Productivity gets a bad rap these days. A few people I respect and am inspired by have gone as far as to say (pretty much) “I don’t give a rat’s ass about productivity, and neither does anyone else who’s worth talking about.”
All of a sudden, productivity is chopped liver. Why is this?
Because productivity has been associated solely with the techniques and lifehacks that enable a select few people to get more done more efficiently, people spend hours and hours finding new ways to be quicker at things they don’t need to be doing in the first place. Learning to become more efficient at things you don’t need to be doing isn’t being productive – it’s wasting time and energy.
Because productivity has been so closely aligned with “work” and cranking widgets, people feel torn between being productive and enjoying quality time with family. Sure, you could slough off your family and get more work done, but you haven’t become more productive – you’ve just gotten more work done. In the mean time, you’ve neglected a critical part of what it means to be a thriving person.
Because productivity has been measured with the production of key deliverables, creatives feel that hours spent braintornadoing and playing with ideas is not being productive. Chasing ideas is what enables creatives to do what they love doing – sometimes it pans out to a deliverable product, sometimes it’s just playing with ideas. It’s the process, folks, that separates talented creatives from, well, everybody else.
Because productivity has been connected with Doing More Things, we’ve taken on more and more without considering whether we need to quit doing everything that’s not moving us towards our real (meaningful) goals. If being more productive means Doing More Things, you can let me off the bus now.
All that’s why productivity is bunk.
And all that is wrong. Productivity is about figuring out what you want to be and making it happen. It addresses both the end at hand (why you’re doing what you’re doing) and the means (the way you’ll get it done). In the final analysis, you can’t separate personal development from productivity.
I can’t think of one person worth talking about who hasn’t thought about what they want to do and how to do it. I can’t think of one person worth talking about who didn’t have goals and challenges to overcome to achieve those goals. I can’t think of one person worth talking about who didn’t want to help others live from the inside-out.
So read my lips:
I’m taking productivity back.
I’m promoting information that helps you achieve the goals you should.
I’m promoting bloggers, writers, and other creatives that inspire us to become more authentic and teach techniques on how to do it.
I’m commending virtuous people and endeavors.
I’m writing long posts that move beyond the “one post, one idea” guidance because that’s not the way paradigm-shifting ideas happen.
I’m diving into the weeds with technical stuff that has made my life more simple in the right way.
I’m creating a slew of planners that help you visualize your day to get it done. One size does not fit all, but I’m crafting different sizes for (almost) everyone.
I’m creating podcasts that lend a voice to the ideas at play and show, through presentations, what writing cannot.
I’m sharing my successes and failures with you – despite how much of a braggart I seem or how stupid I look.
And I’m having fun while doing it.
If you’re with me, great! Help me – ask questions, comment, disagree, share stories – basically, become part of the discussion. Though I don’t commend violence, slap some reality into a lifehacker while you’re at it.
If you’d rather figure out 27 ways to hack a tuna can lid and wonder why your projects still aren’t done, then please move on. You won’t like what you read here.
This will be a long, hard endeavor, and I’ll make many friends and enemies along the way. Guerrilla warfare, subterfuge, sarcasm, double entendres, and pointing-at-naked-emperors will happen. So be it.
Join the party, because WE’RE TAKING PRODUCTIVITY BACK.