A word from a CEO #70

Stop focusing on personal productivity

Hi all –

One of the biggest traps we’ve fallen into in modern society is this obsession with personal productivity. Personal productivity is a scam. You don’t need to be more productive. You do not need to spend more time in your life thinking about a new to-do list app or new zaps that you need to orchestrate together – just to save 10 minutes of your day. It doesn’t work.

All the stuff on that to-do list, all the emails you are drowning in, all the requests – they’re all going to continue to pile up.

We don’t have enough life to keep up with all the things and all the demands that keep coming our way (when we are dead the emails and noise will still keep piling up).

So forget about focusing on how you can be more productive and triaging a million different things. Instead, focus on giving yourself time to create, time to make something, time to spend with friends and family, time to better yourself, time to work on the one thing that is going to move the ball the furthest.

I’ve struggled with this obsession with being more productive. But I had a breakthrough because of something I learned from Jesse Itzler. He said take the average life expectancy for your gender in your country and calculate how many summers you have left. When you think about it that way – and what it means for your parents and the people you love – it puts it all in perspective. I only have 30 summers left if I am considered average in the US!

I don’t want to spend even one more summer worried about being more productive.

When I thought about it that way, all of a sudden the “big rocks small rocks” and “one thing” methodologies really came to life for me and I figured out how I can focus on the more important things – and how being more productive is not one of those things.

So this weekend, take a minute and think – how can you create more time to do the things that matter to you?

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