Productivity vs. Presence

Productivity. It’s a word we all know and something we all strive for, but at what cost?

Today, we’re going to show you how you can not only be more productive, but also gain a sense of presence in your life:


I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of years thinking about how to be more productive. Even as I’ve found ways to be more focused and productive, I sometimes still feel this vague sense of dissatisfaction at the end of the day. Often when I’ve been most productive, I feel like the day has passed in a blur. I was productive, sure—but perhaps to the expense of other, equally, if not more important things.

When we care about productivity, we’re always aiming at some future goal, and judging our days by what we’ve managed to produce. Presence, on the other hand, means focusing on the present moment without aiming at anything, and judging our days more in terms of our internal experiences. If we focus too much on productivity at the expense of presence, we might find our lives slipping away in a blur.

I think it’s possible to get a good balance of productivity and presence, but it requires some careful thought about what productivity really means. The reason we really care about productivity—or the reason we should care—is that it allows us to do the things we care about as well and effectively as possible. Productivity isn’t a goal, but rather a tool for better achieving our goals.

To be productive in the most meaningful sense, we need to be able to step back and ask ourselves what goals we really care about, and why. But we don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking all our time should be goal-focused—sometimes it’s good to be happy with simply enjoying the experience of whatever we’re doing without worrying about what we might achieve.


Next week we’ll show you how you can move beyond productivity and presence to achieve “deliberateness”!

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