Productivity For Mental Health - Getting the Right Things Done

Jordan Brown

Productivity is an interesting topic. It can go in all sorts of directions.

But at the heart of it, productivity is about getting the right things done.

Focusing on the wrong things can have a detrimental impact on your mental health.

But how do you know if you are focusing on the right things?

All will be revealed below.

Right Things Vs. Wrong Things

First, let's compare right things versus wrong things.

The right things make you feel good. They make you feel accomplished. They move your life forward, whether you're focusing on a long-term project, a family commitment, or a weekly chore. They mark unequivocable progress.

The wrong things don't do that. The wrong things fill your time but make little progress. They seem effective in the short-term but have no real impact in the long-term. It's the difference between adding emails to folders and actually spending 30 minutes to intentionally respond to the most important emails.

There has to be a better way. And there is.

How to Get Away From the Wrong Things

If you're like me, you've spent a considerable amount of time focusing on the wrong things in your life. It's not a very good feeling. You work so hard and get so little benefit from your actions.

To focus on the right things, you need to escape day-to-day mode. You have to take a higher-level view of your situation. Be a bird up in the sky looking down. What are the tasks in your life that actually move the needle? Which tasks get you closer to your goals? Those are the ones you want to focus on.

Gee thanks, Jordan. As if I didn't already know that?

I know, I know. But that's often where people stop. It's not enough to know what to do; you must also develop the systems to do what you've identified.

Try this simple framework:

  1. Make a list of all the things you want to get done for a particular area of your life.
  2. Analyze the list and separate the wrong things from the right things. Remember, the wrong things seem urgent but don't actually move you forward. The right things have real, long-term impact.
  3. COMMIT to the right things. This is the hard part. It requires a proven system to get your right things done. If you're a calendar person, schedule time for the right things in your calendar. If you're a daily-schedule person, make sure you have one or two right things in your daily plan every day. You know yourself best. Do what makes the most sense for you.

Some may call this a simplified approach to life, but it's the simple stuff that will get you through. Simplicity is flexible. It withstands the inevitable storms.

Because the storms, they will arrive. You don't want to create yet another storm by focusing on only the wrong things in life.

Get your ship through the clouds.

Focus on the right things.