The other night I was watching television and saw an ad for the online dating site, eHarmony. The gentleman behind the desk asked the potential client whether she wanted a relationship that’s “fast or forever.”
That quotation has stuck with me ever since. In a lot of cases, it seems as if fast is the desired outcome over the forever outcome. The quick fix is more desirable than the lasting one that takes time to nurture. If you or I could take a pill to make things better, we would. I’m not suggesting that there’s anything inherently wrong with that dream. But it really is just a dream. Nothing that lasts happens quickly. It takes time for the roots to take hold to form a foundation. This then serves as an anchor providing stability against the wear and tear of everyday life.
Do you want fast or do you want forever? You need to think about your answer to that question when looking how your approach to productivity.
Fast means you install the latest task management app without having a framework of handling your tasks in the first place. When the app crumbles under the weight of a frail system – or you find that the app isn’t working the way you need it to – you move on to the next app.
What if you spent time finding the right approach first?
What if you fostered a productivity system and personalized it over time so that it could work with pretty much any app that exists or may exist down the road? Wouldn’t this make you more effective? Wouldn’t that make you more efficient? Wouldn’t that make things better?
It sure would. But it isn’t the fast way. It’s the forever way.
I’ve also been thinking about this quote regarding my own work and my business.
Ever since I’ve transitioned Productivityist from a personal website to a full-fledged company, I’ve felt that part of what I’ve done in the past has been compromised. In some ways, I spent time building up the business fast without being as thoughtful about it as I had before. I’m not totally sure why this happened, but I’m glad I caught it before it spiraled too far out of control. In this case, going too fast in the wrong direction could have led to me taking forever to get back to where I really wanted to go.
I want my work to be something that has a lasting appeal. I have always said that you should get better at something before you try doing it faster. I’m going to take my own advice with my work. I’m going to slow down and do better. That’s the key to creating something that can stand the test of time.
So…do you want fast or do you want forever? I’d love to hear your answer to that question in the comments below.