The word “productivity” gets thrown around a lot; it's the “holy grail” of our over-scheduled lives. What does productivity mean? Society's definition is business-oriented, the result of early 20th century creation of assembly lines and industrial measurements: “The amount of output per unit of input.” Most of us seem driven to pack 9-day weeks into 7-day time frames. We owe some of the urgency to the fact that the real meaning of being productive was hijacked.
Society's definition of productivity is ridiculously narrow. Webster's definition is broader and richer. Yes, to be productive is “the creation of economic value” and “to produce effective results.” It is also “to be abundant and fertile.” Put that way, productivity is also about quality of life, which is what reQall is about.
Underlying our broader definition of productivity at reQall are five things to improve the quality of your whole life, not just your scheduling system:
- Have a plan. Life feels more “abundant and fertile” when you decide what you want in life. This is true both short term and long term. What do you want to happen this week, this year, five years from now? What relationships do you want strengthened? Without a plan in mind, most of us drift. As the Cheshire Cat said in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, “If you don't know where you're going – any way is fine.”
- The right tools. It's hard to sail around the world without a boat and navigation gear. It's harder to be productive if you don't remember what needs to get done, what's important about a chance meeting, how to coordinate reminders with your “other” anywhere you are. The right tool helps.
- Focus. Multi-tasking – trying to get everything done at once – often we don't get much done at all. Decide what's most important. Do it first. Then move on to the two-handed juggling act. Skip doing 10 things at once. You'll do none of them well. Some don't need doing.
- Improvise. Don't overlook the serendipity of life. While you're staring at a long “To-do” list, the best thing ever to happen to you might go by. Look up or you'll miss it.
- Refresh. Life needs people and perspective. A dynamic life plan includes better relationships, important things and time for what matters Better memory plays a big part in a productive life. Understand that and you've got a plan!