Being Busy vs Being Productive

You might already have read a lot of blogs and articles about being productive and have watched so many videos about productivity in YouTube and other learning channels. I am not going to tell you the same story again. I am going to tell you that you already know what you need to know to be productive. I am going to tell you that nothing works. I am going to tell you that you can not have the discipline necessary to become productive. I believe that by now, you might be thinking that there is a “but” coming. All the self help articles and motivating stories have these tactics in them. This is not a self help blog or a motivating story. This is an article about the problems we face in our journey towards our success and productivity.

Almost all the productivity articles highlight that instant messages and email are the primary causes of distractions. They suggest you put away email and your mobile phones. This is not an appropriate solution and it is counter intuitive by the way. These articles suggest that we don’t use the technology to be productive. But technology itself has made us more productive than ever. So, what is the solution ? After a long period of experimentation, I found out one thing. “Nothing Works”. If you are giving up on the idea just hold for a minute. The answer lies within this. “No One Thing Works”. If you are looking for a killer solution that can bring you all the success and become more productive than ever, it is not going to work. The world is a complex place and it is too much to expect to become productive by following one simple rule. No single solution works for everyone and for every situation.

But why am I telling you all the troubles and not a single suggestion or a solution ? There is a single solution, but it is too complex. The solution to all these problems is YOU. You can solve all these problems yourself by using your greatest instrument called “THOUGHT”. I am going to tell you how. First, you must realize that the most productive thing you do is “thinking”. We always keep thinking mostly about unnecessary things and all our troubles. Shift your focus on things that you need to achieve and things you need to solve. The following are some of the things that I came up with my thinking. I am sure you can do better.

In order to be more productive, you must first define productivity. The definition can change from person to person. For most people it is being able to complete a lot of work. Also, you must realise that time is not limited. Time is relative. People say that you have only 24 hours a day no matter who you are. It is not true. It largely depends on who you are and how you perceive time. Your productivity depends largely on your perception of time and the metrics you refer to. If you are beating yourself up to run faster than anyone else in the world, you will not be able to maintain the speed for long and someone else will overtake you. The metric you must refer to is your own self yesterday.

You can not work continuously without a break because, you have a biological battery and it needs to be recharged.

Getting back to the perception of time, it is possible for you to consider two earth days as one ‘Your Day’. What is stopping you from doing that ? If you do this, 2 months will be your 1 month, 2 years will be your 1 year and you will have 48 hours everyday. So, divide your 48 hours into chunks and assign those chunks to work, refreshment, sleep etc. I believe, being productive means being able to measure your progress and making progress. Keep a journal and update the journal every 8 hours of what you did in the past 8 hours.

For being productive, before you do any task ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this absolutely necessary ?

  • Can this wait till tomorrow ?

  • Can I delegate this work to someone else ?

  • Is there any other work that is more important than this ?

  • Can I do this work in installments ?

  • Is there any better way to get this work done ?

I will leave the judgement call to you. You decide whether to do that specific task or not. Ultimately, it is your life and you are the master of your life. All the best and be productive.

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