Almost everyone says yes to, "Do you want an extra hour in your day?"
Yes, please. I'll take an extra hour today, tomorrow, and the next day. We can all agree we like the idea of an extra hour in our day. That's why we seek out all the productivity and accountability advice we can stand. We follow people who are talking about productivity and try to learn tricks from the super organized giants out there.
We can also easily dream up what we would do with that extra hour.
Everyone has ideas of what they would do if they had extra time and a lot of them sound like this:
I would spend more time with my family.
I would get more sleep (how you can benefit from adjusting your sleep habits).
I would spend it getting organized for the next day.
I would watch an episode of my favorite show (This Is Us, anyone?).
I would spend time on my hobbies again, the ones I keep pushing aside.
But why do you really want to do these things?
One of the big things that is missing from all these productivity conversations is purpose. Most of what I read about productivity says they'll help you find that extra hour...so you can do more work or just MORE, MORE, MORE. Why do we keep saying we need more of everything? (Tweet this thought!)
Let's shift the conversation and talk about WHY we want to be more productive.
When you stop to think about why you want that extra hour, does it get at your core values? For example, if you want to spend more time with family or friends, is it because that's what you value most in your life?
Or is the thought of why you want the extra hour based more on "what you should be doing" or "what others want you to be doing?" These are the types of reasons that make us say we want something - but then we don't follow through. We just flippantly say, "Oh yeah, I wish I had more time," without really thinking about it and delving in. Or we say, "Yeah, I wish I could be like that, all productive and super energized," but we don't really mean it.
Doing the work of figuring out your "why" does take time.
I know, it sounds counterintuitive. And it isn't a magic bullet like some other people talk about when it comes to productivity. But committing yourself to writing down your reasons is important. Having the space to breathe and ponder "why" is one of the first steps to gaining momentum on maximizing productivity. All of those hacks and tricks out there start to fall into place when you get crystal clear on why you want to be more productive. My worksheet on reclaiming your time starts to tap into these issues, so check it out.