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The Fisherman's Parable

Is there anything that you're putting off to do in the future? 

What's stopping you from doing it today?

When I was working at Careem, one of the company values was "Today, not tomorrow". The intent was to not put off things to do tomorrow that can be done today. 

Good answers to what's stopping you from doing it today can be:

  • There's too many things to be done today already, there simply isn't enough time. If that's the case, prioritise and don't put off to tomorrow something that is a higher priority than anything that you're doing today.
  • I don't have enough information to do it today. If that's the case, gather the missing information today.
  • I don't feel like doing it today. If that's the case, what's the guarantee you'll feel like doing it tomorrow? Amateurs do things when they are in the mood, professionals do things despite their mood. Be a professional
  • I'm waiting on someone else to finish doing something that is needed for me to do my thing. If that's the case, let them know you're waiting for them to finish. Ideally, let them know early enough for them to get it done by the time you need it so you don't have to wait.
Answering this single question is among the greatest productivity hacks.

Apply it to your goals in life, and you'll get The Fisherman's Parable:

"One day a fisherman was sitting by his boat while playing with his child on a beautiful beach; his fishing pole resting against the boat.

A wealthy businessman came walking down the beach, trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. Curious and horrified at the sight of the fisherman wasting the day, the businessman asked, "Why aren't you out fishing?"

The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, "Because I already caught enough fish for one day."

The businessman followed, "Why don't you catch some more?"

"What would I do with them?" replied the fisherman.

"You could earn extra money," said the businessman, "then with the extra money, you could buy a bigger boat, go into deeper waters, and catch more fish.  Then you would make enough money to buy nylon nets.  With the nets, you could catch even more fish and make more money.  With that money you could own two boats, maybe three boats.  Eventually you could have a whole fleet of boats and be rich like me."

"Then what would I do?" asked the fisherman.

"Then," said the businessman, "you could really enjoy life."

The fisherman looked at the businessman quizzically and asked, "What do you think I am doing now?""

The Fisherman's Parable is antithetical to productivity hacks. It brings perspective to productivity hacks.

So, first start with your goals, and then come to productivity hacks. Because, there is a good chance you can have the life you want right now and not need any productivity hacks.

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