The Myth of Productivity
For as long as I can remember, the ability to be productive has been worn like a badge of honor. Increase productivity, increase your bottom line. Companies have always used productivity as a benchmark for how effective a particular sector or team operates within their organization. A lack of this trait would certainly result in a red check mark and cause concern, requiring managers to scramble to figure out how they accomplish more in a shorter period of time.
Apps and authors took note of this, flooding the market with tools and text with guidelines for how you could be more productive in not only your work life but in your personal life as well. I’ve personally read countless books and articles for how I can accomplish more by simply following a few guidelines laid out by the author. However, it feels like the more I read and try to form my work habits around someone else’s ideal methods the less I actually get done.
And that’s because everyone’s situation is different. The suggested practices for peak productivity doesn’t account for two crazy kids running around, fires to put out at work, clients rescheduling meetings without notice, employees calling in sick, or any other unexpected interruption to what your normal day looks like. In a vacuum, the concept of productivity is a beautiful thing. But if you’re like most people, life turns into a series of chaotic events and you find yourself looking at your watch at the end of the day wondering how you didn’t manage to accomplish half of the shit you thought you’d have done by noon.
Look, you can fill your time with seeking out the next best proven method for how you can get more done or downloading an app that helps you stay on task. But I can almost guarantee you’ll waste more time managing said app than if you were to simply tackle your day and do as much as you can before time is up without feeling bad that you weren’t as “productive” as you wanted to be.
Instead of living in the shadow of guilt about lacking productivity in your life, just go tackle your day and be ok with the fact that you probably won’t get done as much as you thought you would. In today’s new world that we’re all finding ourselves in, it feels like work can wait. As long as you’re satisfied with the effort put forward then that’s really all that matters.
If you’re someone who is always seeking improvement, I get it. That’s a good thing. But practices that eat up more time and take you away from your core tasks really don’t help you accomplish much more in your day. And to me, that doesn’t sound too productive...
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