Start my day purposefully

Recently I’ve been using this method and I found it significantly improved my productivity, which is to start my day purposefully.

I’ve been very lucky that in the past decade, most of the time I don’t have to use an alarm to wake up myself in the morning. While it is so luxurious to have this privilege, the caveat is I often feel lost when waking up, and easily carry this feeling with me the whole day.

To overcome this, for a while I tried an approach that listing my tasks for the day and focus on wrapping them up. This did make me more productive as I could easily retrieve a task and jump on it when I’m ready. However, even with a task list at hand, I could find myself whining: “Ah I don’t feel like to do X, Y or Z.”

Focus on the purpose, but not the task

The tasks are just the means to meet the end, and the end is the purpose, the “why” you’re doing the task.

You may start with a very shallow purpose, something like: “because I need the money so I have to do the work.” That’s the common response we can get from 90% of the people who have a job.

I dug in deeper with myself and through several back and forth, I concluded my purpose is: “Provide the best software engineering service that I’d be proud, my employer/clients would be impressed, and eventually, earn me premium salaries/income in this industry.

More than just work

Now the mindset is shifted, I feel much energetic when I wake up. When I bath in the morning sunshine I would think about the pending tasks for the day. But instead of “feel” I’d like to do them or not, I tell myself to use them as the means to meet the purpose.

In this way, work is now more than just work. It’s not about if you can deliver something or not, if you can earn a certain amount money or not. It’s about if you can fulfill your purpose, and if you can, the rest will sort it out themselves.

I could oversimplify the process, and it’s just a week or so since I’m doing this. But the difference is so significant, I’m pretty exciting.

A higher self

Regardless of the context, I believe we human beings have a higher self. It’s not someone magically solves all your problem or pays out all your bills. But it sees something you don’t.

While it’s not clear how do we communicate with it, if you have a purpose, you keep it in mind, your higher self will know and help you going towards that direction.

Of course the purpose can change over time, it doesn’t have to be always the same, and it doesn’t need to always be evolving either. But it’s just so important that you have one.

I now even look forward to go to sleep, and so I can get up refreshed and start my purposeful day. Couldn’t imagine this a few week back, I’m so happy while typing this post out.

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