Is your college life a string of days where you sit on the couch, eating cupcakes, playing video games and checking Netflix if a new episode of “Phineas and Ferb” is out? Sure you have heard the old chimes of productivity advices that go somewhat like this – maintain focus and motivation, get enough exercise, eat your greens, brush your teeth twice a day and floss and other such mundane stuff.
But it is after those initial few months of the new semester, when the pile of unfinished and long overdue assignments grow taller atop your desk and your fellow classmates start turning those boring textbook pages that you thought resembles Harry Potter’s Monster Book of Monsters, is when you begin to feel the pressure. You soon realize that the reality of being truly successful does not match the pretty pictures that are so nicely painted in productivity manuals.
In the fast-paced technology driven world of today, most people have become completely obsessed with ‘doing’ and that too constantly; rather than just living, breathing and being.
It seems that productivity is purposefully and constantly speeding towards a direction we have desired for a long time now.
Being research associates, we have realized two important things about the special breed of insanely productive people after thorough investigation –
- They know exactly who they are
- They know exactly what they want and what the purpose of their life is
And to start being productive instead of being a part of the couch, slothing your hours in front of the TV, we recommend you start from there!
Are you still competing with other people instead of yourself?
The first step to achieving productivity is to understand who you are and who you want to be. Productivity is a hot topic of discussion lately because most people do not know who they are. Therefore, they want a quick formula to the world’s definition of success. They have not been able to define success on their own yet. The easy way out for them is to have it all laid out nicely for them, what they want is a fool-proof to-do list. A common misconception they possess is that doing a lot of things will get them closer to success. They think that it will keep them ahead of the competition and impress other people. But the question remains that – who really is the competition they are fearing?
Majority of the people are still trying to fit in, they are trying to be perceived as awesome. But sadly the truth remains that they are all profoundly insecure. They still find themselves caught in an unending identity crisis where they keep jumping from one thing of interest to another. They are driven by whatever is popular during the time, and find themselves in an elusive quest for acceptance. But the one thing that sticks out is the lack of commitment and depth.
What are they doing wrong?
The main thing that differs non-productive people from productive ones is the fact that they seek external security rather than from intrinsic factors. Their source of security remains in the size (number) of their pay cheques or perceived success or in having a long list of friends. So, instead of feeling security internally, these people get enslaved by these extrinsic factors and lose their freedom. Often things get so serious, that they may go to any lengths to get these things.
To be productive you must understand that security can only be earned internally. They are well-aware of who they really are. Hence, they keep away from these lucrative traps that eventually sabotage and slowdown the masses. The next big thing will not toss them off the course. The golden rule of productivity can be summarised in these simple lines –
It is of no use how much you accomplish in life, if the life you live is not the life you wanted to live or the life you were meant to live.
With evolution you must recognize the work that only you can do.
Know where you want to go:
Lewis Carroll’s book Alice in Wonderland has the following quote which we feel must be mentioned in this context.
“Would you please let me know, which is the way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a great deal on where you want to get to…”
“I don’t really care much.”
“Then it does not matter which way you choose to go”
This quote is highly relevant to this context as most people like to be told where to go. They prefer being guided into the answer of “who to be”. Do not follow those people and walk on the wrong path for decades of your life. Instead of taking a job you truly love, if you choose the one that offers the highest amount of money, prestige and accolades, you will commit a gaffe, the price of which would be a life’s worth of unhappiness.
To follow the path of productive people you must identify and be purposeful about what you intend to end up with. You must spend each day of your life trying to build towards your highest ideal. You must create a to-do list with items that make a cohesive sense.
The simple truth behind productivity is that to be insanely productive you need not move faster than the rest, even at times you may move at a much slower pace, but you should move at one direction only. Instead of moving one step in five directions taking five steps towards one direction is much more productive.
To be productive, stay away from indulging in activities that lack in achieved identity, spiritual and emotional immaturity. Do not distract yourself from your work by trying to emulate or copy, compare and compete with others. Know that, what other people think of you should be none of your business; you work for yourself and your target audience so, the rest are unimportant.