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The Enemy of Productivity

I came across this term 'Shallow Work' while reading a book about productivity. This term simply summed up the problems that we are facing now a days. We often google -"How to be more productive?", "How to manage time?", "How to beat procrastination?" and so and so on. In this modern world, along with the advancement of technology and lifestyle our day to day problems have advanced.

So don't you think our approach should also be advanced. Rather than focusing on the problem alone, why don't we look deeper? What is causing those problems? Are we really that incapable that even after having ample information at the palm of our hands we are continuously dealing with the same thing.

So often I hear people saying that "I don't know I don't feel like doing anything", "I am feeling lazy", "My brain is not working". Even if we are not doing anything , why have we developed a habit of saying " I don't know where the time went ?"And the million dollar question - If you don't have enough time, that means you are busy doing something, and that should yield at least some result. You should see little progress day by day but still we complain, we just keep doing that - complain.

The best part of all this ruckus is that , we ADD more things to do in the name of betterment and we end up exhausted and then again this causes us to be overwhelmed and our productivity takes a hit. You see its a vicious circle. Even when you are making an effort to deal with the problem you are giving way to new problems.

Take a minute and ask yourself this - why my efforts are not yielding me the fruit that I so deserve. Do you know what the reason is ? Any idea? I know you know :)

Ok then , lets talk about the REAL problem - You are scared of being bored. You want to be engaged in doing something all the time. Have you ever noticed how many times a day you unlock your phone ? Even when there is absolutely nothing to see. When you are working on something and you pause and open that phone. How can you expect yourself to be productive when you don't allow your mind to think. When you continuously keep feeding it with information it absolutely do not need. As a result of which even when you are working long hours (but with phone stuck in hand) your work is shallow.

So rather than ADDING things to become more productive, like - making a to do list, journaling, meditation and what not lets first focus on ELIMINATION. Eliminating the dependency on phones, eliminating the need to scroll mindlessly for hours, eliminating the social media from your lives. I know it is easier said than done , but it is the need of the hour. Yes, phone is an integral part of our lives but that does not mean you miss out a conversation with the person in front of you to respond to a email or a text. Stop unlocking the phone saying its just for 5 minutes and I will get back to work after that. It can't be fruitful if we continue like this. You need to be present completely for the thing you are trying to do and not virtually exist somewhere else.

Because of this divided attention we end up with shallow work, shallow relationships and a shallow personality.

The need for phones have been deeply embedded in our lives, however we do have a choice to pick our moments. Use it when you are really free, when you want some recreation (after doing something productive) , be mindful of how it is impacting your life and your peace.

If you have been to a village you would have see there is a platform kind of thing around a tree (lost what's the word here). There I have seen some old men sitting , doing absolutely nothing. They observe what is going around , talk to people (And thankfully there was no mobile phones) They were at peace. They sometimes don't even have there basic necessities sorted out but they are at peace. Do you know why ?

Once we have our basic necessities sorted out , we look for more. And thanks to social media we feel that there is always something missing in our lives. The will to need more is not going to end, we all want to do better and better everyday. But this race leaves us agitated and even after achieving something we try to move on to the next thing. We don't allow our brains to take rest. To tell us what it really wants ? And that is the reason every next person is having anxiety fueled by the vague efforts they put in shallow work giving them a sense that they don't have enough time.

Surprisingly, many of us know that removing phones and putting our focus on one thing will yield much better results. And knowing that also adds Regret to the list of problems.

Okay, I hope you understand what I am saying, the problem is there in our hands , how much and how long we decide to keep it in our held is purely up to us. Start choosing right, and the rest will follow. Like I did while writing this article - I really don't know where I left my phone , I'll go grab it (Just kidding) , you put down yours, take a deep breath and focus.


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