Being productive is something we are pursuing relentlessly without questioning the outer limits of it. There is no such thing as too productive, we think, and often times we are obsessing with it in excess.
If you are addicted to self-improvement, and in any way beat your head over being more productive the larger part of the day, then you probably never even came to realize that fanatically trying to increase productivity, you are only limiting yourself and your potential.
Hence, can the very idea of increasing productivity turn as counterproductive on the long run?
Or the more important question:
Do you feel that by being obsessed with increasing productivity you are not even aware of it?
More is better, or so we think
If things are good for us, why not have some of them in plenty? Double size’em too, right?
That’s never the case, albeit it may strike us as such.
You see, being taught that more is better, we are jumping to erroneous conclusions way too early, and all of the sudden being more productive has no limits in terms of enough.
But only stepping back and seeing the whole picture rather than just a fragment, can we see that our productivity is not at all closely linked with constant attempts to increase it.
It’s more of a drive we have, which in a way hinders productivity, trying to be more productive that is.
And looking in the big picture we can only see ourselves stressing too much over it, and procrastinating more than doing something useful and proactive.
Why are we obsessed with being productive?
You know me, I always blame the society. Stick’em with a pointy stick, right?
But now jokes aside. There is someone to blame, and since we are not born with the drive to obsess over how to achieve more, but rather achieve it, we can say that even though we are the ones adopting this mindset, it was forced to us in a way.
And as with any other aspect now popular in terms of personal growth, here things are the same. Fitness, healthy eating, organization, time-management, self-analyzing… You name it, we are getting the feeling that nothing is enough when practicing those with the intention of having a better life.
In the same fashion, we are always anxious about not being productive enough; that there is more to be done in the frame of only one day, in an hour, even.
And in order for things to get worse, everyone with the slightest of interest in improving themselves have adopted this mindset of never being satisfied, so we are not only encouraged to stress more than we need, but also criticized if otherwise.
Being taught from others that share the same view on self-improvement and being more productive as the majority, we are only limiting ourselves, and if you think about it, it kills our productivity in the first place.
People who are achieving more can teach us about being more productive
Take a look on people who are already ultra-productive if you don’t believe me. What you will notice is the same thing we are talking here about – they don’t stress and obsess about being more productive at all. They just make productivity a habit, and leave it there.
They don’t read constantly about how to squeeze more tasks in a single day. They don’t go seeking gurus who will tell them how to achieve more – they just don’t do it.
The thing is, they learn about productivity while on the go; from personal experience, through trial and error. Because otherwise it’s an endless chase around the maypole, as I like to say.
Being more productive by not stressing over it
It’s not a crime at all, wanting to improve yourself more.
But the faster we realize that stressing over it only hinders our improvement, the faster we will improve.
Sure, you can learn many techniques about being productive, and listen to what other people say, but in the end you must recognize when enough is enough.
And usually enough is when we can already benefit from the knowledge gathered about being more productive, but start looking for more because of procrastination starting to kick in.
In such times here are some useful things you can try:
- Learn only one technique about increasing productivity that resonates with you, and stick only to that one.
Let that be a simple one, one that you can easily turn into habit, and one that doesn’t require too much additional effort. While at it here is something that matches that description:
Simple productivity improvement technique
- Forget about communities constantly talking about being more productive. Once you know how, there is no need to talk about it anymore – just start implementing. Beat procrastination and you will be more productive – that’s the short version.
- Forget about digesting more information about it, and obsessing with it. Once you learn what you need to know, just move on to something else to improve, and leave the productivity aspect of your life alone.
If you can do it, then do it, never waste the time thinking about how you could have done it better, thinking about being more productive the next time.
Trying to be more productive did, and still takes a huge time out of my schedule.
As you see I’m as guilty as the next guy. But what I try to achieve is to completely stop worrying about it, by forcing myself to limit my efforts to the extent where productivity is more of a habit, than a trait that is under constant surveillance.
You can do just the same and be a lot more productive while preserving sanity as well.
Tell me how often you obsess about being productive in the comments below. I’ll love to know.