Here’s an interesting article from Inc.com about how the use of words ending in -ing can harm your productivity. The authors mistakenly call these words gerunds, when in fact they’re talking about the present participle, but their point is still valid. (A gerund refers to the usage of a verb as a noun.)
Here’s a snippet, written specifically to entrepreneurs, but applicable to most of us:
The path to ruin for many entrepreneurs comes from a lack of accountability. It’s easy as an entrepreneur to get caught up in what you’re doing—as opposed to what you’ve accomplished and what you plan to do next.
Read the whole article here.
If you’re reporting to a client, colleague, or supervisor, make sure you let them know what has been accomplished and what is planned next, instead of just reporting on current activities.
If you’re an entrepreneur whose only “report” may be the one to yourself—planning your day and examining what you’ve accomplished already—check your to-do list for too many present participles. Because sometimes the most important communication is the kind you have with yourself.