From productive to meaningful
Over the years, I have consumed a lot of books and articles on productivity, and experimented with a huge variety of tools to find a system that works for me. Ultimately, I have found most of it useless, although it probably gave me time to reflect on what I am actually doing with my time and to what extent I am achieving what I want to do in life.
Often, the second part is the problem. There are ways to create systems and tools to be more productive, but this can give us the false reassurance that we are busy and very good at dealing with being busy. However, are we actually achieving anything that matters?
This may seem obvious, but most people tend to be puzzled when faced with that question. I have so many things I need to do, to do my job well, so that I can make a living, take care of my family etc. It is not unusual that we make a lot of assumptions about what we have to do, in our daily lives, then figure out how to be good at getting those things done, being as effective as possible. However, how do we know that those assumptions are correct? Could there be a different approach? Can we see things from a different perspective?
In order to understand this better, we need to find time to take a step back and reflect on what truly matters to us, and how we can be and do what we really want in life.
I have found that simply scheduling regular time to reflect on this is very helpful, and you can then slowly make corrections to do things that matter more. Sometimes doing less of what is truly meaningful makes you more productive as well.