Goals are your final destination

Why Should We Focus on Goals, Not Productivity

Productivity is the actions that lead to goals

Vincent Mok
Sep 22 · 3 min read

Achieving your goals is a life long journey. No matter your goals are big or small, they are the purpose of your life. Your goals could be to become an entrepreneur or to become a rock star. On the other hand, simply writing a complement message to your family every week, or joining some voluntary works during the weekend could be your goals as well.

However, we always regret not achieving our goals. The fact is that we were watching TV or surfing social media during our free time. We blamed ourselves for not being productive. We were wasting time on the activities that had no actual values.

But, how do you define whether an activity has values? How to become more productive? How to achieve our goals? These are very common questions, but they do not have a clear answer.

Goals vs Productivity

First, let’s compare the difference between goals and productivity.

Setting goals is clear and well defined. The big goal is the final destination in your life, while small goals could be some remarkable events on your journey towards your big goal. In other words, goals are the events that could be marked down in a calendar, or they could be represented on a timeline with several checkpoints in it.

However, productivity is ambiguous. Nowadays, we have many apps to measure productivity in the units of time. But, could the measurement of productivity does reflect whether you are being productive? Let’s say we are sitting on a sofa, open the app and start measuring how long we are going to watch a TV program. Is this activity being productive? The answer could be yes or no.

Why? If your goal is trying to break the Guinness World Records of watching TV for the longest period of time. Then there is no point to say that you are not being productive. However, if your goal is trying to achieve all A grades in the exam, then you are not being so productive.

Everything could be productive, but it does not mean that you are creating values.

Therefore, we should focus on goals. And goals provide a clear definition to determine which activities are valuable to yourself. And the way to become more productive is to focus on those activities that work towards your goals.

Goals and productivity are complementary

Focusing on your goals is always your first priority. As long as you have the desire to achieve your goals, you will spend more time on those valuable activities. In other words, goals will trigger productivity.

As time goes by, you will see some results. And these results mark the milestones for your ultimate goal. Milestones are the rewards of your hard work and provide motivation to keep you on the track. Therefore, productivity will enhance your desire for achieving the goals.

As you can see, goals and productivity are complementary to each other and form a cycle. However, if we want to kick-start the cycle, we have to focus on goals, not productivity.

Live Your Life On Purpose

Get Purpose. Get Perspective. Get Passion.

Vincent Mok

Written by

Professional foosball player and coach | Writer for The Ascent, Live Your Life On Purpose. New article about Productivity, Personal Growth every week.

Live Your Life On Purpose

Get Purpose. Get Perspective. Get Passion.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade