I was never really interested in productivity until I had to stop going with the flow and get my life back under control.
I'm one of those people that can take on a million projects and actually deal, but over time, even my limitless energy started to fall off.
I was moving slower, not as sharp, losing my creativity and a million other negative effects from working too much without enough rest.
All these things are really important to me because I'm a blogger, author, marketer, nomad, etc. and my life and success depends on me being at my peak performance.
This forced me to amp up my productivity or die from my workload.
Since it was do or die for me, I got it done faster than I thought was humanly possible and made some drastic changes in my life during the process.
This post is about some of the effects productivity has in our lives and society.
The insights may surprise you.
Productivity on a Semi Macro Level
Don't let me confuse you, what that heading means is the effect of changes in overall productivity of a region or a city.
Imagine that everyone in your town suddenly decided to do twice as much work, how do you think that would affect your standard of living?
From the price of commodities like milk and eggs up to big ticket items such as houses and cars.
You probably think that everything would go down in price right?
Not exactly, According to a joint study; between professors at Harvard and Berkley, an increase in productivity at the regional level would actually drive the prices of homes up, as well as the nominal wages, and overall employment.
Conversely, due to mobility of individuals, the prices of homes in adjacent areas would drop and real wages would increase.
Strange huh? I thought so too.
Anyways, let's talk about what an increase in your personal productivity would mean to you, complete with evidence and scientific research.
Increased productivity = increased happiness and increased happiness = increased productivity
It's kind of like the age old debate about which one came first, the chicken or the egg, no one can really say for sure.
You know that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you're able to finish everything on your to do list? That's because of a really powerful neurotransmitter called dopamine being released in your brain.
Dopamine is responsible for regulating our emotions and making us happy and we get a shot of it when we accomplish something we feel is worthwhile. In other words, being productive.
Conversely, according to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Warwick, if you're happy before starting on an assignment or activity, you can increase your productivity by up to 20%.
Think about what it would mean if your employer actually spent more money on making you a happy camper. It would benefit everyone involved.
Since we can't determine what they'll do, it's important to improve our own happiness.
The next time you want to get to work on a particularly daunting task, try and do a pick me up like watching a funny video or listening to some music that always puts you in a good mood.
You'll be able to get it over and done with before you can count to ten.
Productivity Improves Your Health
As humans, we have different periods of activity known as the circadian rhythm/cycle. This determines our peak performance periods and exactly how much rest we need to always perform at our best.
When we understand and tap into this rhythm. We can use our optimal performance periods to get more things done in a shorter amount of time.
The less time we spend working for the man due to our higher productivity, the more time we have to work on projects that interest and motivate us. This is a roundabout way of improving our happiness and overall well-being.
You Find out Who Your Real Friends are
This is a personal observation that I was able to make when I was really struggling to get back time for myself.
Not everyone wants to see you doing the best you can for yourself and when you need to make hard decisions or start going places they can never hope to reach, their true feelings come to the surface.
When I was improving my productivity, I had to cut back on the time I spent with people that had views and beliefs at odds with making the best use of my time.
When I politely told them about what I wanted to do, some of them got angry, some of them understood, and a lot of them cut me off because I was going where they couldn't.
Personal Productivity has a huge range of benefits to anyone willing to take the time out to accomplish it. You're healthier, you're happier, you have more free time, and there is an overall sense of wellness that pervades your spirit.
I can't begin to name the amount of positive things that can happen in your life if you choose the path of increased productivity.
I can't do it for you, but I can help you along in your journey, in the resource section, I've put together a list of productivity tools that I use on an almost daily basis to get more done in my life.
It's complete with scripts and templates to use to help you make the most of your efforts.
Here's an interesting tidbit for you
A bit of goofy advice that seems to work provided by the nice people at The Atlantic states that we should work for 52 minutes straight and then take a 17 minute break to improve our productivity.
I'm testing it out and can't really say yes or no. I would love to see how you guys feel about it in the comments.