There’s tremendous amount of productivity information out there, and this is a good thing—after all, if we can get more done in less time, we should feel more relaxed, and have more time to enjoy life.
So why do so many people seem so stressed and busy, including many of those that practice productivity techniques and tools? Why do I often feel like I’m not doing enough, no matter how much I do?
As with many things, in the strive for ever-increasing productivity, we humans often take it too far. Being productive should be a means for greater balance in our lives, not the opposite.
I personally went overboard today. It started off as a productive day, but by the afternoon I had started second-guessing my lists, and basically everything else I was I was doing with my time. What should my priorities be? How much work is enough work for one day? Can I even afford to do the workout I had planned? Why don’t I ever manage to complete all the items on my to-do lists?
So in desperation, I just went and sat under a tree in the back yard. After some time, I felt calmer, and it occurred to me to simplify things, and write down my “4 Pillars of Life”, to put things back in perspective.
Here they are:
1. Prioritise physical and mental health
2. Enjoy life every day, and be present
3. Leave the world a better place than you found it
4. Cherish human interaction and relationships
I believe that respecting these 4 pillars is fundamental to a balanced life. So the next time my striving for productivity comes into conflict with any of them, I’ll be sure to go sit under that tree, and breathe.