Productivity Coach’s Corner: What Are You Missing?

Miss less, connect more, and engage the people you work (and live) with.

Back in the old days—as in 2019 and before!—many of us worked less than six feet from our colleagues. We used to be able to look to our left or right, or over our screen to see someone. Now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we read and meet and write and think in front of the screen. You might be in an office designed to maintain physical distancing or in a remote location away from people. Do you wonder—like I do—what you’re missing? One glance at the news or the feed on a social media profile will alert you to the challenges we face because we are farther apart.

To be productive is to be engaged. To be engaged is to be connected. And to connect, you’re going to have to notice something or someone around you. Now, we need to be apart more than together, and we need to come to terms with all we are missing. I remember before, people would say they didn’t enjoy teleconference meetings because they couldn’t read people’s body language, and they didn’t know if everyone was attentive. There is one thing you can do today to connect with your colleagues or clients: Slow down just a little and ask connection questions. 

Slowly, breathe four times as deeply as possible, setting your intention for the next work session (just the next hour or two—not the whole day!). If you’re attending a meeting, ask, “What can I listen for?” If you’re organizing a project, ask, “What can I think of?” And if you’re worried about being away from your team, ask, “Who can I notice and acknowledge today?”

Miss less, connect more, and engage the people you work (and live) with. And if you saw something you might have missed, please let me know. (Tag with the hashtag: #TodayINoticed.)

Jason Womack, MEd, MA, is a global speaker, executive coach, and best-selling author of “Your Best Just Got Better” and “Get Momentum: At Work and In Life.” He is the CEO and founder of the Jason Womack Company, which provides customized training on workplace performance.

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