THINK ABOUT IT: production vs. production asset

This week’s THINK ABOUT IT is a topic both near and dear to my heart and straight out of Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In the overview of the book (starting on page 53), Covey explains that effectiveness is based on honoring what he calls the P/PC balance. The P stands for “production” and the PC stands for “production capacity.” He maintains that in order to be successful and effective long-term, we must balance our ability to produce (create, build, sell, input data into Excel, cook, clean, you name it) with our ability to protect our well being. Just like a machine needs care and upkeep to work properly, we must care for our bodies and minds; which includes regular relaxation and time off.

He maintains that in order to be successful and effective long-term, we must balance our ability to produce (create, build, sell, input data into Excel, cook, clean, you name it) with our ability to protect our well being.

In the short-term, we can push our bodies and our minds to do more and more- focusing solely on increasing our output. And sometimes this is necessary. But over the long-term our spirit, health, and relationships will be sacrificed. And since the spirit, health, and relationships in our lives are what feed us, we will inevitably reach a point where we can no longer produce to such extremes.

For example, a friend of mine (also a designer and business owner) launched her business years ago. It took an incredible amount of work in the beginning, and she rarely had time to sleep or socialize. Over the course of a year and a half, the extreme workload wore her body out and she became incredibly ill for over a month. The “strike” her body went on forced her to recognize and honor the P/PC balance. But had she been able to manage a more balanced life earlier, her body may never have reached such a compromised state.

Personally, I have found through monitoring my own workload, that my attitude and quality of work decreases as I resist my natural rhythm. But the more that I honor and value my time out of the office as an integral key to my success as a business-owner, the better work I produce and the happier I feel.

Remember the fable of the goose that laid the golden eggs? When the farmer became impatient waiting for his daily egg of gold, he decided to kill the goose to get all of the eggs at once. Only to find that by killing the goose, he killed the source of all future golden eggs. So the better we honor ourselves, the better we care for our golden eggs.

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  1. Jill

    This is so true and especially so for me right now with young children. I have to remember to take breaks from the kids before I get burnt out. I had major burn out last week and it was horrible for the whole family. Then last night my husband reminded me to take a break (even though I wasn’t at breaking-point, which is usually when I stop) – the break almost felt unnecessary, but I realized once I got back in the game with the kids/family I was refreshed. Also, this reminds me that I need to get 7 Habits back off the book shelf!

  2. Eva

    Thanks for this post! This hits home! I think I have overworked myself a couple times…and I am feeling the pull right now. After reading your post I have decided to give myself the valentine’s day gift of a day for me! I am taking Friday off!

    (BTW, love that Wal-Mart table lamp…but it’s out of stock!)

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