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product design

Productivity is a Myth

On the web there are dozens of articles focused on productivity, waiting for you to be found and read. There are a list of the top apps for setting tasks. There are overviews of the best apps for noting important information. And finally, there are reviews of the most efficient solutions to the very issue of time-wasting, that affects so many of us.

Reading each and every of them (top to bottom of course) left me with the feeling of total fruitlessness. None of these pieces on productivity involved any new information. Some cliches, worth implementing in our own lives, occur in these articles on occasion.

For example, if you are always forgetting whether you have closed the door or not, you are ought to verbalise the thing you have just done.

I have stopped stressing about the possibility of my car being violated by strangers, since I got used to verbalising such crucial activities like locking either my car or apartment.

Moving on with the subject, if reading all these articles about productivity one after another doesn’t leave you with the notion of fulfillment – there is nothing wrong neither with you nor with your perspective.

Productivity is a myth. Simply as that.

There is no universal secret method that will solve our issues with constant lack of time.

Directions that would aid you in finding your way through chaotic work environment, which btw. you have probably created on your own, do not exist. You may try finding them, though the likelihood of success is not to high.

The key to improving our lives lays in understanding the fact, that productivity is mainly based on setting up comfortable routine.

Contrary to common belief, one shall not force seeking for this universal solution, that would boost our productivity.

Someone is keen on using Asana, other one likes Trello, while others is engrossed in researching the one app to rule them all and, sadly, he probably lost the way.

Personally, I enjoy working with assist of apps such as Things and Inbox (inbox dead btw [*]) or Newton though many people still use pen and paper to make notes. Each of mentioned people strongly believes that one’s solution is good enough, and the high chance is that each of them is also right. The reason behind that is simple – these people know their technology and the variety of possibilities that comes with it.

The very issue of productivity is definitely more complex than it seems at a glance

No one teaches such subject in school, nor it is even mentioned during lessons. We become adults and suddenly we start wasting time on cleaning our desktop and installing apps, which turn out to be unnecessary in the long run.

Productivity is somewhat similar to entrepreneurship, which is said to be taught at school, as the legend says. But is it, honestly? Point me the person, who knows how to do taxes or launch business after graduating from high school.

As always, the reality differs from our wishes and no one will tell us how to run a company. We have to do the digging ourselves. Of course those, whose families have their own enterprises, may have it a little easier, yet there is no guarantee that it will be actually helpful.

There are many various ways of running a company and managing its human resources as well as finances but at the end it all boils down to one thing – an enterprise must generate profit.

Productivity poses quite similar issue. There is no sensei to teach us how to be productive and resourceful. The chaos, which rules over our personal universe, must be overruled by ourselves. Learning from mistakes and coming to conclusions is the way to do it.

There are so many methods of effective studying and so is the case with designing your own personal workflow. One may say that there are as many different apps, tools and guides as fish in the sea. But how to choose the right one?

Although I have managed to master my own workflow, I still check out new options and possibilities. Generally, I always return to my favourite tools, nevertheless I tried them all. Believe me. They have been weighed, they have been measured in each and every possible way. At the end I succeeded in establishing my own path and I stayed on the course.

I am confident that I have come up with a pretty handy solution so I try to share my way of managing work routine with others. Most of them thank me for the advices, which i provided them with.

How to be productive?

If the best apps and tools don’t live up to our expectations, probably none ever will. The most important thing to do now is designing methodology fit for our work routine. Without it even the most trivial issues will make as angry or even furious at times.

Oh no! I’ve forgotten to make laundry again! I haven’t got my suit cleaned. This crucial e-mail I was supposed to send? Still not written and so on.

There is huge number of everyday problems and chores. The real question is – how to cope with them? First and foremost, we should stop focusing on issues that are most distracting. Making “to do” list is not so vital.

Doing things is what actually counts. Having thousands plans to realize perpetually tomorrow won’t help. Regardless of how it may sound, we should make long-term plans, concerning entire ideas. Noting down “Do the laundry” isn’t necessary. At one point T-shirts and socks will run out.

Let’s say we are going to renovate the apartment. Our first priority is deciding what we want to do with it. We ought to have some grand design in mind. Then we may check out the Internet in order to know what is available. Then we should find time to go around shops and acquire materials. That’s the way to do it. In comparison, begging our adventure with checking out the choice of wallpapers in 30 km radius is kind of pointless.

“What do u want in life?”

Silly, though it may sound, this basic question is extremely useful at the beginning of the road to becoming productive and successful. How may one accomplish his or her goals without knowing what they exactly are?

If u want to divide one huge task to a few less formidable ones, u must know what the original assignment is.

By the way, friends often ask me, how do I find time to watch TV series. The answer couldn’t be more simple. If I want to chill out after a few difficult meetings, I just sit down and watch something during the meal. In addition, I am not long-sleeper, but that is another story.

The key to success is dividing time between work and fun. When you feel down and powerless it is better to stop forcing yourself. You may return to the subject after an hour of some entertainment.

The “to do” list shouldn’t contain even a single routine task. Sometimes when you are about to carry out a task – it may be even writing your thesis – and you are clueless about how to do it, then try reading about how others struggled and succeeded. Being productive doesn’t mean you have to be absolutely self-reliant.

Sooner or later the tides will turn and you will see yourself developing new skills, such that have seemed impossible to acquire weeks before.

Thoughts such as “I don’t know”; I can’t”; “Maybe later” will turn into “Fine, here are my current goals and there are the things I need to do, to accomplish them. Let’s go”. If you get there, you are doing really well. It’s high time you added next points to your assignments list.

You are ready to accomplish more complex goals

While sticking to these rules or guidelines, the choice of apps and tools is no longer relevant. It may either be Todoist or Wunderlist as well as Any.do. Workflowy, Asana or “Calendar” are also valid choices. What’s crucial, is setting your own routine, having your head in the right place and staying sane of course.

“You may accomplish anything, if only you see your destination” is another fish tale. It is impossible to achieve exactly everything that we plan to do. Prioritizing followed by realization is one of the basics if you want to be productive. But there is no guarantee that each point on our task list will be “checked”. Unfortunately, app that would let you manipulate time is yet to be developed.

If some Master of Productivity says that you may accomplish everything that you want to, he probably is the one who didn’t even reach 50% of his goals. He is not lazy. It is, simply, impossible. And it’s fine.

Productivity is, mostly, a myth none other than stories about greek gods

It is being constantly boosted by junior programmers dreaming about becoming next Bill Gates, who btw. is a great example of highly productive person. Productivity is a combination of various factors such as experience, resourcefulness, consequence. All of that must be seasoned with a pinch of ability to separate the wheat from chaff.

At the end of the day you must know how to see what’s significant, even if it is hidden in the storm made of thousands of trivial time-eaters.

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