Don’t worry, it’s not a typo. This is a post on how to be less productive. If you’re a productivity junkie, you might not like this one.
I’ve been on a quest for the last twenty years to be more productive. I’ve read Getting Things Done by David Allen, along with a whole bunch of other books on how to fit more in. If there were books called Getting More Things Done, and Getting More Things Done Faster, I’d have read them too.
Like a lot of people, I’ve been pretty obsessed with productivity over the years. Self employed people and business owners seem to be the most affected. They’re constantly searching for how to cram more in to their already busy lives.
If I can be more productive, I can make more money – at least that’s what they tell you.
I’d obediently go and spend my money on plastic trays to categorise my stuff into ‘urgent’, ‘important’ and ‘slightly-less-important-and-urgent-but-still-more-important-than-everything-else-I-could-be doing’. I went to bed earlier, got up earlier, and bought all the productivity books.
I multi-tasked until it went out of fashion. I single-tasked with uber focus when that was the in thing.
It all seemed very normal.
Then I woke up one day and wondered what might happen if I stopped making lists, stopped buying productivity books, binned the trays, and did whatever the hell I wanted, whenever the hell I wanted.
I decided to try it for a year. That year was 2016.
Well I was the happiest I’ve ever been. I was officially taken off all the medication managing my crohn’s disease (I no longer needed it). I spent more time with my family. I spent more time on creating and developing friendships. I explored my own spirituality. I started a new food website. I started this new blog. I joined a band. I went to Greece, France, Spain, England, Guernsey, USA, Wales, and the Caribbean.
My life didn’t fall apart at all.
I made just as much money as I had in the five years previous, in fact, it might have been a little bit more. Who knows, I’ve been too busy living my life to care much. I’ve been too busy being happy, and what a relief it was to just let go.
If you came here looking for a to do list, or a lengthy step by step, I’m sorry to disappoint you (I’m not really).
The only thing you have to do, is let go of the imaginary steering wheel you think you’re steering your life with.
It’s only one thing, but it’s the most difficult and rewarding thing you’ll ever do.
I never thought I could change, until one day I cracked. I couldn’t do it anymore, and I let go.
You don’t need to be more productive, you need to be a lot less productive. The rest will take care of itself.
I found this a good starting place for learning to let go.