Purpose - Start With Why
The first step to productivity is to figure out what you want to do with your life. Productivity is subjective. It’s about what you want to do with your time. What is your life’s purpose? When you lie on your deathbed, are you going to be proud of how you lived your life? If you haven't paused to think about what you want to do with your life, you are not productive. You must deliberately allocate time to tasks that align with your purpose. Otherwise, you are wasting time.
To illustrate, imagine that your parents want you to become a doctor, but you want to be a graphic designer. You fold to their wishes, block distractions, and go to the library every day to maintain a good GPA. You are productive! But are you? If later you come to your senses that you rather be a graphic designer, that "productive" time is now wasted. You made the mistake of spending time on tasks that did not align with the goals you set for yourself.
Nevertheless, life is rarely as simple as just doing what you want to do. For one, you may never be 100% sure that you’ve figured out your life’s purpose. Or, you may need more money before you can pursue your dream goal. Whatever your situation is, all that matters is that you are working toward a goal. Take time to figure out your goals and then steer your life toward them - even if you have just 5 minutes a day.
- Pause. Allocate time for yourself and your thoughts. Reflect on your life.
- What are you strenghts?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are you working toward?
- Are you proud of the direction you are heading to?
- Set goals.
- Which areas of life would you like to see improvements in?
- If you are unsure about your purpose and goals, good. I am too. Read the articles and books below to broaden your perspective.
- "Mastery" by Robert Greene
- A book that talks about what it takes to achieve mastery in a field. The first chapter is dedicated to helping you discover your "life’s task."
- “How to Do What You Love” by Paul Graham
- “So Good, They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport
- I’ve never read a book that I disagreed with so much, but that I would still recommend reading. The author makes many bold claims and they are worth reading in order to expand your perspective.