Productivity: It’s okay if you lose battles because you can always win the war

If you’ve ever felt that you’ve not done enough on some days, this post is for you.

What makes a good day? Many times, we have high expectations of ourselves. And sometimes, we expect too much of ourselves.

Consider elections. A candidate only needs 51% to win.

Consider school examinations. Most examinations simply require 50 marks out of 100 to pass.

Our competitive society and education system have trained us to want to be the best or to get 100%, but outside of the context of examinations, we don’t always need 100%.

Consider your to-do list. Do you feel bad for completing only 8 out of 10 tasks?

Visual by Janis Ozolins:

Assuming that you’re not overdue for your final 2 tasks, you should be proud that you’ve done 8 out of 10 tasks.

If you have a list of 10 things to do, you only need to do 5 to pass. If you have a list of 3 top priorities and you complete 2, it’s a good day.

This might seem wrong if you subscribe to the idea of “don’t leave until tomorrow what you can do today.”

I don’t think it’s wrong. If you only had the capacity to do that much work today, then you’ve done what you can do today. Even if you only managed to do just one task or half a task and couldn’t get yourself to do anything for the rest of the day. You can get back to work when you’re well rested and ready.

Viewing the day as a battle to complete 5 more tasks after I’ve completed 5 big tasks always feel exhausting. But when I celebrate that I’ve completed 5 tasks for the day, I feel great. There’s no pressure. And often, that allows me to do at least a few more things.

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Jun Han Chin

I write and illustrate ideas around personal development so that you can be 3x more awesome | |