It's human nature to live by the metric of productivity in our lives. Being productive is what moves the world we live in. And let's face it, being productive helps us feel happier. We are contributing. We are getting shit done! But because we live at the hand of productivity, it's natural to compare our productivity to those around us. And that's where the two Ps, perspective and personality come into play. 

The need for perspective. 

Being productive is a huge part of our happiness but the second we start to compare what we've accomplished and our productivity to someone else, we lose our perspective and shift our happiness away from what we've done and how we got there, to how much we've done compared to those around us. We start to think we aren't doing enough, aren't contributing how we should, aren't using our time wisely. We lose sight of all the good things we are doing in our lives and instead look at others and wish we could be as productive. This is no way to live. 

This is where you need to regain perspective:

  • Write down everything you do in a day and acknowledge that it's a lot.
  • Have a talk with a friend and ask them to tell you if they think you are accomplishing enough. Chances are they will point out all the amazing things you do that you don't even realize.
  • Ask yourself why you may feel like you aren't productive enough. Dig deep. 

Once you can discover that you are being productive, stop comparing yourself to others, and discover what may be motivating you, you can regain your happiness (which actually leads to more productivity).  

Don't discount personality.

As we live by the metric of productivity, we seem to discount the role our personalities play in how much we get done and how we work.  No matter how hard you try to live to another's standard of productivity, you can't out work your personality or biology. You must work with your personality to be your happiest and personality will trump productivity every single time. 

So how do you learn to work with your personality instead of living by a standard of someone else? 

  • Start by reading blogs like this one to help you and test what you read to determine what works or doesn't work for you.
  • Take personality tests like Myers-Briggs, Strength Finder 2.0, The Four Tendencies, the Power of When and the How to Fascinate: Personality Test. Implement your findings to discover what makes you tick and how you can be at your best every day.
  • Write down the things that make you, you and remember you want to work with those things instead of against them. Work with your personality instead of trying to override it.

Productivity and happiness working together.

We can be our happiest when we are accomplishing our dreams and making an impact on the world. Productivity and happiness work together but we must remember to work with who we are and not hold ourselves to a standard of someone else. Would you agree?

Photo by Malte Baumann