The Lazy, Emotional Path to Productivity
But wait, what about my morning routine structured down to the millisecond and my time blacking including each time I will rollover in bed at night? You’re saying that to be productive I have to... do things that produce?
Great read brotha, I have struggle over the years on trying to grasp the whole time block thing and it never felt like it did much except make my calendar colorful. And most people I saw who did it, didn’t actually follow it. They just kept tweaking it.
Dang Alex, this is KILLER. Something I needed to hear for sure. Not because I rely on flow charts or spreadsheets (I don’t), but because I WISH I did. I’ve often felt like I’m bad at time management because those techniques don’t lead to a sense of hyper-productivity for me. But this makes complete sense (and makes me feel a whole lot better, lol). Your prose, as usual, is eloquent and imaginative. I love how you play with structure, too. Great job!!
Dude! So good. Thanks for being honest and refreshing while writing about such an overplayed topic. You made me smile noticing that I haven't opened ToDoist in a month and my calendar gets used only to know what WOP related things I have.
As a trained chef and retired business owner, trying to improve my writing chops, your essay is right on the mark. I love the analogy of cooking for your loved one. Fear is the snake in the grass, and you have done a great service to others with this piece. Congratulations. Well done!
Love this! I definitely feel guilty of 'productivity masturbation' at some point. But it's true. Activity is not productivity. As I start to write more about this topic, I came to the realisation that a lot of it is mental and emotional blockers preventing us from getting real shit done.
The way I think about it now.. I don't want to add too many workflows and processes in place to make me do stuff, but be clear about what I want to do and get that ball rolling. And use what I know about myself - bad habits, fears, motivations - to approach the thing I want to do.
Thanks for sharing this perspective!
"Productivity masturbation" -- love it! This is one of my favorite things you've written.
Great piece Alex! Definitely have been trapped in the tactics cycle before, despite knowing it was the wrong thing to do while I was doing it. You’re spot on that it’s emotional avoidance rather than anything educational.
Great to hear someone who sounds a lot like me when I work. Makes me feel less alone!
Wow. Your Dad gave you some sage advice. 🤣
Don’t know where to start with expressing my appreciation for this story. But you’re in the writer’s kitchen shipping 5-star food, and clearly willing to embrace the emotional heat. I don’t know why the fear of success isn’t more widely spoken of, but probably just because fear across the board is the panda in the room no one wants to talk about. Now we all get to enjoy watching you apply your superpower, doing what matters, to writing life by talking about what matters. Thanks for the inspiration.
Looking forward to the Panda bringing more!
Wow, such a great essay Alex. I really enjoyed this and had a ton of fun reading it.
I loved your counter-intuitive approach to productivity that flies in the face of conventional wisdom.
"Don’t confuse activity with productivity," is SUCH a good reminder. I often forget that just because I could do something well, doesn't make it worth doing.
I love the "panda" approach to productivity. It's a trait I've noticed in a low of high performers, and want to adopt more in my own life. It actually has some really interesting roots in our primitive hunter-gatherer biology.
Loved this. Thank you for sharing :)