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Is it Time to Let Go of Productivity?

Is it Time to Let Go of Productivity?


    I’m sure a lot of Lifehack readers are also readers of Leo Baubata’s blog Zen Habits. While I’m a big fan of Leo’s and can honestly say he was my biggest inspiration to start blogging, I also disagree with some of what he has to say of late.

    A couple of months ago Leo wrote an article entitled “Toss Productivity Out” and to most productivity geeks and ninjas the initial reaction to that post would include a shriek and maybe a gasp. What would my life be like if I toss productivity out? I’m certainly not going back to the pre-productivity chaos that was my life.

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    But Leo’s concept is about letting go, not living life constantly striving to achieve more, faster, and better. And in this concept I agree. I too have been trying to simplify my life, I have been trying to value my time and not waste it working on things that don’t matter.

    But there is a time and a place for productivity, and I think in all of Leo’s wisdom that letting go too soon can have a negative effect. I think there is a time in our lives for goal setting, for productivity systems, and for letting go.

    Goal Setting

    Goal setting is probably one of the biggest personal development ideas of the past decade. Stephen Covey, Richard Branson, Robin Sharma and other successful people will tell you to set goals. If you want to achieve something, you must visualize it and then go out there and get it.

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    How to go about achieving your goals is where the next set of experts fit in. The ones who will advise you how to manage your time and make time for all the things you want to achieve in life.

    Productivity

    People like Brian Tracy, David Allen, Mike Vardy and CM Smith tell us how to get from the vision to the completion. How you can get things done — and stay calm and as stress-free as possible while doing it. At a certain point in everyone’s life we want to accomplish things and often find that we don’t have the time to do it. Productivity systems help us to manage our time and resources to enable us to get all the important stuff done. Productivity systems help us to achieve our lofty goals and dreams.

    Letting Go

    Then there is another school of thought — the one that advises us to let go, to stop striving. To live in the present and accept life for what it offers. These are the letting go advocates like Babauta, Mary Jaksch of Goodlife ZEN and many others who tell us to focus on the present and appreciate each day for what it is. I wholeheartedly agree with the concept of letting go and living in the now. But can we do this without first going through the process of goal setting and productivity?

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      I think there is a time in most people’s life when goal setting is needed, where change is required, when things are not the way you want them to be. In these times we need to focus on a better future, to project ourselves into a better state of mind, a healthier body or a calmer disposition. Leo managed to lose weight, eliminate debt and become a runner. Could he have done this by simply letting go? I don’t believe so.

      But then again there were some gaps in the evolution of man. Are these down to missing pieces of information or were they quantum leaps in development? Is this what Leo is telling us now…that we no longer need to go step by step in our personal development? Is it perhaps time for a quantum leap? Is it time for human consciousness to let go and allow the universe to let things happen and evolve how they should?

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      It’s certainly an interesting concept. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

      (Photo credit: Woman Letting go of Balloons via Shutterstock)

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        Ciara Conlon

        Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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        Last Updated on June 19, 2019

        10 Websites To Learn Something New In 30 Minutes A Day

        10 Websites To Learn Something New In 30 Minutes A Day

        Learning something new is always an exciting endeavour to commence. The problem is that most of us get wrapped up in busy distractions throughout the day so that we can never find the time to learn the new skill we want.

        What’s worse is that some of us spend hours learning this new skill only to give up after a few months, which is precious time that goes down the toilet.

        Luckily, there’s a better solution.

        Instead of using our time to sit through long lectures and lengthy video courses, we can take advantage of all the amazing websites that can help us learn a new skill in 30 minutes or less.

        We’ve collected the best sites that teach a diversified list of topics and have decided to share them with you here today. Enjoy!

        1. Lynda

        Estimated time: 20-30 mins
        Topics: Business, marketing, design, software tools

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        Get access to 1,000s of courses with a 10-day free trial to develop your skills in business, photoshop, software, and much more.

        2. Skillshare

        Estimated time: 20-30 mins
        Topics: Cooking, design, software tools, marketing, photography

        Ten dollars per month gets you access to bite-sized, on-demand courses taught by leading experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, Guy Kawasaki, and more.

        3. Hackaday

        Estimated time: 5 mins
        Topics: Life hacks, productivity

        This website delivers tips to make your life better and more productive. Just 5 minutes a day is all you need to learn new life hacks to improve your lifestyle.

        4. Codeacademy

        Estimated time: 15-30 mins
        Topics: Software development

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        A gamified approach to coding, Codeacademy helps anyone build a website through an interactive learning method. Learn any programming language from HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby on Rails, and more by actually building instead of spending your time on theory.

        5. 7-min

        Estimated time: 7 mins
        Topics: Health & Fitness

        Do you have just 7 minutes to get in shape? Most of us aren’t in the shape that we want to be because of the lack of time we have. Putting our workout apparel on, driving to the gym, and driving back can take up a lot of our time in themselves.

        In just 7 minutes, this website will go through dozens of routines to get you in shape and ready for the day ahead. Time is no longer an excuse!

        6. Calm

        Estimated time: 10 mins
        Topics: Meditation

        Get guided meditations right to your screen. With Calm, you can learn different types of meditation where a teacher can guide you step-by-step through the process, even if it’s your first time trying meditation.

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        7. Highbrow

        Estimated time: 5 mins
        Topics: Business, creative skills, design, history

        Bite-sized email courses delivered to your inbox every morning to learn everything from film history, marketing, business, and more.

        8. Big Think

        Estimated time: 10 mins
        Topics: Technology, science, life

        Learn from the world’s experts about scientific breakthroughs, revolutionary business concepts, and more in short, chunk-sized videos.

        9. Khan Academy

        Estimated time: 30 mins
        Topics: Academics

        Recognized by Bill Gates as one of the best teachers online, Salman Khan breaks down complicated subjects into simplified concepts to help you understand them in minutes, not weeks.

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        10. Rype

        Estimated time: 15-30 mins
        Topics: Foreign languages

        Are you “too busy” to learn a language? Meet Rype, your personal trainer for languages. Get unlimited 1-on-1 private language lessons with professional teachers around the world. Each lesson is just 30 minutes, allowing you to fit learning a language into your busy lifestyle. You can try it free for 14-days and see for yourself.

        Over to you

        Which of these topics were your favorite?

        We’d love to hear from you, and please share this with friends who are also looking to learn something new!

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