We’ve had a wild 23 years together.
I remember when we first met after graduation in 2001.
It was at the Barnes and Nobles on the corner of 18th and 5th Avenue. (Now an H&M.)
We were just kids. I had a wad of cash in my pocket.
Venmo? Pfft. We had just gotten Google!
The 80s cover of 7 Habits wasn’t speaking to me. So instead, I left with my first paper copy of Getting Things Done.
Productivity, it was love at first sight.
A fiery passion.
You were a new player in the world of self-improvement.
The world of “knowledge workers” (lol, no one used that term in the aughts) had no idea what lurked around the corner.
Email addresses were no longer limited to “.edu” and we were about to become an Email Nation.
In no time, we’d be wearing holstered Blackberries as if we were in a Clint Eastwood western.
And the dreaded blinking red light would ruin countless dates and day drinking at Brother Jimmy’s.
But I digress. Yes, we found each other at the perfect time. Right before emails and tasks would barnstorm our collective psyches like the Tasmanian devil.
Productivity, you provide a refuge of calm in the chaos of bits and bytes.
You provided a way to stop worrying.
Whether it was my rent payment, CFA dues or mom’s birthday – you always had my back.
And Productivity – during my time on Wall Street – you were my secret weapon.
They had no idea.
Together we looked around corners.
In an industry where everybody’s always playing defense – we played OFFENSE!
We avoided fire drills. We went on vacation without checking our email. Shhhh!!!!
It was so effortless.
And the payoff was a beautiful one.
If I’m honest, in my 20s I used you quite selfishly.
It was all about making more money.
(I mean, what are your 20s for anyways?)
And together we outworked our peers. Both in volume and in smarts.
Together we got promotions that I could’ve never imagined. Bonuses, that became the foundation for financial freedom.
In my 30s, when our relationship crossed the 10-year mark, we were like warm cozy sweaters. Two peas in a productive pod.
We had matured out of the game of itty-bitty tasks.
The systems were working.
The tools we used to lust after – had now become Shiny New Toys that we ignored.
The hacks and tactics became distractions. They took us away from the bigger vision we had for our lives.
Productivity, without you I would’ve never YOLO’d off the corporate hamster wheel.
I couldn’t have left that Wall Street game without you as my ride-or-die.
We were leveling up. Entering the jittery world of entrepreneurship.
Together, we were making a big bet: Could we finally own our time?
Could we workout in the afternoons?
Could we live by the beach?
Could we be school kids again and take ENTIRE summers off?
You provided the groundwork to answer these questions.
Together, we welcomed our first offspring – $10K Work.
It was a simple (yet critical) distillation of identifying the work that truly moved the needle.
Thirty minutes of $10K Work could yield more than 5 hours of emailing.
(If only they knew.)
It was wild to realize that as dialed-in as we were in our 20s, we still wasted a ton of time. On petty ass sh*t that never really moved the needle.
But as they say, “Youth is wasted on the young.”
Productivity, it’s when we crossed our 20-year anniversary that things really started to change.
All the systems and workflows we had built together just became life.
Just like a breath of air or a sip of water – “being productive” just melted away as a thing.
It didn’t mean that you no longer mattered.
Au contraire, mon frère.
Everything we learned over those 20 years had become “internalized.”
But to me it was something much deeper.
You mattered so much that our souls had become fused.
Which ironically marked the beginning of the end.
My 40th birthday introduced some heavier questions.
How do I self-sabotage?
Do I have healthy ambition?
What is a life well-lived?
And please know – you gave me the crucial mind space to tackle these thorny questions.
But I also knew that you were never going to be able to provide the answers.
As tempting as it was to take on one more project or make one more investment – we’d always bonded over this simple Lao Tzu verse:
To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, subtract things every day.
So it’s with a heavy heart that I say:
We leave one artifact behind. The pragmatic distillation of our methods, systems and principles lives on in Supercharge Your Productivity (our last live cohort, ever).
Productivity, you’re more than just the engine that gets us closer to our dreams.
You’re also the map.
With love and gratitude,
KheSupercharge Your Productivity – Professional [SYP13]