Blog of Sara Jakša

Are You Productive?

I have a confession to make. I am a productivity info addict. It means that just like every addict, there are things that I can't resist, and one of them is the information about how to improve productivity. The other addiction or guilty pleasure that I have is chocolate.

But just because I am reading all this information does not mean that I am actually more productive. I would consider myself rather average about it. If all this reading does not result in the change, then it is just entertainment. As an alternative to tuning in for another episode of the Big Bang Theory.

This is mostly a problem between the epistemic and pragmatic action. Reading leads, at least in my case, mostly to an epistemic activity. But being productive, would usually be in the realm of the pragmatic action.

Let me first explain what I mean by these two terms. The difference is in the intent of the action.

Epistemic action

Epistemic action is an action that we do to help us in our cognitive process. It is rotating the shape in the tetris game. It is how we write down the notes or when we do calculations on the paper. I mean, I am not the only one that still does this, right?

So, when I say that for me reading productivity information is epistemic activity, I mean that these actions frequently lead to the change in my cognitive process, but they are lot less likely to lead to being more productive. At least I can't really show much for it.

Pragmatic action

On the other hand, the purpose of the pragmatic action is the change in the world. For example, building the house, making roads or voting in the election. Though, the last one also does not lead to any change frequently, but the purpose is there.

And this is where the productivity should reside. The main purpose of increasing productivity is to make a different mark on the world, be it by making more things that change the world in some way or by starting to make things that have a bigger change in the world.

It is this that I still struggle with. In my two decades and something, I have yet to produce something, that will leave a satisfying mark on the world. I did not come even close.

I guess, just like some people get reality escape through the television, I get it through the productivity porn. With me ending up addicted to the feeling that this is something that is going to be easily managed.

Why are you reading it?