Open Thinkering


Establishing your productivity ‘endgame’

‘Endgame’, like ‘aftermath’ is a term with a defined meaning that we borrow for everyday usage:

In chess and chess-like games, the endgame (or end game or ending) refers to the stage of the game when there are few pieces left on the board. (Wikipedia)

This can be used as a powerful metaphor for different stages of life – and the productivity and motivation required to get there. I’ve got an endgame in mind that’s comprised of three parts. I want to:

  1. Be writing and presenting on a freelance basis by the time I’m 40.
  2. Spend as much time as I can with my family.
  3. Have a stress-free (or at least low-stress) lifestyle.

It’s all about priorities. I’m not about to turn down potential high-risk opportunities without deep consideration, but they have to – long-term at least – fit in with the above. I’m not going to flog myself like the proverbial dead horse for things that don’t fit in with these. Have you got guiding statements like these to help focus you?

You may be wondering what this has got to do with productivity. Isn’t this just deciding your life’s priorities? Well, as I argue in #uppingyourgame, productivity is always productivity for something. There’s not much point streamlining and making more efficient something just because you can – especially when it’s something that you value.

Take, for example, Saturday mornings with my son, Ben. We could be in and out of the swimming pool after doing pre-planned training and then straight home. But why? Instead, we enjoy a different sort of productivity. It’s a productivity that is focused on our relationship with each other and our own happiness and enjoyment.

So have a think about your productivity ‘endgame’. Are you headed down the right road?

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