What Productivity Systems Won’t Solve

Source: http://zenhabits.net/unsolved/

By Leo Babauta

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for the perfect productivity system. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist.

The problem isn’t with the productivity system — the problem is that none of them can solve a few really important (and related) problems:

Fear of uncertainty
Fear of discomfort

For example, at the top of my to-do list today is “write Zen Habits post” and “write intro to declutter course” … pretty simple, right? Two fairly straightforward tasks. But as I started this post, I went to check and respond to email, sent a message to my wife, checked on my finances, cleaned the kitchen a little. I’m super productive at the little things when I’m putting off the big tasks!

No matter how good the productivity system is, it falls apart when I start procrastinating.

When a task is uncomfortable, I procrastinate, just like most people. When I’m facing a lot of uncertainty with a task, I procrastinate. Like most of us.

Often, we’ll work on a new productivity system, try out a new to-do list app, start organizing, or start getting our email inbox to zero, or start reading about a new way to be productive (like you are now) … all as a way to procrastinate on uncertain or uncomfortable tasks.

And it’s so much easier to follow the path of distractions and little tasks, than to face a big important but scary task. It…

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