How can you be more productive? This seems like the question that everyone is asking, but is it the right one? There are many different systems and hacks to follow and books and articles and podcasts about how to improve, but if you are really to change what you can get done in a finite amount of time, there are some underlying questions you may want to consider along the way.
Why More Productivity?
One question to ask yourself is why you need to be more productive. Your answer might be so that you can turn your life around and do more, but what is your ultimate goal? There is an implication that you can always improve, but even if you were able to work at 100% in every waking moment, which is unlikely, there is still a limit to the hours available in each day. Rather than think about how you can go faster and faster on a treadmill, you might want to think about what would constitute enough for you.
The Role of Money
There is no question that one reason many people want to be more productive is related to money. If you can do more, you can work more, and if you work more, you can strive for more money. It is easy to say that money cannot buy happiness, but if you are struggling to make ends meet, to pay off debts or to save for something important, such as retirement or a house, then having more money would certainly make your life easier.
However, there are other ways to manage your financial situation that do not involve trying to work more and more hours. One is making a budget. Not only might you find that there are places where you are wasting money, but you may discover that your devotion to working too many hours is costing you in terms of paying more for convenience, like a lot of meals out. If you need money for a particular purpose, you could also look at your assets and whether you could sell any of them. If you have a life insurance policy, it might be possible to surrender it for a certain amount of money. You can read about the meaning of cash value for life insurance policies and how you can calculate the value of yours.
The key to productivity is not really doing more but correctly identifying what it is that you really want to do. This involves some time that you may not necessarily think of as productive. You will need to really consider your values and weigh what is most important to you. What are the most important things that you want to get done in a day or a week or a month? What things are redundant, adding little or no value to your life? Some things you cannot cut out, such as getting a good night’s sleep and working for an income, but beyond that, think about what you really want to spend your time on. You may find that you want to reduce the hours that you spend at work, quit your volunteer gig or spend less time around people who do not improve your life.