While there are many people out there who haven’t settled on their productivity app of choice yet, there are many who have. And much like everyone has their preferences on other aspects of their work and life that are the ones they personally like the most, the same goes for productivity apps and methods. The “personal” in productivity doesn’t just act as some form of ownership, it also represents how they feel about the choices they make to achieve their level of productivity.
Some people aren’t all that productive, which means that it’s not something they have taken care of on a personal level. They either use what they’ve been given and deal with it, or have what they’ve been given and use it to its fullest potential as little as possible. That doesn’t mean they can’t be more productive, it’s just that they haven’t taken it on as personally as others have – especially as personally as productivityists have.
It’s pretty clear who is personal about their productivity workflows – you can tell by how they carry themselves. If they are passionate about an app, ell sing it’s praises (and occasionally condemn other apps in the process). If they are heavily into GTD, then they’ll rarely stray from it (and sometimes misconstrue what it is because they are so blinded by said passion for it).
I’ll give you an example. Users of Remember The Milk seem to get really vocal when their app of choice isn’t mentioned in lists ranking top task management apps. I’m not saying they’re not right to draw RTM to the attention of both the author and commenters, but it’s more of a testament to how passionate they are to an app that simply does the job for them. Same goes with users of ToodleDo. And when it comes to productivity methods, Behance’s Action Method is one that I see get mentioned in passing more than mentioned off the top. (The shadow that David Allen’s system casts is a long one, that’s for sure.)
My relationship with personal productivity is one of exploration. I know I spend time looking at different methods and apps, but that is because I truly enjoy doing so. I’ve got an MUJI Chronotebook that I put through the paces,1 I’ve got workflow enhancement apps that I integrate into my day (as seen here), and I have been known to move to different task management apps from time to time.
Yet I’ve still managed to carve out a nice living, write a book, and spend time with my family all the while. I’ve become personally attached to what my productivity systems and apps enable me to do more efficiently and effectively, and what they give me the freedom to do when I don’t want to necessarily focus on efficiency and effectiveness all that much.
Make no mistake – I do have my personal favourites. But I am more than willing to try other things out to see if they can crack into that “favorable area” as well. Being nimble is one of the best things you can do for your personal productivity, and I try to be nimble whenever and wherever I can. That’s one of the primary reasons I focus on task and not time.
Productivity needs to be taken personally. If you don’t take it personally then you’re not going to come close to realizing your full potential…and there’s no bigger waste of time than that.
1 Sadly, the MUJI Chronotebook has seemingly been discontinued.