Want to stay productive? Find a community

“The friend of a thief is a thief.”

-Unknown

The quote above was a popular one during my primary school days. Teachers used it to warn us about the dangers of keeping bad company and the influence of peer pressure. Although, I also recall them using it to warn us to stay away from noise makers in class. The influence of peer pressure in one’s life can be enormous.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most amount of time with.”

-Jim Roth

The people you spend the most amount of time with dominate your thoughts, ideas and the kind of conversation you have. They are either supporting your goals or telling you why you can’t achieve them. It’s a phenomenon that’s well known at Majalisa, the gatherings of young men at every street corner. If the people around you are idle, it’s hard to be productive. On the other hand, once the people around you are all productive, you would either have to learn from them and become productive or you will have to find new friends.

Five people celebrating
You rise or fall to the level of those you surround yourself with

This is the reason why role models and mentors can have a huge effect on one’s productivity. In neighbourhoods where these are absent, it can be hard to achieve your dreams. If you want to be more productive, you will have to surround yourself with people who share your ideals. You will need to form your own community. Having a community is useful because:

  1. Your community can act as your accountability partners. By constantly asking you about the progress you have made and sharing theirs, you are encouraged to go just the extra mile further to achieve your goals.
  2. Your community can provide you with feedback whenever you have a new idea. Perhaps they tried something similar in the past and can advise you on what didn’t work as well as likely challenges they faced.
  3. By being a part of a community, you also get to share in their network. No one makes it alone. Your community can put you in touch with influential people in your chosen field and mentors.
Two people supporting each other
Accountability partners can be indispensable

Take the time to decide who are the people most likely to be on the same path as you. Make the time to meet with them on a regular basis so you can rub minds. If you can’t find friends who believe in your goals, it might be time to make new friends. It can be difficult to escape your environment but if your goals are bigger than your environment, you may have to move.

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