In every century and generation you will find prophets and evangelists of self-control. These are the voices that plead with us to take the inward journey; they implore us to rise above the noise of the world by plummeting deep into ourselves; they show us that the greatest mastery of all is the mastery of the mind.
Control of self. Self-control.
It is here that so many task management applications, productivity tools, success seminars and GTD solutions fail us miserably. They themselves become external distractions — tools, tricks and gadgets — that can never be a substitute for the internal battle required to take control of the self and become master of the mind. Productivity, as an isolated concept, can be the greatest red herring on the horizon.
Self-control, not merely efficient productivity, ought to be our objective. Efficiency for efficiency’s sake is not unlike speed for speed’s sake–it’s a sweet adrenaline rush but it doesn’t take into account the direction you are going. Meaningful productivity is like the residue left in the wake of a self-controlled mind. So may control of self, not amped efficiency, be the state for which you are striving. Don’t be distracted by the lure of productivity as a vain, inoculating substitute.