Don't be productive, be progressive.
For a long time, I’ve mistaken productivity for progression.
There’s already school of thought around “Don’t be busy, be productive.” But I want to take it a step further. Don’t be productive, be progressive.
Here’s the difference:
Busy = doing things
Productive = doing focused things
Progressive = doing focused things that move your life forward in the direction you want to go
If only I’d discovered this third category sooner. I’ve been pulling my hair out over the last year wondering why even though I’m focused and getting things done, I don’t seem to be moving forward at the pace I’d like.
Sure, you were productive today. But did you make progress?
My day today:
Brush my teeth
Hang up a load of washing
Go for a run
Put on another load of washing
Edit video for Impossible Incubator
Post on Instagram stories
Hang up another load of washing
Cook picnic food
Go for dinner with friends on the beach
Write this blog post
Can you spot the only progressive thing I actually did?
At the end of my day, I have to be totally honest with myself and ask “If today were erased from existence, would it affect my future?”
I can’t kid myself that putting on 3 loads of washing and going for a run is truly progressing my life forward. My run today won’t affect my life in 1 years time. I could go running every day for the next year and still be in the exact same place in my life. The same with my meditation, or my gratitude journal. They are both good things to do. They are productive and important. But they aren’t progressing me towards my dreams.
The only progressive thing I actually did today was editing my video for my Impossible Incubator launch. It will affect my life in 1 years time, because if I don’t get this launch ready, I’ll have to push it back ANOTHER month, and that will delay my future youtube videos, and podcast, etc.
Seems kinda harsh. But I wish I’d known earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of wasted days.
Ask yourself, did I do something to progress my life forward in the direction of my dreams today?
If the answer isn’t a definite YES, then plan something progressive to do tomorrow, right now!