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Productivity and Happiness: Why Are We So Busy?

Productivity and the American Dream

We are obsessed with the idea that our potential for happiness is intricately tied to our freedom to pursue wealth. We think we must work harder and longer than the majority if we’re to amass a fortune so we can escape the drudgery of work as we know it.

We can fill our days with work that stretches us, fulfills us, and endows life with a whole new level of meaning. 

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Productivity and Happiness: Why Are We So Busy?

Productivity and Happiness: Why Are We So Busy?

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/productivity-and-happiness-why-are-we-so-busy/

tinybuddha.com

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Key Ideas

Productivity and the American Dream

We are obsessed with the idea that our potential for happiness is intricately tied to our freedom to pursue wealth. We think we must work harder and longer than the majority if we’re to amass a fortune so we can escape the drudgery of work as we know it.

We can fill our days with work that stretches us, fulfills us, and endows life with a whole new level of meaning. 

Productivity and Effectiveness

Efficiency does not necessarily guarantee effectiveness. Getting more done is not an accurate barometer for measuring your impact. Consider whether you’re being effective in achieving what you actually want. 

Think about what it is you’re really seeking and what might be the most direct path to get it. Then realize that sometimes doing less can actually pave the path to experiencing more—more satisfaction, more ease, and even more effectiveness.

Productivity and Happiness

Research suggests that happiness leads to success, not the other way around. It would benefit us to shift our focus from achieving future happiness to accessing that joy right now.

When we wrap our days around things we have to do we leave very little time for the things we want to do. Happiness requires balance.

The Alternative to Busyness

Ask yourself:

  • What is it you really want to accomplish?
  • What can you do today that supports your deepest passions?
  • If you knew your days were numbered, how much time would you want to devote to activities that have nothing to do with striving and achieving?

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

By lying to ourselves we mortgage our long-term needs in order to fulfill our short-term desires. Therefore, one could say personal growth is merely the process of learning to lie to oneself les...

Common lies we tell ourselves

  • If I had more time, I would do X.
  • If I say or do X, people will think I’m stupid.
  • If I just say or do X, then that person will finally change.
  • Everything is great/Everything sucks.
  • There’s something inherently wrong or different about me.
  • I would change, but I can’t because of X.
  • I can’t live without X.
  • I know what I’m doing.

Social Comparison Theory

Psychology Today describes social comparison theory as, "... determining our own social and personal self-worth based on how we stack up against others we perceive as somehow faring better or worse...

What Others Think of Us

As a human being interacting with other human beings, we learn that how we show up in the world seems to matter. 

If we have learned through our own social experiences that certain patterns of behavior, such as being extraordinarily busy and constantly on-the-go lead to being successful, connected and accepted by others, then we may find it appealing to engage in those behaviors.

Busy vs. Productive

Merriam-Webster defines the word productive as, "Yielding results, benefits or profits." Essentially, it means that we have something to show for our hard work. 

Being busy has to do with an amount of time, where productivity has more to do with our use of time.

7 more ideas

The "frog"

It is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it.

It is also the one task that can have the greatest positiv...

Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy

"One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all".

The ABCDE prioritization approach

  • A items : Things you must do, which will have a serious positive or negative consequence.
  • B items : Things you should do, that have minor consequences.
  • C items : Things that are nice to do but don’t have any real consequences when they’re done.
  • D items : Things to delegate so you can free up more time to do A tasks.
  • E items : Things to eliminate. Generally stuff you do out of habit.