We usually think of being more productive as a way to make more money, or at least make the same amount of money with less effort. This is a short sighted approach. Being more productive really means doing things that will give you more time to pursue the things that are really important to you.
If I am able to maintain my same level of pay and cut my work time in half, I’ve made some pretty significant improvements in my productivity. But what if, instead of maintaining the same level of pay, we just try to maintain the same standard of living. Or better yet, just maintain the same standard of living on things that are important to us.
This type of thinking suddenly opens up many new ways of looking at how we spend our time. If I can cancel cable, reduce the number of times I eat out each month, and move to a smaller house, what will that buy me in terms of time? Could I spend another 20 hours a week with my daughter if I were willing to give up some things that will lower my cost of living?
I see a lot of people that become so obsessed with “doing more” that they never stop to ask themselves “why?”
Consider this: Do you have more or less time to spend on things you enjoy and that are really important to you than you did 5 years ago? If not, when do you expect the trend to reverse?