Here’s one of those really misleading headlines over at FastCompany.com. The headline and subhead are: “The Ultimate Motivator: Adding Your Own Death to Your Calendar: Brooke Siem of Prohibition Bakery, a Dissatisfied, Lifelong Realist, Found an Odd Hack that Gave Her New Appreciation for Life and Work.”
But the actual upshot of the article, is that after adding November 2069 as the month and year of her likely death, she actually felt inclined to prioritize life and mindfulness over work. Soon after adding it, she found she randomly had 45 minutes to spare, and rather than use it to be productive, she “decided to just sit there and experience it.”
So that is hardly the “ultimate motivator” to be more productive.
Nevertheless, I think adding your appointment with Death to your calendar can have interesting and useful psychological effects. It is actually a good thing to “experience the moment” sometimes.
According to studies, people on their death bed rarely say they regret that they didn’t work harder. They usually say they regret they didn’t spend more time with their loved ones, friends and family.
Adding this all together, it may in the end make you more productive to add your likely death to your calendar. After all, we know that workaholism is actually anti-productive. In order to be productive at work, we have to spend some time not working, for example, enjoying our relationships.