Redefining productivity

Photo of woman holding cup of coffee with the text "what does productivity really mean?"

I’m not a fan of the word “productivity.”

Everywhere I turn, there’s another app or article promising to help me gain more of it.

We’re obsessed with productivity.

According to capitalism and the internet, productivity is narrowly defined as the things we do that create a monetary output. Nothing else apparently counts as productive even if it results in more health and happiness. Taking a nap, playing with our kids, or cooking an elaborate meal aren’t counted within the hallowed sphere of productivity. These activities can help us be more productive but aren’t viewed as productive on their own.

I can’t get behind that definition of productivity.

It’s ridiculous to define a day spent having fun with friends or family as unproductive, when it results tons of positive benefits.

Instead of trashing the word altogether, let’s redefine being productive as pursuing anything with a positive outcome. We all have aspirations outside work, so our idea of what it means to be productive shouldn’t concentrate only on work.

Our goals may include working less, learning something new, or strengthening our relationships with loved ones.

With a more well-rounded definition of productivity, spending a day at the beach is productive! Reading a book is productive! Catching up with a friend is productive!

Productivity should be up to each of us to define for ourselves. We all have different goals and dreams for our lives, and what we do to make money is just one piece of that complex puzzle.

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