What's the one thing you can control in a challenging economy? Well, it's not your employment, but you can control your employability. There's never been a better time to be--or get--really good at your job, and there's never been a better time to improve your level of productivity.
Here's the catch: improvement--true improvement--means you'll have to spend more time on things you're not doing right now. You'll have to read. Study. Learn new things. So where do you find the time? Seth Godin offers some ideas:
Delete 120 minutes a day of 'spare time' from your life. This can include TV, reading the newspaper, commuting, wasting time in social networks and meetings. Up to you.What if you had two hours a day to invest in yourself? What would you do with that time if your career depended on it?
And if you're not spending that time doing the things you want, what would you do with an extra two hours if your happiness depended upon it?
Improving your productivity, you see, isn't just about working more hours. It's about getting more done in the hours you're at work so you have more time for the things you love to do. The good news is that even in a down economy, you still get 24 hours in every day--not more, but not less, either--at a time when it probably seems like you're getting less of everything. How you spend those hours matters more, though, since waste becomes more conspicuous when others don't have time or money to spare. That should be all the motivation you need.