In 2013, no one should have to type the same thing twice. That was my thought back when creating TaskClone as a simple way to get tasks out of Evernote and into my favorite task app. Like many beginning entrepreneurs, I was surprised there wasn’t already a solution to this “obvious” productivity problem.
My market research led me to many others who seemed on a never-ending quest for productivity nirvana – a state of Zen-like efficiency and automated bliss. Pouring over blog posts, forums and social media, it was clear this quest was worldwide and source of much frustration. [pullquote align=”right”]The automated bliss fantasy seemed a response to varying degrees of overwhelm driven by too many things to do and no time or energy to do them. [/pullquote]
From Destination to Journey
The automated bliss fantasy seemed a response to varying degrees of overwhelm driven by too many things to do and no time or energy to do them. Too many responsibilities, too many great ideas, too many interesting things to explore and too many expectations from themselves and others.
My own quest has certainly passed through the overwhelm stop with a few return visits, but I have reframed my thinking from a destination to a journey. Through a few wise souls and lots of self-reflection, I found a roadmap that has brought much-needed peace – the Life Plan. Being the geek that I am, I converted Michael Hyatt’s Life Plan Workbook into a spreadsheet with tabs for 1, 5 and 20 year timeframes. The question – What do I want my life to be and how do I structure the next 20-30 years so IT IS?
The 20-Year View
A 20-year view actually reduced lots of pressure. Everything didn’t need to be accomplished in year 1, year 5 or even year 10. I didn’t need to learn to speak Spanish in the next 6 months. I didn’t even need to start. I noticed some goals were related in a progression – building a strong marriage could lead to a marriage ministry serving others. There were also seasons of life to consider like raising children or caring for elderly parents. And then you’re dead! Sounds morbid, but the certainty of an end oddly led to an epiphany. . .
The Optimized Life
My productivity journey is about living an Optimized Life while I’m here – the best life I can live based on my own goals, aptitudes and context. That’s how I’ll measure my life. It’s not in comparison to others nor based on a perfect me that doesn’t exist. I use “optimized” to acknowledge the competition among priorities as well as the ongoing personal growth that will modify both goals and the methods to achieve them.
[pullquote]The Life Plan wasn’t that hard when freed from the idea it needed to be perfect or wouldn’t evolve. [/pullquote]
The Life Plan wasn’t that hard when freed from the idea it needed to be perfect or wouldn’t evolve. What did I want to contribute? What did I want to experience? By when? In an Optimized Life, productivity is about getting the most meaningful things done using the appropriate time and energy. You’ll understand why I say “meaningful & appropriate” if you think about a productive anniversary dinner or productive weekend getaway.
Productivity & The Feedback Loop
Most productivity talk is actually more about efficiency or how to get the most done in the least time. This seems to make sense because time is finite, but don’t forget, so is energy. Either way, you’ll find the most improvement using a simple feedback loop:
- Clarify Goals
- Take Action
- Measure Results
- Reflect & Repeat
The cool thing is you can jump in anywhere within the loop. Along the productivity journey to an Optimized Life, getting better is all about this loop. Most productivity talk is about Step 2, but through many life experiences including recently losing 40 pounds, I can attest there is amazing power in Steps 1, 3 and 4. That’s what I’ll share on this blog – How do we improve on all four toward our Optimized Life.
Whether it’s how to structure your week so you move forward on your key goals or how the latest wearable device helps you measure your fitness, I want us all to enjoy our Optimized Life.
Back at you
What’s your “WHY” to be more productive?