Productivity is doing a few things better

People in my circle know that I am almost impossible to reach by phone. I have structured my life so that I can focus on learning and creating. I dislike distractions and last minute plans. I have been living like this for the past four years and I don’t plan on changing my lifestyle any time soon.

I am, however, very concerned with the lifestyles of my friends and family. A lot of them are constantly distracted and agitated. It seems like multitasking is the norm. Doing a lot of things in a day is seen as productive. Everyone seems to be “busy.” The result of all this noise are stressed and miserable people.

One way to have less stress in our lives is to cut the noise. We all have many goals to accomplish. But from my experience, only a few goals moves the needle to what we’re trying to accomplish. The rest are distractions that we either need to ignore or say no to.

Here’s the method that has worked for me. I ask myself what three goals will create the most value in my career/business/life. I then structure my day accomplishing these three goals. I put my other non-important goals in “Reminders” in my Mac and then find a day (usually Sunday) where I can go through this list.

Obviously, everyone lives different lives as some have young kids or have demanding jobs. Nevertheless, we all have a choice to make. We always have an option to live a more peaceful and less distracted life.

Productivity should be seen as something where we do a few things better. Quality over quantity. Focused work over multitasking.

For more knowledge on how to live a more focused life, I highly recommend Deep Work by Carl Newport and The Wisdom of Slowing Down by Eknath Easwaran.