I was listening to a discussion on the effect of loneliness recently, and that got me thinking about how it relates to productivity. There was some stats about how it impacts productivity and I thought about it deeply especially as we come out of the pandemic. To me, the goal of personal productivity is to spend more time with people. Those people are generally people we love or care about. You may feel the same way. All of us should consider the journey of an outward productivity life versus completing tasks for only inward self gratifying reasons.
I use task managers and calendars and place a component (a task or a block) for being with people. Some in my family got jokes about my structured frequency, but I think it's good that I have time for them. Those that are close in our lives make it recurring and those that are further out in our live's orbit, make it more infrequent. I recommend we also include those that we want to acknowledge or thank for helping us with important moments in our lives. Some examples are people that you work with, people that in the past helped us with our career, and previous mentors. We should also ensure that we have adequate time for the conversation. We have to really listen. Find out what a person is into these days. What is something that they are having a tough time facing? There is a chance that they may reciprocate and ask you about what is happening in your life. They may not, but that is not the point.
My last bit of advice is to "Let it go.". Sometimes we hold on to things people have done to us. When I was younger I used to have a mental scoreboard of any slight that was uttered in my direction. I looked for moments to get back at people with some sarcastic or witty barb so I could mark it off. I'm not saying you go looking for someone from high school. What I hope if that you get an opportunity to engage with someone from the past try to treat it like a fresh start.
These recommendations do not guarantee that we won't get lonely. They are thoughts on starting and making people part of your productivity system. How do you deal with loneliness? Let me know how I can help,
Keep painting the masterpiece in the mirror -Winston