Productive use of one’s time is perhaps the primary goal of adult life in our society, yet we find it more difficult than ever to define what productivity actually is.
Often we act under the assumption that productivity is simply whatever makes us feel productive, though that sort of circular logic fails in that its efficacy is not measured by way of an external result.
It seems to me the simplest, most helpful definition is:
Activities can be regarded as productive in so far that they bring about the desired result.
So is productivity than our true North, the thing by which our lives should be organized?
The answer to that question is contingent on your own trust of the human mind’s ability to determine what is actually worth pursuing.
If the desired results are destructive, can the activities that led to them be considered productive?
Alas, it seems we’ve fallen into a semantic game. The truth of the matter is, your own awareness is all that you can know to exist, and the only thing by which all else is measured. If you cannot trust your rational mind, you trust nothing at all.
Results are generated by right behaviors, and right behaviors are determined by analysis of previous results, which in turn are the data by which we can design systems to achieve desired results.
Easier said than done, though we may still take comfort that paths to success can be defined so simply.
Systems thinking may be our best defense against the chaotic world around us, and the disordered states of mind that arise as our ego scrambles to protect itself.