I love the productivity game. Whether it’s adopting a new todo list app, organizing my thoughts into an assortment of notebook and bulleted outlines, or just trying to adopt a new habit of journaling for 5 minutes per day (is this even possible?) Regardless — I. Am. Here. For. It.
Deep down, I think it has something to do with me believing that if I just find the right mixture, the right formula of habits and discipline and process, that everything will just lock into place and I’ll see a rocket boost of productivity gains — from writing to entrepreneurship to thought leadership to book deals and lecture circuits — it’s all right around the corner, as long as I solve this jigsaw puzzle first.
It’s a tempting image — made all the more complicated by the fact that in some certain areas, in some small ways, this has actually worked a little bit. I mean, you’re reading this, for one, so I didn’t go completely off the rails from idea to keyboard to publish to engagement. But more than that, there are little ways in which changing the system has worked for me — whether in organizing my weeks to make me feel a little less anxious about what’s in front of me, or in carefully grooming my todo list every day so I’m not bogged down by trying to live some other person’s life when I open the app, but that I see a balance of progress and ongoing effort.
But productivity porn isn’t a solution in and of itself. There’s no magic bullet when it comes to these systems, and the reality is that, like with most things, it comes down to good habits, a lot of hard work, and a massive amount of luck.
I love productivity now because I see that it has potential for some small small impact, but mostly it’s an opportunity to take a step back, remember what it was I thought important in the first place, and tinker around with a fun new app. Definitely more in the category of “hard fun” than it is “hard work”.