You’re here because you want to get tips, tricks and insights on how to amp up your productivity or discover how you can “hack” your life. The things you’re looking for can vary from business needs to lifestyle changes, from software recommendations to quick and easy recipes that make your busy life just a little less busy.

But before you dive into all of that, before you dive into what could very well be a wellspring (or overload) of information, I’d ask you to look deeper than the surface reasons of why you’re here. In fact, you need to ask yourself some of the biggest questions you can about productivity in order to really get the best from what we’re offering – and from yourself.

The reasons these questions are big is because of the sheer honesty with which you need to answer them. They’re not about the little things you want to life hack; they’re about the life you want to lead as a whole. If you don’t answer them with brutal honesty in mind, you really aren’t answering them at all.

So here goes…the 5 biggest questions about productivity you need to ask yourself…

What Are You Being Productive For?

What are you doing that requires you to be more productive? What are the reasons behind it? Furthermore, is the “what” really worth being more productive for? Is it what you really want to be doing?

This doesn’t have to be applied to anything huge…but it often leads to it. It can be about a task you keep trying to become more efficient and effective at, but it’s not something you’re really getting much out of. It can also be a job you’re doing that you’re not happy doing. The “what” is the first thing you need to look at, because once you’ve done that then you can move on to the other questions with a lot more clarity.

Who Are You Being Productive For?

Who are you trying to get better for? You shouldn’t have to think too hard about this. Because if that first person isn’t you, then you’re doing it wrong.

Without making these efforts for yourself, they won’t have a lasting or genuine impact. They are based on not what you want, but the wants of others. You need to put your own self first when shooting for improved productivity. Otherwise, those that you are doing it for won’t get the full force of what you really are capable of.

When Are You Being Productive For?

Are you thinking long term with your productivity tweaks? Or are you just trying to get better at the day-to-day?

I’m not suggesting that daily tasks aren’t important, but if you don’t make the “when” have some longer term aspirations in mind then you’re really not making progress. When driving a car, we’re taught to look far ahead down the road so that we can react better should something unexpected come into our path. But how many of us who have been driving for years have allowed that scope to shrink? I know that I have from time to time, and when you think about that from a safety perspective, it’s kind of scary.

Make sure you have more than just today as your “when”, or else you won’t be able to avoid the obstacles that may impede you tomorrow.

Why Are You Being Productive?

Why do you want to level up? Is it for a promotion? For a better family life? For both?

This is perhaps the biggest of the questions because it has multiple answers. The thing is that all of the answers had better align with each other in some form or another and yet not interfere with each other as well. It’s a delicate balance, but if you are really honest with yourself and are willing to take the risks necessary to better align yourself then it can also be the biggest contributor to enhanced productivity.

The Big Follow Up Question…

After each of these questions, you need to ask yourself this question: How come?

How come you’re only looking at a daily to do list instead of setting goals for the future? How come you’re taking on improving your productivity for other people before yourself? How come you’re doing a “what” that you’re really not enjoying?

With some honest answers to the follow-up question, you’ll find that you’ll also start looking at how you can change things for the better.

And that’s why you’re really here…isn’t it?

(Photo credit: Businessman Standing Alone via Shutterstock)

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