Are we missing something with all the emphasis on efficiency, time management, and productivity? We now produce faster and more efficiently with less effort. Our to-do lists get done consistently and with military precision. (if military precision is a real thing) Many books, blogs, coaches, and articles will help us get it done but is getting it done any advantage if you get the wrong stuff done.
I think we are well aware of the danger of distractions. You know, the mindless social media or web surfing when there is something else we should be doing—sitting watching tv instead of doing something productive. So much time gets lost to distraction. But is productive or distracting the most critical question?
What if we get to the end of a productive week or year or maybe life and discover that what we produced was meaningless? Ultimately a wasted week or year or, tragically, a life.
In fact, what we do is vitally more important than how well, fast, or efficiently we do it because activity without meaningful purpose is empty and dissatisfying.
The first-century Jewish rabbi Jesus said: “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” clearly stating the final result of efficiently doing the wrong things.
But where does it start, and how do you evade it?
It starts when you write that pervasive to-do list. We start with everything we need to do and everything other people want us to do. Try to wrestle it down to a manageable list by delaying or delegating everything we can, but we don’t ask if someone should even do those things.
It ends when we ask, is this something I should even be doing? Does this to-do have any relevance to my life’s purpose? Seriously!
Okay, that might seem just a tad extreme, but take the hint. You are doing things today that you absolutely should not be doing. Some are fun; some are challenging; some are trivial, while others are important but not for you.
Deciding which things are yours and which items are not might be the most crucial decision you make today.