We tend to seek out better productivity practices as a way of reducing our own stress and increasing our sense of personal satisfaction. We can assume that if we have the right tools, work ethic, and know-how, we can solve most of our problems. We subconsciously think that productivity itself will bring us inner peace and joy.
But in itself it’s not enough.
It’s a good thing to want to reduce our own stress and increase our satisfaction in our work. The problem is that those goals are insufficient. Our true purpose in improving our productivity should be to serve others. And, amazingly, this is the path to our deepest joy.
Here’s what Jonathan Edwards had to say on this (in Charity and Its Fruits):
If you are selfish, and make yourself and your own private interests your idol, God will leave you to yourself, and let you promote your own interests as well as you can.
But if you do not selfishly seek your own, but do seek the things that are Jesus Christ’s, and the things of your fellow human beings, then God will make your interest and happiness his own charge, and he is infinitely more able to provide for and promote it than you are. The resources of the universe move at his bidding, and he can easily command them all to subserve your welfare.
So not to seek your own, in the selfish sense, is the best way of seeking your own in a better sense. It is the directest course you can take to secure your highest happiness.