Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

Export My Content
feel productive (read all 3 entries…)
A question

What does “being productive” mean to you?

I’ve thought about this on and off since I added this goal – one of the very first since I created this account – but I don’t have a clear idea of what it means. It’s as if one day I’ll arrive and ah, I’m productive now!

But what IS that?

I to hate the word productivity. I was bed bound for a long time and my dad (who took a hard line psychiatric view of ME) constantly told me, “Do something productive today, hmm? Don’t just laze about in bed as usual wasting your life.” (Or, alternatively, “You are such a disappointment. You are wasting your life, do something productive!”)

Perhaps I’m writing this here now because I have written the first entry in my recover myself from my illness goal (also one of the first to be added here) and because I’m currently working through this this of 10 things.

Being productive means that I have something to point to, that I have some graspable tangible thing to say these are the things I do. I don’t just lie in bed all day.
It is very much tied into creativity.
It means being able to answer the question, “So what do you do?” with some pride.
It means I’m not wasting my life (thanks, dad).

Ultimately, maybe that’s what this is about: feeling secure in myself and building my confidence. I have nearly taken this goal down a few times because it is vague, but then I imagine ticking it off and how good that will feel.

So, help me out…

What does being productive mean to you?


This may not be welcome,

but here’s what I think:

Productivity will be different for every person. Even for myself (just one person), productivity changes. At work, I know I’ve been productive when my voicemailbox is empty, and there’s nobody wondering why I’ve not shown up somewhere. : ) But at home, because I’m growing another person, napping on the couch in the middle of the afternoon isn’t nesessarily unproductive. Even though it looked like I was doing nothing, I was. I was resting. Which is more important to my body right now than packing up the spare room (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!).

Just because your father’s view of “being productive” is judgemental different from yours, doesn’t make him right. You have to do what your body needs, so you’ll be able to do the rest.

I agree

and I think part of the difficulty I have in figuring out where the balance is (aside from the obvious health juggling) is that I’ve had so many years of illness-shaming from my parents.

By the way, your comment was welcome, I’m not sure why you thought it wouldn’t be! :)


I don’t have a chronic illness (or any other kind, really), so I didn’t know if mine was quite the perspective you were hoping for. Haha.

And you’re another one (along with BSA up there), who ought to remind your parents that if you can’t say something nice, you shouldn’t say anything at all. (Which is my polite way of saying that being sick is less a waste of a life than being mean is…)

Haha. Yeah, I’ve thought about writing about my family on here a few times but I don’t think I have the gall yet. It’s been intense.

Any perspective is welcome though, I wasn’t looking for a specific type. The bigger the range the better!


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