We live in a society hyper-obsessed with being productive.
It is like a status symbol to be busy. Everyone wants to be busy and feel important.
We never want to “waste time.” Or at least we do not want others to know that we are wasting time.
So we do everything we can to maintain productivity levels. We try “hacks” where we drink 3 cold glasses of water in the morning. We read listicles. We start writing every day. We do #whateverittakes to squeeze more juice out of the day.
I have a couple of thoughts on this…I am not exactly sure the best structure to put them in..so I” just kind of write them out in a list.
- I do not think “wasting time” is necessarily a bad thing. Well, let me rephrase that – I do not think it is possible to perfectly perceive whether or not you are wasting time. I think it is okay to get distracted every once in a while. In fact, I think it is a good thing. I think that far too often we get sucked down a rabbit hole of chasing one goal or idea that was imbued upon us (probably by someone else). Rarely do we consider alternatives. And the best way to do just that is to do things that are new. Do things that you do not know how they will end up. Go hike that random mountain, etc.
- I think there are so many things that we do throughout the day that we think are “productive” but are really bad for us. This happens especially in the workplace. People in the workplace try to be efficient as possible. They do not want to waste any money and they want to maximize returns. This is well exemplified – you cannot just go randomly spend $500 on a project. Your coworkers will say hell no. But..here is the weird thing. You can call an hour long meeting with 10 coworkers no problem. And at $50 hr, that is a $500 meeting to the company. The same cost of that stupid project. Do you measure the ROI on your meetings? Probably not. Think about that…
I find myself avoiding productivity hacks / things at all costs. Instead, I focus my energy at the intersection of what I like to do, what I am good at, and what the world needs.
If I enjoy it, I’ll make the most of it. If not, I probably will not be productive with it.
Also published on Medium.