Productivity: The Mushy Mug Principle

christopher hopper

[This is the first in a series on Productivity]

Do you like to wake up to surprises? If you’re smart, you’re instantly qualifying that question with “What kind of surprise?” No dirty diapers or frozen water-lines. I mean a good surprise.

I woke up today and found that my wife had set out the coffee mugs for my at-home staff meeting later on this morning. Not only that, but the coffee “accessories” were out, and a few extra chairs were at the table.

I was so touched.

Planning ahead has many merits, the most obvious of which is saving yourself time in the long run by taking care of essential tasks before things “get complicated.” Most of us actually plan ahead more than we realize, like setting an alarm the night before. But there is another far greater benefit of planning ahead.

The emotional intangible.

Setting out the coffee mugs, cleaning up the kitchen, and adding a few more chairs around the table are things I could have very easily done myself. But because my wife did them, not only did I not have to–which saved me time (and the fact that I’m not as thoughtful to do things like she does)–but I was instantly aware that she was thinking of me. And thinking of our staff.

While I was busy snoring away (which I do), she was taking just a few extra minutes to make sure everything was all set. I felt cared for. Important. And that meant more to me than any level of productivity; in fact, such acts by others actually increase our own productivity.

Aside from thinking ahead for yourself, who is one person you could prepare something for that would positively affect their work load today?

Being prepared speaks to peoples’ lives, that you care about who they are, not just about you getting all your proverbial ducks in a row. ch:

  • Rebekah Berthet

    Insert big “AWWWWWW” here. 🙂 This is great! It’s nighttime here, so can’t do much about Joel’s workload today, but maybe I’ll put the toothpaste on his toothbrush and fluff his pillows for him tonight! 🙂

  • All so true and so very important …its always the little things that speak Big …This is one area of my life , I got IT in !..lol ..Jenny rocks !

    • Don’t you love it when you read something and, instead of feeling convicted by yet “one more thing I’m not doing,” you say, “Yesssss! That’s what I do!”? Rock on!

  • reenie

    There are so many people who live without the constant care of thier spouse – So when we see them we should strive to help them out a bit if at all possible (many are the wives of servicemen who don’t have their honeys home to help.) You are right it does increase ones productivity and effectiveness if they know they are thought of and shown little acts of kindness. I know when Jan does something little for mw in my day – it isn’t so little to me – I appreciate that thoughtfulness so much more when I don’t even have to ask . Great thoughts Christopher love ya !

    • I find that the level of constant care for a person’s spouse is directly proportional to the constant care people have for the Lord. The reality is people treat the Lord the same way their treat their spouse, making marriage one of the most uncomfortably obvious measuring sticks of our God-connection. Thanks for commenting, Reenie; right on.

  • Taking a personal day, that would positively affect everyone’s workload!, hehe.

  • I could take a personal day, that would positively affect everyone’s workload!, hehe.

  • no, honestly. Some days, I think I am the biggest distraction there, lol get me going on the right subject, and I have to do office polls etc.

    • “Learn to be still, a hard thing it is, but learn it you must.” -Yoda of the Dagobah System