With Productivity, the End Justifies the Means

How the Means can ensure the End.

Time really flies when you’re just living. Every New Year, we are alive to the realisation of the speed of time. With every new age, as well, we are conscious of how much we need to do to achieve our long term goals. However, as soon as the moment of awakening is gone, we go on and lead the rest of our lives reactively. While it is nice to take each day, one at a time, it is important to understand that the entire outcome of our lives is as a result of the accumulated effort we deploy towards our goals.

The tricky part is that productivity is not the same as working hard. Reading five hours round the clock without actually learning, is worse off than reading an hour and learning a few things. In other words, the proof of whether or not you have been productive, is in how much of your hard work is relevant. Before you can push to be productive, you have to first have to define what productivity means to you.

That said, the next challenge is on how you can stay on course. Unfortunately, that is not as easy as it sounds. Every single day, a ton of unrelated things vie for our attention; each with its own relevance. The internet, Family, Television, Friends, Food, Writer’s block, Candy Crush, and thousands of other random things. While some could come up as apparent deterrents to your daily productivity, others are not so obvious.

Inasmuch as many people have devised different creative approaches to staying productive, like isolation, starvation, timed deadlines, and so on; there is one simple way to stay productive every single day — have your eye on the goal. As cliché as that sounds, it is one thing that has worked for so many people, including me.

My first semester in Uni was simple. I had a good result and if I continued that way, I’ll have ended up with a pretty good grade. But, before my second semester, I witnessed the attention that came to the tiny few that graduated as exceptional students, and I immediately had a goal. From then on, I was able to plot every single test and assignment to lead to the grand goal. It’s almost impossible to be unproductive when you have a goal that is stored in the core of your mind (or written everywhere across your bedroom). And yes, it did work.

While setting your goal, however, it is important to incorporate as many sub-goals as possible. That way, you would be able to filter the relevant distractions from the irrelevant ones. So while I want to make sure that I am listed on any Forbes 30 under 30 list before I turn thirty, I also want to have a stable relationship before I turn thirty. In essence, I can take on every day with a broad goal and allow only the distractions that are part of the overall master plan. Daily productivity is a waste of time if it is not directed to an ultimate goal. When you can map out that goal, let the expected end motivate you every step of the way.

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