Get productive because you want to do what matters.
Not just you want to get more done. More what done? Not more everything. That’s why you need to focus on productivity in the first place.
Good productivity, true productivity, doesn’t just mean running faster, spinning more plates. It means setting priorities, defining what’s important, and figuring out how to do more of the important stuff and less of the everything else.
Productivity wasn’t anything people worried about back in the days of dwelling in caves. Priorities were simple: food, shelter, clothing, procreation, territory.
The more complex our culture has become, the more luxuries we have as a society, the more difficult it becomes to be productive. We have a plethora of options, and we end up with problems like choice paralysis. Thus the need to consciously think about and practice principles of productivity.
What does it mean to be productive?
It means to
- set priorities
- define the important (which also defines the unimportant)
- become aware of time as a choice and as a finite resource
- identify good and bad habits
- establish good habits
- be self-disciplined
- use your strengths
- be discerning
- set limits
- be flexible
- keep a clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish
- find a way to make progress, to get closer to that vision every day
But how do you do it?
There’s the rub, aye?
How to be productive: the stuff of a thousand blogs, a thousand books, and plenty more coming all the time. Like this one. We’ve got productivity philosophies, hacks, habits, systems, methods, tricks, tips, principles, secrets, and more from productivity experts, gurus, counselors, and coaches.
The difficult part isn’t figuring out how, it’s doing what you figure out.
And when do you do it?
Today’s good. Also tomorrow. And the day after that. Now. Sooner rather than later.
Productivity provides cumulative benefits.
It’s like an interest-bearing account. The sooner you start putting something in there, the sooner you start earning interest on it, and the more interest you’ll earn.
Waiting even a day on being productive could result in losses that are huge in your future. You may not know them, but you’ll lack. Productivity has far-reaching benefits.
The best way to be productive is to make productivity a way of life. Make it part of who you are, something that you’re about, something that you do, something that is your default. Don’t make it a practice for particular segments of life. Make it the way you do all of life.
That way, all of your life will be better for it. Sounds smart to me.