True Productivity Manifesto

The way we think about productivity in general needs a massive overhaul. I  want to not just change, but transform, how people think about productivity. Because the general belief about productivity centred on quantity is a myth. It’s the biggest productivity myth, one that’s causing a lot more harm than good.
It is not just important, but absolutely essential, to change this mindset. Because all it does is hold us back. It holds us back from doing the things we want, it holds us from achieving our true potential, and it causes stress, anxiety, feelings of ineptitude and a whole host of mental health issues.
There are tangible costs too, and this drive towards trying to do more comes ultimately at a lack of productivity, loss of money for businesses and individuals, as well as higher health costs that the stress and anxiety results in.
The greatest productivity myth needs to be dispelled. It’s high time. It’s about time we focused on doing work that matters, on doing things that help us move forward, on doing more quality work rather than stress about doing as much as possible and cramming in every waking hour of our day with work.
This myth holds us back. It does a lot of harm – it is one of the biggest cause of health problems (both mental and physical), it keeps us stuck, it causes disillusion and unhappiness and stress.
The way we think about productivity might have worked a long time ago, but things have changed. We are no longer in the industrial era, no longer do we need to measure our worth by the time we spend on doing stuff.
Because productivity is not about doing as much as possible, it is about doing stuff that matters, stuff that makes an impact.
True productivity is not about quantity any more (if it ever was), it is about quality.
The sooner you adapt this mindset, the sooner you can be on your way to transforming your life. Because this one change has the potential to radically improve your life. So isn’t it worth your while, does it not make sense, to at least try the alternative (shifting your focus from quantity to quality) out?
To learn more, check out my book: Radical Productivity.

50 hours or 55?

Who do you think is more productive, the person who works 55 hours or the one who works 50?
Most people think it’s 55.

I mean, that would be the logical conclusion – after all, more hours means more can be done.
But turns out that’s not actually true.

This very matter was the subject of a Stanford research on productivity which found that people who work 55 hours are actually less productive than people who work 50 hours or less a week.
This is down to variables like tiredness, energy levels, etc.

Just plugging away and trying to do as much as possible is not enough, as this research clearly proved.
Effectiveness matters.
Just because a person works more does not automatically make him/her more productive.

Quality nearly always trump’s quantity.

The usefulness of downtime

It’s ok to not do anything sometimes.
Contrary to popular belief.

There’s a myth around about how being productive means doing things all the time.
Around the clock.
Each and every one of your waking moment.

But it’s like that common saying goes: all work and no play…

Being productive isn’t just about doing as many things as you can.
It is just as important to have downtime.

Downtimes are not just useful, they are necessary.
Because our brains need time to consolidate and compute information.

Not just that, we all have good days and bad.
A lot of time it feels like scaling the Everest, trying to get anything done.
So it’s good to come to terms with them by taking a time out.

It is ok to have downtime.
And it is also ok to have down days.

Realise that having an impact and being productive is more about quality than quantity.

The important thing is to use your downtime (and days) to take care of yourself.
So rather than stressing about doing things, try and relax.

When you relax, you’ll prime your brain to get to work and come up with solutions and breakthroughs.
Our brains do over 80% of the work below the surface, without our active handling.

So chill.
It’s ok.

If you’re having a down day, or need some downtime, take the break and enjoy it, rather than trying to force yourself to do things and stress about it.

Life is short.
Savor it.

Don’t deny facts based on your beliefs

Here’s the thing about facts: they are facts.
Only because someone does not believe a fact does not suddenly change its state.
Not believing something to be true does not make it false.
Facts are just information, plain and simple.

Only because someone does not believe of the sun’s existence, for instance, does not stop the sun from shining.
Only because someone does not believe in the existence of the moon does not stop it from existing.
Only because we can’t see air does not mean it does not exist.
And so on.
You get the idea…

Facts are facts.
They don’t change based on whether someone believes in them or not.
They continue being facts irrespective.

So it is better to fall in line.
Because the disbelief just holds you back.
Don’t deny facts based on your beliefs.

Just do this one thing

Here’s a question I want you to ask yourself today:
What one thing can you do today that your future self will thank you for?

The thing does not have to be huge.
But it does have to be impactful.
Think 80/20.

Success in life is rarely the result of huge, incredible feats.
What really matters are the small things that add up over time.

Most people get paralysed worrying about doing the “right” thing, or doing “big” things.
But the lack of action only holds you back, and will continue to do so until you decide against it.
Until you just start.

Don’t stop yourself from taking action thinking you need to do something massive.
Even doing one small thing that helps you to move forward is way better than doing nothing.
Just do something, anything, that will help you move forward.

Don’t overwhelm yourself.
Don’t overthink it.
Just do one thing today that your future self will thank you for.