What does productivity mean to you?

One of the tasks of adulthood, IMHO, is to develop one’s own take on productivity. Everyone needs

  • a tool kit, and
  • a mindset.

The most fortunate among us approach these tasks mindfully, beginning in high school. Others do so in response to the challenges of college, graduate school, first job, or parenthood. In fact, each new stage of life tends to reveal the weaknesses in our strategies.

Instead of waiting for systems to break, why not keep looking for refinements and improvements? Experiment to see what works for you. Expand your toolkit. How might you accomplish things more quickly without giving up quality?

If we can get our work done efficiently, then what?
Some of us over-achievers might try to add on more work (yikes).

I argue for a life-enhancing approach to productivity. Let’s get our work done in a restricted amount of time (40-hour workweek, anyone?), and feel good about getting enough done!

Then take time for rest, relaxation, recreation, and “real life” — all those things that recharge us. All the things that make work and creativity sustainable over the long haul. All the things that make life truly satisfying. Call it work-life balance, or juggling, or equilibrium, or integration, or whatever combination suits your own life stage and circumstances.

This isn’t a dress rehearsal. We don’t get a do-over. You can’t wait until (after the test / graduation / finishing the diss / getting tenure / sabbatical / retirement) to get started.

Live life now.