Yes my friends, it’s true. You’re gonna’ die. This is my #1 productivity tip. Don’t forget, that someday, maybe tomorrow, you’re gonna’ die. How does this help productivity? Remember all those things you’ve been planning on doing. You better do them… soon, because you’re gonna’ die.
Not only is remembering that you’re gonna’ die (and possibly soon) a good productivity tip, it’s also great for work life balance. When you think about the fact that you will die, you suddenly have a good sense of priority. Naturally family and friends come to mind first, but work is important too if you love what you do. For example, I’m a programmer and entrepreneur. I make stuff. How does this tip help me? I release my products early and often. Why? Because I might die tomorrow.
Thinking about death can be dark, and if you think about it too much you’ll make yourself depressed, or possibly find yourself in a religious frenzy. But by remembering your mortality, you’ll have the motivation to really “get things done,” the things that are most important to you.
To quote William Shatner, “Live life like you’re gonna’ die, because you’re gonna’.”
6 thoughts on “Life-hacking Productivity Tip #1: You’re gonna’ die.”
While not the brightest side of the outlook penny – it’s very true, and when sung by William Shatner, it’s even fun to sing along to.
Not a very positive view on productivity… Think of it: if I may die tomorrow, my thesis is worthless. I prefer to think that my grant is running out eventually 😉
The best way to increase my productivity is, oddly enough, to be highly productive. And the best way I have found is to use timeboxing with a twist: shrinking your timeboxes. This way you are challenged to work, beating your previous time on a repeated task, or doing a difficult task in less time than it should be done by your only determination.
It’s not so much about anticipating that you’ll die exactly tomorrow, but that the amount of time we have is uncertain. We may die tomorrow or 60 years from now. The point being is it’s no good to realize that life is finite on your death bed. If you have goals, wants, or whatever, you need to get started on them ASAP, while you’re healthy and able. If your PHD takes 5 years, you should get started on it now, because you probably won’t die tomorrow. But… who knows, you might die 6 years from now, so get in gear!
Well, that outlook works for me at least. 🙂
I hear you about productivity breeding productivity. My mother-in-law always says “When you do stuff, you tend to do more stuff, but when you don’t do much, you tend to do even less.” That’s more of a paraphrase than a quote. 😉
When I was young I would stand on my Dad’s feet and we would dance to one of his favorite songs… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCRZZC-DH7M&feature=related … Looking back, one of the most heart wrenching memories in my life.
Oh wow, what a great song mom. Love it. Thanks for posting that. 🙂