Why should you invest in personal productivityAUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst."~ William Penn
Until a couple of years, I never gave due emphasis to personal productivity. It’s true that I’ve always tried to be as productive as possible in my professional life, but I didn’t care about being a disaster in my personal life. I guess it was because I found an economic profit in the first case and no benefit at all in the latter.
Now I have no choice but to admit that I was pretty stupid on this issue. It’s not about money, it’s about time. As I’ve been implementing gradually GTD in my personal and professional life, I’ve felt its benefits and, finally, I’ve realized that time is the most valuable asset in my life.
After reaching a certain age, everyone understands that it’s a good idea to invest a part of our money to ensure a better future. Pension plans, mutual funds, real estate investments… We’ll have a lot of spare time on retirement so we have to get prepared to enjoy it to the fullest.
I find it logical. But I think there are a couple of things in which everyone should invest with much more emphasis. One is health. The benefits of making exercise on a regular basis and having good eating habits are surely more valuable than money. How are you going to enjoy your retirement if you have no good health? Quality of life depends on health. I find it hard to accept that many people don’t understand this.
The other thing is time. Improving your productivity gives you more time to enjoy today, not when you get retired. Are you really going to wait to be a sixty-something year old to do what you most like? Does working a lifetime to start living in old age make sense? No way. If you manage better your time you can get many micro-retirements throughout life. Life should be a succession of cycles of activity and rest. We need to rest very often to renew our energy and interest in things. Taking time to have a meaningful life at any age is no longer questionable to me.
When you’re serious about your productivity, you start doing less meaningless work—because you are aware of it—and focus on the tasks that have a greater impact at a personal level. This is hard to accept in a society that rewards personal sacrifice—time spent being busy—more that productivity. When you learn to appreciate what you’re doing in terms of contribution to your goals rather than time spent, a productive day work can be reduced to 3-5 hours. That is priceless.
This is what personal productivity is all about. Doing important things instead of meaningless things. Doing more with less effort. Not letting the circumstances of others drive your life. More time for you. A meaningful life. Don’t you think it is worth investing in it?