How to Avoid The “Productivity” Trap

One of the many drawbacks of the Information Age is the seemingly endless list of options that present themselves on a daily basis. With so much to choose from and so little time to truly evaluate the value and impact of each option, we opt to do it all in fear that we might miss out on a great opportunity. The obvious problem is determining what takes priority when we’ve effectively made everything a priority. This has created a booming market for apps and tools to help you increase your productivity and manage your busy schedule. As of right now there are approximately 5,336 “productivity” apps available for the iPhone. Do you see the irony here?

As such, getting organized and prioritizing your efforts has become exceedingly more difficult. So how do we overcome this? Start by thinking of your projects and to-do lists as completed rather than in terms of next actions and time required for completion. For example, if one of your projects is “repaint the house,” then you will inevitably have a series of next actions required in order to get the house painted. Instead, start by reframing your project as an ideal outcome i.e. – “The house has been repainted.” Then, ask yourself one question:

Did this make a dramatic improvement in the quality and enjoyment of my life?

If the answer is “no” then take it off your list. If the answer is “yes,” then determine whether you should undertake the task yourself or delegate it to someone else.

Although you may be very efficient at accomplishing a great deal of things, the real question is: “To what end?”

Take the time to reframe your projects and to-do lists in terms of ideal outcomes. By doing so you can quickly eliminate those items that make little to no difference to your quality of life.


© J.P Nichols & Associates Inc. 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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