Is Productivity the Holy Grail?

In our current day-and-age, we worship productivity. We give it so much value as if an ultimate life ideal. So much of our efforts in business is about being more productive. It’s almost synonymous with what defines a good employee or successful human being even.

I remember in my earlier days the aspiration to transform into a learning machine. Lol. The thirst was insatiable.

But…let’s take a pause here. What does productivity even mean?

That we’re able to send out twice as many emails, study five times as many books, have ten times as many phone calls, write eight times as many articles? Eat five times as much food (joke!)? 🙂

Are we more successful because of this? Is our life more meaningful? Are we actually expressing more value because we’re more productive?

Let’s take a step back and look at what the word “productive” actually means? It means “produce” more.

It doesn’t take more than a few seconds for us to (perhaps) realize that while producing more might be good and desirable at times… in and of itself it doesn’t equate to true fulfillment for ourselves or genuine value to others.

Being productive, in and of itself, has no inherent value.

And if life fulfillment or authentic value to others is our guiding light for the lifestyle we want to live, we’ll take a step and say, no I don’t want to place productivity as my highest ideal.

Rather, I seek to be fulfilled and provide real value to others.

So as I switch my perspective and design a life around being fulfilled in my life, rather than productive, I feel better.

We might feel like responding to far fewer emails, but writing more thoughtful ones. We might be initiating far fewer conversations, but having more substantive ones. We might get far less done during the day, and things might be far longer to ‘get done’… but savoring what we’re doing more and producing work that is of real long-term or even lifetime value to others.

Life becomes more meaningful.

Lifestyle Mapper
Ranjeeth Thunga