The Illusion of Productivity

    We have been taught a fallacy in our lives. We have been taught that being busy is being productive. This could not be farther from the truth, but it is a conception that we have been instilled with and that follows us around wherever we go. Think about a job you might have or have had where you got reprimanded for not doing anything? Chances are, you had either already done everything that was on your plate or you were formulating a plan or strategy for getting those things done, but since you didn’t look like you were working furiously, the assumption was that you were not working. It happens all the time where I work. It has gotten to the point where I do twice as much actual work as anyone in the office and still get called on not being busy sometimes even though the higher ups know how much I actually do. The reason is because I am productive, not busy and that is a skill that might get us in trouble at a nine to five, but will be golden as we follow our path to our dreams and our own financial freedom through entrepreneurship.

    When we actually think about those big and important projects in life, they are not tackled by diving in and getting moving. Instead they are tackled by taking the time and energy to think and research on the project, to formulate a well thought plan and then enact that plan. The reality is that both of these methods will be the project done in around the same amount of time because the dive in method is full of wrong turns and mistakes that need to be corrected. When all’s said and done, the dive in method is also far more likely to end up faulty or way off base.

    A good correlation can be drawn from this to the way that we live our lives and approach our dreams. We have discussed the importance of setting goals and making plans on how to reach those goals. This is so that we can maintain the path that we want to get where we want to be. Our approach to productivity should be no different. We should seek to pinpoint the goal and create a plan on how to reach that. Once we have the plan, it is just a matter of enacting that plan and making small course corrections on the way. Diving in and looking busy on a project is more akin to letting the world make our decisions on our life for us. It is subject to the whims and vagaries of the situation more than it is on actually striving to reach the goal. We may look busy, but in reality we are just floundering in the dark.    

    Today, take the time to look at the problem that is facing you and to understand it and the underlying issues at hand. Take the time to see the solutions that you want to then formulate a plan on how to get there. Once you have done that, then dive in and enact the plan, but take that step back and think of it before getting in the midst of the project. I know what I find every time I do so, please share your findings with us in the comments below!