Performance, Not Productivity
A new Notion personal wiki is not enough to counter a divorce
The last two years of lockdowns and pandemic have led to a rise in working from home for knowledge workers. For all the problems that working from home solves, and all the strengths that it has, there are new problems arising.
One of them, the main one in my opinion, is that it removes structure from many people’s lives.
In doing so, most people have gone from having externally–driven structure to needing to create structure themselves. And most people are struggling with this.
Top performers have managed to make this internal–driven structure work in their favour. Leveraging their unique strengths and situations to continue growing at incredible rates.
You hear stories of people holding multiple high–paying tech jobs simultaneously because they effectively work 2h per day on each, rather than 8h. You also hear stories of people who are able to run their side–hustles and turn them into full businesses while also working a 9–5 because of it.
But those are stories of those who are thriving. Not the story of those who are struggling.
Most are struggling with the lack of external structure. Add to it that most businesses have failed to adapt to the new working from home environment. New problems related to work–life balance, burnout, stress, etc. arise.
In this environment, there is a rising interest in productivity. People want to become more productive so they can get things done and do their jobs better. However, productivity is the wrong approach.
Seeking to become more productive won’t work, because productivity is a byproduct of something else.
Pivot your efforts at increasing your personal performance instead.
Productivity hacks, new calendar tools or fancy to–do lists are short–term solutions. They’re the expression of a reductionist approach to how humans work. And this is the wrong approach.
We humans are complex systems, with different areas and aspects which work together. The relationships between these areas are as important as the areas themselves. Think of the whole being greater than merely the sum of its parts.
If you’re going through a rough time with your spouse, it will affect your performance more than any effect you’ll get from a new productivity tool.
If you’re in poor shape, with a terrible diet and inexistant sleep, no new Notion personal wiki will counter it.
Even if you do learn to set the right goals for you and create the perfect blueprints, it all won’t matter if you aren’t cultivating your execution skills.
Productivity in itself is the wrong goal to work for, because it blinds you from the reality of how humans perform. Because we’re a complex system, we must work on all areas at the same time.
In this working from home environment, where we must build structure ourselves, it is paramount that we work on optimizing all areas of our life: health, relationships, fitness, business, career, self-development, hobbies, etc.
Many are burnt out. Many are on the verge of burning out.
It’s not about barely functioning, hoping that it will all go back to how it was a few years ago. Hoping that soon enough you will be provided some structure and you will be able to sigh in relief.
Nor is it about putting little patches in the form of a new productivity tool.
It’s about working on everything. About working on things from the core. About cultivating your skills. About optimizing your performance so you’re naturally more productive.