The only way to be productive

TLDR: Reading productivity books, articles will make you less productive

I want to take a little bit of freedom when defining the word productivity. In self development I think people are talking about how much is done when refering to productivity. Which is different than efficiency which is a a measure of a lot has been be done during a certain span of time.

So if we want to make things simple:

  • Productivity: I do a lot

  • Efficiency : I have done that task very quickly

Regarding productivity there are only two kinds of people:

  • Those who are productive

  • Those who are not productive

Yeah easy, If you do a lot then you are productive, if you don't you are not.

This post is kind of a complaint of the productivity porn movement: how to be become productive ?

The answer couldn't be simpler: stop asking yourself the question and start doing. There is no such things as learning to be productive or spending time to improve your productivity knowledge. There is only one case in which reading a book about productivity is actually productive. It's when your objective is to actually read the book.

Let me emphasize that and repeat again:

The only way to be more productive is to stop asking and start doing

All other things are bullshit.

If you have applied this wonderful advice, you are now being productive 24h - sleeping time - shower time - eating time hours per day or at least a number of hours you are satisfied with.

The remaining question you could have is, how can I be efficient ?

There are two parts to master to be efficient:

  1. Do JUST one and ONLY one thing at a time

  2. Frequently ask yourself what you can change in order to do more

To me 1. is the main reason some people are being seen as productive people, when you take care of your child, you go grocery shopping, you wash clothes, you take 30min of makeup per day, you read a book before going to bed,... You have done so many small things that none of them are significant and as a result you have the feeling to have accomplished nothing. When you are 25, no child, you don't do social activities, and you work 35h per week: you have 5 hours of free time per day. And even if you use only 1h of that to create something, you will externally be seen as productive.

So my last advice, is that if you really want to be productive and efficent, just do less things and do them during more time

PS: This article is not about how to be motivated to do things