You can’t operate at 100% efficiency 100% of the time. I’ve tried. All it leads to is burn out and disappointment. More than that, however, I’m not sure why you’d want to.
Something I really don’t like about the productivity movement is people misinterpret it and turn themselves into robots. Despite common belief, productivity isn’t about checking the most things off your to-do list.
It’s not about working yourself to death. Ultimately, what productivity’s really about is learning to spend your time optimally in pursuits you deem to be worthwhile.
In other words, productivity is learning to live in accordance with your values to the max. Developing the discipline to spend every moment doing what’s most important to you.
The work you do, and things you produce are important, but they’re not everything. Similarly cultivating fulfilling relationships is important as well, but it’s not the end all be all either. It’s all about balance.
I’ve found that although working hard is extremely fulfilling to me, it’s satisfying in a very different way than spending time with amazing people. Both fulfill different needs, but at the same time compliment each other.
Working hard puts pressure on me to improve everyday and gives a greater appreciation of everything else in life. On the flip side things like socializing allow me to enjoy myself and de-stress, experience growth in a different way, and refuel my capacity to work hard.
If you really enjoy your work as I do it can be tempting to spend all your time on it, but I’d recommend against that. You may be able to get away with it for some period of time, but you’ll eventually crash. It’s just not sustainable.
My recommendation to you is to spend ten minutes today consciously evaluating how you spend your time, and how that aligns with your values. After you’ve done that determine how you could be spending your time “more productively” and begin to implement those changes in your life today.
It’s a simple exercise, but if you haven’t done it before I guarantee you’ll be surprised by the results. Try it, and let me know your results in the comments.
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