical scare and ended up in the emergency room for seven hours. Fortunately, it had a happy ending and I’m now fine. Sure, I had the usual experience of “powerlessness and falling down the rabbit hole into zombie land,” that endless wait until someone comes and starts poking you to take blood. But in other respects it was extremely positive–or as positive as being flat on your back with wires and tubes sticking out of you can be.
For one, the doctor was extremely personable and caring. He took the time to understand what was bothering me and to get to the bottom of my problem. In fact, no medical test seemed to be enough: Two EKGs, since the first one didn’t quite look right; two blood tests four hours apart to be sure there was no change; a sonogram of my heart. There was no hesitation about the cost. The attitude was: How can we determine what is wrong? What can we do to help?
It sure felt good to have someone be so thorough. Contrast that to a typical doctor visit where you’re rushed in and out so quickly you feel like you’re on a bullet train. Now this is not a meditation on the high cost of medical care or our broken health care system. None of which I’m qualified to talk about. But it is about the Power of Taking the Next Step. Of being thorough. Of going to the end of the earth and back in pursuit of answers.
In today’s quick as a whistle world, we’re on to the next thing before we can even take a breath. Instead, why not embrace the Paradox of Slowing Down to Speed Up Results. I believe we would be much more productive if we applied the brakes. If we took the time to be more thorough. If we didn’t always approach everything in the same way. And if we took a critical eye to our work.
Here are some questions I’m going to start asking myself in my B2B PR work with our clients to help me and my team be more thorough–and ultimately productive:

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Why are we taking this particular approach?
Have we truly answered the questions we set out to ask?
Could we try a totally different approach?
Can we do anything else that will make a difference?
Anything totally out of the ordinary we could try that might be productive?

What are you doing to be more productive in your work? How can you slow yourself down to go further? I’d love to hear from you.

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About the author

Wendy Marx is President of Marx Communications, an award-winning boutique B2B Public Relations agency known for turning companies and executives, including start-ups, into thought leaders. Follow her on Twitter @wendymarx and on Google+ @ plus.google.com/+wendymarx.

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