Pera Barrett

Purpose & productivity.

Dear Huhana & Kāhu ō te Rangi,

Huhana you’re three years old, you’ve just become a big sister – congratulations and thanks in advance for helping raise your little bro.

Kāhu ō te Rangi, you’re one week old today – welcome to the world, it’s yours to shape around you.

This is a short letter. It’s about getting things done.

Between you two and my job, I do a few different things and try to squeeze everything I can out of life. Sometimes that seems noteworthy to people and I get asked how I find the time, how I fit it all in etc. There’s a short answer and a longer answer. This is the first. I hope it helps you make the most of your finite time here. How do I fit in all the ‘things’ I do?

I do things that achieve a purpose I believe in.

I avoid things that add no value to that purpose whenever I can.

Any sacrifices I make (time is the biggest one) seem insignificant when I compare them to the purpose that I’m sacrificing for.

Pera Barrett

That purpose is always why I do things. Find your why. That’s the most important productivity hack I know.

When I was getting up every morning at 4:30 to write you this book about following your dreams, I wasn’t really getting up early to write the book, I was getting up early to help you understand the importance of following your dreams, and to hopefully help you be happy.

When I spend months of unpaid work answering emails and sorting out Shoebox Christmas, I’m not really ‘doing admin’, I’m helping at least one kid in a bad situation feel special. I’m helping show someone the world on the other side of their fence isn’t all bad.

When I smile and nod across the desk at work while somebody loses it about something I have no say in, I’m not rolling over, I’m being a leader and letting that person be heard.

You might not know what your purpose is yet, but if you’re curious, brave, and interested enough in the world around you, you’ll find it.

Look around, explore life and look for your love or your loves.

If you can’t find time to do something you’re passionate about, think again about why you’re doing it. Do you believe in the purpose enough? Do you understand it? If not, it might be time to start looking around again, because action without purpose is just busyness. Movement without direction will never get you to where you want to be. Find a purpose. Find a direction.

PS I’ll write the longer answer soon. Somewhere in this house, there’s a nappy that needs a change and a baby that needs a burp.

Love you,


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