The Productivity Myth


I wonder if much of ‘productivity’ media: writing, books, podcasts, YouTube videos etc emphasise, and fail to differentiate, ‘productivity activities’ in themselves; as opposed to more inherently valuable Output Productivity.

Additionally, are these emphases without meaningful reference to exactly how ‘productivity’ would be defined by you, and what exactly you’re trying to achieve?

Is it putting pressure on you, making you feel inadequate or failing in some way if you don’t achieve some arbitrary standard promoted by ‘productivity gurus’?

Is being productive actually undermining your productivity?

Perhaps there could be more emphasis on how to gain clarity on exactly what you want to achieve and therefore what productivity looks like in terms of moving towards that achievement.

In my experience, it’s all too easy to get caught up in countless hours tinkering with a productivity ‘system’, rather than working on what that system is actually in place for, and supposed to achieve.

Here are a few more questions which might be worth asking yourself if you are in danger of being a productivity addict:

  • For example, is it necessary to have a list of wants, desires, outcomes etc in order to feel that productivity has some meaning?
  • Do you run the risk of being misguided into feeling that tinkering with productivity ‘systems’ in itself is moving you towards satisfactory outcomes?
  • Or do you feel artificial pressure to conform, achieve, have the best possible Getting Things Done system etc?
  • Do productivity systems gurus’ courses push you towards ‘productivity’ for its own sake?
  • How productive are you when constantly refining a ‘productivity system’ to be productive?

Give some thought to these questions as a preface to creating a simple, minimal and pragmatic productivity system likeĀ Pragmatics and then simply get on with your life.

The bottom line is that you probably need to ask yourself whether you’re spending more time on your productivity system than you are on actually being productive.




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