Note: this post was originally written as an Atomic Essay as part of Ship 30 for 30 and posted on Twitter. I’ve copied the essay content here so it isn’t just lost in the endlessness of the Twitter feed. Enjoy!
To be clear, I’m not saying all productivity is toxic. I’m only referring to the trend to do more just for the sake of doing more or when you spend more time building your productivity system than actually using it.
It serves no purpose to check off 100 boxes a day or have the coolest productivity system if it doesn’t add something to your life. It’s simply another way to glorify being busy.
In my experience, toxic productivity happens when we’re taking action from a place of lack. We’re trying to fill a void or avoid something we don’t want to deal with. I think we can agree this isn’t the best approach.
My focus here is on how to choose (or create) a productivity system that is right for YOU.
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to help narrow this down:
What is the purpose?
This is the why behind it all. Why do you want to get more done? Why are you taking on this big project? What is the purpose that is driving the action? It’s important to know this because it will keep you focused on the goal, not the shiny new strategies.
What are your priorities?
Who & what are important to you? If you say that your family and your health are important but then adopt a productivity system that keeps you busy at all hours, you aren’t honoring your priorities. Doing more in less time is great, but do you even want or need to do more?
What is your personality?
This one can help save you lots of time and frustration. If you don’t know when you have the most energy, how you work best (both alone and in collaboration) or what environment you thrive in then how can you know if a productivity system will actually work for you? A little focused observation can help you figure this one out.
Self-Awareness & Intention are the key
When you know the answers to the above questions you can confidently choose a tool, strategy or system that will help you spend less time working and more time living your amazing life.