Stepcase LifeHack is featuring a 12 part series entitled “Towards a New Vision of Productivity”. It hits out at the reshaping of the productivity blogosphere from a lifehacking pseudo-religious organizational madness filled with folders, post-it notes, beeping reminders, etc. into simplified mindful living.
Before embarking upon my own quest of restructuring and a new life of simple pleasures I dragged through a bunch of lifehack posts set up on rss feeds, sat at a desk with multiple moniters and multiple machines whirring underneath it for eight to twelve hours a day and yet ran myself dry mentally, emotionally, and physically almost every week.
Where the difference comes in is in transformation over productivity.
Productivity, as has been echoed over and over, is dead. Long live productivity. Productivity as a set of systems to create efficiency in our lives isn’t efficient unless we are effective in choosing the goals which produces the results we want in our lives.
No productivity system can put you in a zen like, meditative, or mind like water state. A calm, focused, and meditative mind leads to greater productivity, but productivity systems cannot create a mind like water. – Clay Collins.
Transformation is about reshaping our lives.
When we reevaluate the goals and purpose of our life, cut out the extraneous portions that are holding us back, and replace them with a simple mindful attentive life we can live in a much more meaningful manner. When we have a mindful way of living we are far more productive than when our life is bloated with hours at a desk, associations that drag us down, tools that take more time than they are worth, and so on.
Transformation is what this blog is about.
Over on LifeDev Glen wrote a piece on how blogging shouldn’t be seen as a job. Sure, we want our blogs to be successful but in the long run they are an expression of ourselves.
I ran into this problem when I was working on Lindybloggers. Once it felt like I had to put out a certain type of content with a certain tone it became restrictive and lacked the freedom I had enjoyed with my writing. I kept putting off finishing an event review and a month passed.
After a bit of reflection and free time I deleted the old draft and rewrote my review from scratch in a much shorter time. I took the work out of the writing and made it a creative process again.
Whenever I’m in a crunch for writing I’ll definitely have to keep this in mind.
Many productivity and lifestyle design experts advocate using to-do lists, task lists, etc. to achieve important or mission critical (work related) goals.
My take is simple and open-ended for my daily life goals.
- Learn something new
- Do something different(ly)
- Practice an existing skill
- Connect with someone
Learning something new – add to your knowledge. Learn a new word, find a new application of an existing skill, acquire a new physical skill or technical skill. It’s about discovering something that you didn’t know before big or small.
Do something different(ly) – get out of your comfort zone. Talk to someone you don’t know, order something different, don’t check your e-mail for a day, turn off your phone, take a different route to work or type of transportation to work. It’s about breaking out of habits and opening doors.
Practice an existing skill – working on things you already know is a matter of upkeep and discipline. Pick up that instrument which you haven’t played in weeks, put on your tap shoes, pick up the pencil and sketch pad and work on refining something you already have skill in. It’s about reinvesting in what you already know.
Connect with someone – reach out to someone whether you know them well or not. Call up an old friend or someone you have lost touch with, talk to someone who is having a rough time, or just sit down with a close friend for a drink and hear what they have to say. It’s about establishing and maintaining relationships and understanding others.
These are my four things that I strive to do on a daily basis. Regardless of whether they are life altering or barely noticeable and they are open to both ends of the spectrum – it gives me a set of things to aspire to. If I don’t accomplish them all in a given day – there is always tomorrow.
What are things you do or want to do on a daily basis? Perhaps you have a weekly set?