It seems these days, people are striving for ever-increasingly productive days. And that’s awesome. Attempting to make today better and more productive than yesterday is an admirable thing, something to be respected and celebrated.
The issue is how people go about it. They look for external sources of motivation and discipline. Take for example, this article on FastCompany: http://www.fastcompany.com/3044590/app-economy/free-app-friday-5-tools-to-increase-your-efficiency
Doug’s got his heart in the right place; he wants to help people be more productive, something they themselves also want. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like there are more hours in the day, not less? And the apps do seem to be useful pieces of software.
So What’s The Problem?
Well, the problem is this. When we install all these apps to increase our productivity, we’re cluttering our lives. We end up spending more time focusing on being more productive, instead of actually being more productive.
So we’ll spend an evening downloading all kinds of software, apps and gadgets to make our lives easier and more streamlined. But it becomes the opposite; now you’re spending an hour every morning logging into all these services, checking boxes, writing memos to yourself, and completing a handful of other fluff that feels productive, but in fact isn’t.
So What’s The Solution, Genius?
Do less, not more. “But I can’t do less! My boss will kill me! What about our shareholders? They’ll roast me if I don’t work harder!”
True, true. But I’m not talking about putting your feet up and watching the flowers grow; and I’m not talking about working harder. I’m talking about working smarter. Instead of having 10 apps to cover your productivity, get a piece of paper. Or get one app. Centralise everything. You may think you need those dozen apps to function, but you just waste time on boosting your ego (look how productive I am!) instead of actually completing the things you need to do.
So, a tl;dr for those skimming the article: Uninstall all those productivity apps. Keep one, or better yet, use a notebook you can carry with you and look at quickly.
You don’t need all of that productivity rubbish you have cluttering up your phone, PC and tablet. As Bruce Lee once said: “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
That’s what you need to do; remove the unessential in your life, and focus on that 80% that does make you more efficient.