Even if you already know what productivity is, you might still wonder: why is personal productivity important? What are the benefits of personal productivity and why should I care?
Well, let’s look back at the definition of productivity:
Productivity is the amount of meaningful and quality work you manage to do, usually achieved by reducing the time spent on wasteful activities or tasks, and with the ultimate objective to get closer toward a desired goal or to free up time for more rewarding activities.
This means that when you’re being productive, you’re doing things that bring you closer towards your goals. What these goals are, is up to you: it can be having more free-time with your family, being able to run a 10k marathon or simply becoming good at something.
Now, let’s take this a step further: why would you want to set goals and try to achieve them? Well, because achieving your goals will fulfill you and make you happy, and being happy is what most of us aspire to be. Happiness is the ultimate benefit of being productive.
Happiness involves working toward meaningful goals.
—Michel de Montaigne
While trying to be productive so to reach your goals, there are other benefits that you will encounter along the way.
First of all, if you set a goal, it means you’ve set out in a certain direction. You are now on a path. Being on a path towards your goal will give you purpose and meaning. It will give you the reason to get up every morning and continue despite any challenges you may face.
Once you’re on a path, you know where you are going, and this gives you focus. You’re freed of the worry and the endless running around of not knowing where to go and where to focus your attention on. This sense of clarity will allow your mind to fully focus on the path ahead of you.
With focus comes full awareness of what is standing in your way towards reaching your goal. Every obstacle on your path will be clear and visible, and you will know when something or someone is trying to get you off the path. Being aware of those obstacles gives you the means to overcome them. You can choose when and how to react to them. Finally, this means that you are in control of your life and the choices you make. Being in control is very important, as it gives you the power to steer in the right direction and stay on the right path.
Every time you overcome an obstacle, every time you don’t let yourself get distracted by other things, you’re one step closer towards reaching your goals. Once in a while, take a moment to stop and look how far you’ve come and how many obstacles you’ve already left behind. This will motivate you and fuel you every day with new energy to keep you moving forward.
When you know that you’re on the right path and that you have the strength to overcome obstacles along the way, it will also bring you calm and a sense of tranquillity. Setbacks are unavoidable and sometimes you might even have to take a small detour. But, knowing that you are heading towards the right direction, will give you reassurance and calmness.
When you’re on a path, with every step you take and every hurdle you overcome, you’re learning and growing: you learn how to deal with distractions and you learn from the mistakes you make; you learn about yourself and how to react to certain situations. It’s a process of self improvement which will enrich your life and every other path you will take on in the future.
And then you’re there, you’ve reached your goal. You’ve done it! You’re on the top of the mountain and can enjoy the view while looking back and realizing how far you’ve come. It’s a moment to be proud of which will give you a complete sense of accomplishment and fill you with joy.
And this is why productivity is important and why you should care. Because setting out on those paths and accomplishing your goals will ultimately lead to a meaningful and fulfilled life. A happy life.