I have spent a lot of time looking into how to be more productive and there are so many things out there that can help. Everything from calendar blocking to bullet journalling can help with the organisational side of things. And then you can look at all the self help stuff to help you with your procrastination and fears. But doing all of this stuff doesn’t actually get the work done. And what exactly are we trying to achieve in the first place. Being busy for the sake of being busy is just a sure fire way to get yourself burnt out.
So what is the optimum working speed? Should we all be pulling all nighters and working until our fingers bleed? And how do we measure how well we have done? Is it by how many words we have typed, or how many likes we have received over the course of a day? Or is it based on monetary return? There are so many ways of measuring but one way that is very rarely looked at, is how much happiness an activity has brought you.
What good is it to earn a fortune and to not feel fulfilled at the end of the day? There was a time in my life when my identity was so tied up in how much I achieved and at what speed that I quite literally felt hollow. I could produce loads of work but I wanted to gouge my eyes out by the end of the day.
So, when you are watching any of these videos on youtube that show you how to make your day more worthwhile and full, think why you are watching it and what you want from the work that you are doing. Sometimes, doing some arts and crafts (which you are doing for enjoyment only and not to sell the fruits of your labour) can be much more rewarding than working away at the blog that is making you tonnes of money. Sometimes, doing some voluntary work is the way forwards. And sometimes just doing nothing is pretty awesome too. In fact, the people who can sit and do nothing without feeling irritable are the people who are most at peace with themselves.
But, if you are wanting to get more done then try and take the distractions out of your life. Things like social media and TV would be the first things to get rid of. And then really think about what you want out of a piece of work. It doesn’t have to make you money to be of use. If you know what you’re looking to get out of something then it’s far easier to keep motivated and on track. It’s also worth writing out goals and monitoring progress as this can also help when you start to flag. I’m always far more likely to procrastinate when I’ve lost my passion for a project and this is normally because I don’t know what I’m aiming for any more.
With all of these things in mind I wrote a little poem about being productive and how money shouldn’t always be the end game.
The thought to me that is most seductive,
Is “what if I could be a little more productive?”
If I were, would I smash my every goal?
Would I seem like I was on a roll?
I’d be sure to make a tonne of cash,
And live a lifestyle that’s really very falsh.
But this could come at such a price,
That no amount of clothes could be that nice.
So do the things that you enjoy,
Because the money myth is just a ploy,
To make you think that you’re not good enough,
That you’re not made of the right stuff.
But, my dear, you really are,
Already quite the shining star.