It's interesting that productivity is the focus of what people want to achieve. That's the outcome that people are interested in. It's the proverbial quarter-inch hole vs. quarter-inch drill.
For the outcome to be productive, then the input should be effort, time, focus, and work. It shouldn't be shortcuts. Searching for hacks and shortcuts when it comes to productivity is the equivalent of buying junk-food to be healthy. You'll have quick calories, but the outcome won't be what you expected or wanted.
Searching for shortcuts to work "smarter" assumes that there's a faster way, and if that's your belief, then why would you take the "sucker's" path and work longer or harder, when someone else is working "smarter"?
However, if you assume that shortcuts don't exist, and the only way to reach your destination is to invest the time and effort, then that's the path you'll take. People inherently know this of gardening and raising children. There's a natural state and cadence to their growth, you can't rush it, but you do need to show up for them over a long period.
- Set a longer time horizon: I'll be good at x in months and years, not days and weeks
- Consistency over bursts: I'll commit to a regular, predicatble schedule, rather than try to cram effort in.
You could argue that biological things have their own clock, there's a limit to how much you can front-load a lot of sleep and calories to prepare for a strech of fasting. With social outcomes, there aren't visible guardrails that indicate whether we're putting too much or too little effort. Our ability to establish baselines is warped because:
- We might be comparing our worst selves to everyone's highlight reel.
- We are comparing apples to oranges; their lives and resouces aren't the same as my life and circumstances.
- The technology and market conditions of yester-minute, might not be the same as those of tomorrow.
If you're feeling anxious about how much you aren't achieving. Take stock of which yardstick you're referencing. Are you holding in your hand a yardstick that has clear goals and dates? Did you set those unique goals for yourself? Or are you laying down with a 25-pound bag of expectations sitting on your chest, and wondering why you're:
- A. Not moving faster
- B. Hugging the bag rather than pushing it off
- C. Asking yourself A+B at random intervals during the week