Purpose for our productivity, and productivity with purpose, make for a meaningful life.
Productivity with purpose and a meaningfully productive life
I’ve been publishing this podcast for 8 years, and reading, learning, and thinking about productivity for over 50 years. When I decided, back in 2013, that I wanted to launch a podcast, the reason I chose the topic of productivity was my lifelong interest in the subject. Before I ever recorded an episode--or even thought about launching a podcast--I already had shelves full of books about time management, organization, and all things productivity-related. I had tried dozens of different planners and calendars and organizing systems.
I've been thinking lately about why it’s been such a thing in my life since I was in middle school. And the bigger question of why any of us think about this--why I’ve been talking about it for more than 8 years, and why you listen. Why do we care about productivity?
All that got me thinking about purpose in connection with productivity: What is the purpose of this podcast? But more than that, what is the purpose of productivity?
What is productivity?
From the Oxford Dictionary:
“the state or quality of producing something,” or “the effectiveness of productive effort, especially in industry, as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input”
By this definition, a productive woman is the one who produces something; the one who gets the most output per unit of input (whether that input is time or energy or something else).
In a Harvard Business Review article a few years ago, the writer defines productivity this way:
“the amount of value produced divided by the amount of cost (or time) required to do so.
By this definition, a productive woman is one who produces the most value for the cost or time invested.
Of course, here at TPW we have our own definition of what a productive woman is: A productive woman is one who orders her life in such a way as to maximize her positive impact on the world around her. To me, this definition actually builds a purpose into the productivity. We’re managing our time, pursuing our goals, and organizing our space all with the purpose of making the most positive impact on our world--whether the world within our 4 walls or the world at large.
We as women have an impact on others. Each one of us, no matter where we live or what kind of life we live, has an impact. Our choices, our behavior, our very presence, impacts
* the people in our immediate circle--spouse, children, parents, siblings;
* the people in our close circle: friends, co-workers, clients;
* the people in our extended circle: others in our church, business acquaintances or patrons, those we meet as we go about our life (such as the grocery store clerk, postal worker, customer service agent on the phone, kids’ teachers);
* even those in our remote circle: the people who interact with the people we interact with).
What does purpose mean?
From the Oxford Dictionary:
“the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists” and “a person's sense of resolve or determination”
Career coach Rebecca Fraser-Thill writes in a Forbes article:
“We feel purpose when we have a sense of direction and are enga...
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