Productivity is a good thing, right? The sense of accomplishment can certainly be a genuine source of joy and satisfaction. Sometimes though, we forget why we are striving to be more productive.
Isn’t greater happiness the reason behind increased productivity? Don’t we convince ourselves that getting more done will finally give us the time for things we truly enjoy? Our pursuit of increased productivity, should result in increased happiness right?
The trap we need to be aware of
Striving to be more productive and increase our efficiency can lead to obsession. We could wind up confusing achievement for happiness. Happiness should be the inspiration for achievement, not the other way around
When our happiness is too wrapped up in achievement, we are putting our happiness in the future. We are denying ourselves the right to be happy until we meet certain conditions.
Have you ever said this?
“I’ll be really happy just as soon as:
- I get out of debt.
- Solve this one problem.
- Lose 5 more pounds.
- Find the right partner.
- Land the perfect job.
There’s nothing wrong with being more productive. But when our happiness depends on it, then we have a problem.
The productivity trap
We strive to be more productive and efficient so we can get more done. Originally, our reason is to have more free time and reduce our stress levels. We reason that once we get everything done, we won’t have to think about it anymore, right?
But if we’re not careful, we may allow our desire to accomplish more to become an obsession. We may become so obsessed with producing that we are not even satisfied with the results. Why? Because, by the time we get there, we’re already focused on what comes next.
Don’t put conditions on happiness
That’s why we need to have the courage to re-evaluate and re-prioritize our goals along the way. Our lives are ever changing, not static. We need to be able to make adjustments along the way. A goal that served you well last year might be out of harmony with your life now.
It is vital that we maintain an awareness of who we are in the moment and were we really want to be tomorrow. Do not fear change because it is a natural part of growth. And don’t convince yourself that more, more, more is the path to happiness. Allow yourself to be happy right now!
Have you ever been a victim of this trap?
Are you ever tempted to link happiness to productivity?