You know I like researching and trying new productivity tools and systems, but they're just tools. They're a means to an end, not the end itself. The end we're going for is a life that matters, as each of us defines it for herself. And no matter how popular a tool or system is, it's only worth using if it makes your life better.
How do you make a life that matters?
This episode was inspired by recent conversations in The Productive Woman Community Facebook group about various productivity tools and systems and whether and how they might work for one person or another. I thought it was important to talk about this issue: whether and how and why to make changes to our lives to adopt an approach or perspective that’s raved about by others.
One of those conversations was about Greg McKeown's book Essentialism--one of my favorite productivity-related books of the past few years. Lucy commented that though she had read the book multiple times, she found it incredibly difficult to implement. My response to her was:
I think each of us has to decide for herself what she wants her life to look like. Although I see a lot of value in what McKeown says in this book, the bottom line is if you like how your life is working, then there's no reason you have to change it to conform to what McKeown (or anybody else) teaches! Making a change based on a book (or podcast or webinar or any other teaching) is a good idea only if the change addresses and improves something you're not content with in your life.
Another conversation with Ruth reminded me once again that we need to decide for ourselves what to do, how, and why. Ruth commented on a group discussion about my conversation with Natalie Eckdahl (Episode 225 - Mindset Management) and said she is going a different path from Natalie's methods of childcare and household chores because she has different values and is creating a different life for her family. What a perfect reminder that there is no one-size-fits-all solution!
Does it work for you?
There are countless good resources out there, but no matter how good they are, what matters is whether YOU want to incorporate the concepts or principles into your life. If your life works for you, it doesn’t matter what anybody else does or what any expert says.
Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and her new Netflix reality show have made decluttering a big thing recently. There are lots of benefits to decluttering, but you don’t have to get rid of a thing if you don’t want to. If you are happy with your space, that’s what matters.