Does stupidity affect productivity?

I know, there are many types of stupidity and equally as many different interpretations of productivity. But what got me thinking about this topic is the incredible difficulty I’m having in typing this blog. I wish I had a more profound explanation for my inspiration, but I don’t. So let me elaborate on how I chose this topic and try to make it somehow relevant.

Last week I was trying to inflate an exercise ball to get in a little workout before work and while opening the box with some scissors I managed to somehow remove a good portion of the fingertip on the index finger of my left hand. Needless to say it hurt, but the initial pain I felt was not from my finger but from the fact I could be stupid enough to actually try to open the box the way I did. It wasn’t apparent until later that day how that one moment of stupidity would have a lasting affect on my productivity at work.

So after the 2 hours it took to stop the bleeding, I finally made it to the office. Realizing I was late and had a couple deadlines to meet, I doubled my normal daily dose of caffeine, closed my office door and tried to focus the best I could. My daily routine usually starts with 30 min or so of email and then I have a couple meetings or so before I get the afternoon to do any documentation or written communication necessary for the projects I am involved in.

As soon as I sat down at my computer the levity of my stupidity really sank in. As I started to respond to my emails I realized the HUGE bandage on my finger was keeping me from being able to type. Every time I tried to hit a key I ended up hitting like 6 of them. It was a nightmare. I actually panicked for a moment because I didn’t know what I was going to do. I even broke out into a cold sweat. Not until that moment did I realize my ability to type was directly connected to my livelihood.

I couldn’t type at all. Even the hunt and peck method wouldn’t work. For someone whose productivity is based on communication, you can imagine how terrified I felt when I realized that written communication was out of the question. I mean, who knew that the left index finger is the most crucial digit for typing. I always considered my thumbs to be the most important of my fingers, but after this experience I can tell you for a fact they are not. It’s absolutely your left index finger.

Fortunately enough for me, a wonderful colleague of mine offered to actually type for me if I dictated my thoughts to her so that I could meet my deadlines. She totally came to the rescue, but added in another level of complexity. See, I don’t exactly think in complete sentences, so a one hour project ended up taking three hours.

So in effect, my stupidity caused me to be 2 hours late for work, be unable to perform the main function of my job and require the assistance of someone else to meet my deadlines keeping them from their work responsibilities. So I think I can say with resounding certainty that stupidity definitely affects productivity. Maybe not all the time, but in my case certainly more often than not.