Productivity is Distraction

From Weekly I/O#44

Productivity is often a distraction. Don't aim for better ways to get through your tasks as quickly as possible. Rather aim for better tasks that you never want to stop doing.

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I've been pondering on the equilibrium of productivity optimization recently. I see people changing their note-taking, calendar, and to-do list apps every three to six months in search of the optimal productivity system. Optimizing productivity can be a rabbit hole, and I used to enjoy diving into what's down there.

However, I'm wondering whether the improvement in productivity can justify the time spent and switching costs in terms of the outcome.

Currently, I think it is more important to think about what to work on than how to do it. Kevin Kelly said that "productivity is often a distraction". Staying busy improving our productivity can be fun and make us feel productive. Nevertheless, the time saved by the improved productivity might come with a higher cost of not working on anything. Even worse, we might lose focus on what to work on when we focus too much on the incremental progress in our productivity system. We can always feel productive without actually producing anything.

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