Productivity Needs A Purpose

AKA: Why setting goals isn’t enough

As I have been on this ‘purposeful living’ journey for the past five years I have dug a lot into PRODUCTIVITY. 

I have worked on changing habits, setting goals, making new habits, taking action. In general, getting ISH DONE! 


Why productivity is important in motherhood

Many of us moms feel that frustration of getting to the end of our day and feeling like we just didn’t get anything done. Of course, there are seasons where all you get done is care for tiny children, eat some toast over the sink and hope you remember to put the laundry in the dryer. However, as we exit the constant demands of babies and try to take management over our day, it can be so important to feel satisfied with how we lived out the day.

Feeling unproductive leaves us feeling like we aren’t doing this gig properly. Whether we are moms who stay at home, working, or a combo – we all need to feel like we are doing a ‘good job’. We all need to feel productive at whatever it is we are called to in the day. 

Productivity is very important, but one big takeaway I have from all this, and a mistake I had made, is that you can’t just be productive for the sake of being productive. 


Productivity is a tool, not a lifestyle

And it took me a long time to figure this out.  There is a difference between living life on purpose and being productive. 


We think that if we are ‘active’ on something that we are being purposeful. Infact, this is often our solution to feeling a lack of purpose – we google ‘how to be more productive’ and we make to do lists and we pick some goals to work on and we choose a ‘good habit’ to learn.

These are all good things, but they need to serve something bigger – they need to move us towards something bigger. 


When I would set goals and work on changing habits that I simply deemed ‘good’ or ‘bad’ I found I wasn’t successful. I would burn out, not really be invested in the goals, or get to the end and realize I was still unsatisfied. I still didn’t feel like I was purposeful and passionate about my life.

There is nothing worse than getting to the end of the day, week, month, finish line and feeling like all that energy might have been better spent elsewhere. Maybe all that effort came at the cost of things that were more important to me? Maybe I didn’t really pursue that goal in a way that honoured who I am, or the relationships that matter most to me. 

All in all, I couldn’t just slap on some goals. They seemed like the obvious fix to feeling dissatisfied with my life. But I was missing the obvious part: the vision I was working towards.  I wanted to live my life on purpose, and it needed to be more rooted in the purpose than the productivity. 


Purpose before productivity

It is so important to know the purpose you have for your life. And I don’t mean your ‘calling’. I mean getting really clear on what a purposeful life looks like to you.

It is important because without this purpose we meander, we roam, we feel lost, we feel restless. WE ARE DOING BUSY WORK FOR THE SAKE OF BEING BUSY.

We know there is more, but we don’t know how to get it. Maybe we try setting goals, as I mentioned above, but this feeling of restlessness usually doesn’t stay away. Then we might feel bad our goals didn’t miraculously change our life, and we feel even worse about our crappy goal experience compounded with this lost and restless sense we have about our life. 


Two things that help you determine your life, on purpose

To know what purposeful life is you need to consider who you are and what you want. You need to know your personal values – what is important to you in how you show up. And you need to know your vision – what you want your life to be like and feel like. 


1. Your personal values

Your values can’t be underestimated. They are part of your core identity. You feel connected to them, they contribute to who you are and you feel a privilege/responsibility to live them out.

A quick way to dig into the values you have is to finish this sentence; I am a person who is _________. (Caring, diligent, environmentally conscious, creative, ambitious, cultured, relaxed, etc)

When we don’t live out our personal values we feel frustrated, not like ourselves and disconnected. It is so important for us to understand the values that are most important to us and the things that make us feel like we are living true to ourselves. 

[Related: Live Your Values]

2. Your life vision

A reason why many of us feel unhappy with the life we have at this moment is that we just let it happen by default to a large extent. 

In my case, I can say I made a lot of safe decisions to build up a life I thought was ‘successful’. I got a safe job, the home, the marriage, the second vehicle. I just kept checking all the boxes. Yes, I was guiding my own life but I never stopped to really question it. Was it what I really wanted? [Related: What is the life you want]

As I have taken time to start asking myself what I DO want, how I want to feel, the future I want to build into I have seen the power of visioning play out before me. I have seen it in my own life, the lives of my life coaching clients and the users of the Life on Purpose workbook.

[Related: Live Your Vision]


Digging deeper into Life on Purpose

In a world of #domore #beawesome #getshitdone we need to keep this motion pointing to the right direction.

Productive is a rewarding feeling we can have at the end of the day. But, living with this bigger purpose is more effective, rewarding and valuable than filling your day with general productivity. 

Before you set another rogue goal or change a ‘bad habit’ ask yourself what do you want to achieve? What are you working towards? This is the meat of the Life on Purpose Workbook. It is the imperative dive deep into each category of your life. If you are interested in the workbook, know that it helps you assess what is working, what isn’t, set a vision you are passionate about and get creative with ways to achieve this. 

If you want to dig deeper into clarifying and pursuing your life on purpose check out these blog posts, get a free life coaching call or get the Life on Purpose workbook.




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