Welcome to a blog that is going to have a major influence on how you do things.
Productivity systems have been around for ages. Planners became really popular in the 80’s and 90’s, helping people organize their time and track their tasks. With the publication of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, an attempt was made to get out of the rigid prioritization of the old paper systems, and adapt to modern life. The system focused on contexts (gadgets/people/places available) as a way to get more done. After all, if the next thing on your list is to make a phone call, it would make sense to only see that when you have a phone, right?
Things Have Changed
Many things have changed since 2001. Faxes have gone the way of the dinosaurs (except within my school system, apparently). Cell phones are now common, if not universal. Computers are now smaller, faster and more mobile. Combine a mobile computer with mobile data, and you can work anywhere. Skip the computer sometimes…you can even work on your phone.
What hasn’t changed since 2001 is the focus on work. Stephen Covey/Franklin Planners, Daytimer, David Allen…they all are focused on what happens at work.
But the majority of the people I have talked to/emailed/surveyed/consulted complain that their days don’t end when they walk out the office door. There are still family tasks, home tasks, volunteer tasks, shuffling kids every which way, and on top of that we are now expected to work during those off hours because we have access to the work materials via mobile devices.
But What About Being Your Own Boss?
“Become an entrepreneur! Set your own schedule!” has become the battle cry around the internet.
Not everyone is destined to be the head of a company. Not everyone wants it, or feels called to it.
Folks, if everyone became an entrepreneur, we would have no doctors, nurses, police, firefighters or teachers. We would have no one doing the work of the big companies that help us get through our lives: health insurance, higher education, utilities, grocery and other retail stores, or any of the other myriad businesses large and small that make our lives safer, more comfortable and interesting. We have to have the truck drivers, the clerks, the technicians, the office folks, the engineers…the people actually doing the work. Those CEOs and entrepreneurs rely on the people like us that do the work and get their product/idea/widget out to the rest of the world.
Yes, I can say this from the trenches. I am now a high school teacher…transitioned after a successful career in software engineering. And believe me, teaching is a difficult job…but if people like you and me don’t do these jobs, where does that leave future generations? I don’t feel called to be an entrepreneur. My calling is in the classroom, trying to force the basics of algebra into the next generation.
OK. I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Workers Are The MajorityThe point is that CEOs and entrepreneurs are few and far between. The rest of us are the rest of us, and we are the majority. Click To Tweet
When someone who is a CEO or an entrepreneur turns around and tells me I shouldn’t worry about things that don’t have a long-term impact in my life, I smirk. Sure, the CEO has staff to do the laundry and clean the house. I don’t. And if I ignore those low value tasks, things become stinky very quickly. And I mean that literally.
When someone who is a CEO or an entrepreneur tells me that “life” things don’t belong on my lists because they are not work…things like getting the gutters cleaned, snaking the drains, grocery shopping, taking kids to activities and pets to the vet…well, again, the people telling me this have staff to take care of these items.What it boils down to is that we all have to manage all of our time. Life doesn't stop or start at the work doors. Click To Tweet
The Good News
The good news is that we can take all those skills we learned while working and apply them to the rest of our lives. The time management, the prioritization, the notes, the managing multiple projects. It all applies to our whole lives.
More good news lies in the fact that we can learn to set limits and keep work from taking over the rest of our lives. The folks who are paid by salary rather than by the hour are going to see the most benefit from this, allowing them to rebalance their lives so that we are not working 80 hours a week for a 40 hour a week salary.
It’s time for a new era. It’s time for Whole Life Productivity. Where we make the most of our whole lives, and not just the time we are working for our employers.
Some Things You Need To Know
For those of you who have been following me through my previous blog, SimpleProductivityBlog.com, you are going to notice some changes.
First of all, this blog is going to be a lot more informal. Writing for 10 years while pulling my personality out of the writing left me drained. So you’re going to get me as I am…quirky, nerdy, sometimes sarcastic, always uncoordinated and ever aware of the inconsistencies in human behavior. You’re going to see the struggles I have as I work through these issues myself. You’ll get to see what I try and what works…and what fails. Hopefully along with why it worked or failed. But I can’t promise that, because I am human and not always aware of the causations.
The second thing is that the frequency of the articles is not going to be what it was at SimpleProductivityBlog.com. At one point I was writing five articles or more a week…then it went to three. Right now there will be one article per week, full of the same type of helpful content people have thanked me for on the other blog.
In addition, though, there are going to be rewards for my direct supporters. Those people who support me through Patreon will get exclusive content, along with workbooks or other tools to help them. These articles will always relate to what is on the public blog…so for instance if we were talking about managing widgets on the blog, the Patreon supporters would get a more in-depth article on classifying widgets with the goal of batch processing, or perhaps an infographic that would allow them to have a summary of the concepts in a concise format. Right now there is no other way to get that content other than to support me through Patreon. Even as little as one dollar a month will get you these exclusive goodies.
(If you want to support me on Patreon, please go here: https://www.patreon.com/LJEarnest)
Let’s see…what else is in the works? (I’m not as scripted as I used to be, but that has a lot to do with the past month underwater at school)
I will be trying out Periscope. We’ll do some Q&A, or I’ll show you how I am working through something.
I’ll be working on some courses, format yet to be determined.
I’ll be showing you how I am building a new productivity routine, both for home and work, as I construct one with my new career.
So welcome to Whole Life Productivity. Let’s do this together.
If you don’t already get content delivered to your email inbox, please sign up here: Get Updates