An Open Letter To Productivity

Jun 20, 2016
Joe Buhlig
~1 min

My friend,

We’ve come a long way since we met five years ago. And I cannot thank you enough for the clarity and direction you’ve given me through the multiple transitions and big decisions I have faced in recent years. Without the systems and tricks you’ve taught me, I would accomplish much less and fall short of numerous goals. For that, I am grateful.

I know I don’t always stick to the structure you’ve helped me build, but you’re always there when I realize I’ve stepped away. I know that if I trust the guidelines and follow them, my days are efficient and invigorating; and that makes me want to keep going and do more. It reveals my ability to do something great.

But sometimes I need space. I know you want me to be efficient with my calendar but there are periods when I need to blow some time with no expected outcomes. I need a little freedom. I need to be flexible and play once a while.

I think you would agree that margin is beneficial, but you often expect a measurable result when I take a break. I can understand that. We both know that taking time to re-energize can lead to greater gains elsewhere. But that’s my point: I can’t always look for the benefit of an activity. Why must everything have a defined positive outcome? Why not be content with the lack of definition and embrace spontaneity and play?

I want to continue our friendship, but with a different perspective. Let’s focus less on doing more and more on doing right. That likely means fewer projects, but I want them to be better projects. I know you’re with me here. But let’s also invite Play to our meetings. I’m aware of the love-hate relationship between you. Let’s work through that together. Between the three of us, I believe we can accomplish something awesome.

I’ll see you tomorrow.