It’s not about getting more done. It’s about getting the right things done. It’s about spending your limited time on stuff you give a damn about.
Some call it hustle p*rn, but that’s just an excuse for laziness.
Productivity has nothing to do with hustling. I used to be one of those boring hustlers. I discovered burnout real fast & it hurt like hell. As you’re about to see, productivity is beautiful when looked at from the right angles.
Turn 8 hours of work into 4 (like this)
One way to shorten how much time you work is with flow states.
But there are lesser-known ways I see no one talking about. For example, when you have pressure to escape your current situation and live a better life, it’s easier to work faster and not procrastinate.
When I worked many finance jobs it bored me to death. I couldn’t wait to escape. So when the temptation to slack off on my side hustle or get lazy with my writing emerged, I thought of the life I wanted to transition to.
Another way I turned 4 hours of work into 8 was with a clear action plan of exactly what I needed to do. I’d visit this plan the night before every workday to ensure I didn’t waste time thinking or trying to prioritize.
When you tie all those things together with a solid purpose for why you do what you do, it’s easier to become indistractable.
Less distractions, more productivity.
Creativity happens when you work less
The productivity gurus are gonna shoot me down for this one.
Screw ’em. The best creativity of your life happens when there’s a cap on your work hours and you take breaks.
An overworked mind stuck in back-to-back Zoom meetings is going to have two-tenths of stuff all creativity. It’s why many businesses fail because employees stop using their creativity.
If you want to turn your productivity upside down then do the opposite of what bad bosses tell you to do … and work less. Let the mind be idle. Experience boredom and don’t medicate it with your phone.
Suddenly, ideas will start to pour out of you. Great work will follow.
The less scheduled you are, the more creative you’re going to be — Naval Ravikant
Understand “thinking cost”
Productivity expert George Mack teaches the idea of thinking cost.
When you have a thought there are potentially billions of other thoughts you could have. Every thought creates an opportunity cost.
So now it should make sense why politics, tweet trolls, toxic people, and drama queens are so bad for your productivity.
They take up your thoughts which could have been used for high-quality opportunities. Guard the door to your mind with an army.
“Your grind will offend the lazy”
As soon as you talk about your goals or how you’re going to be productive, lazy people get pissed off. They’ll even be offended by it.
They’re the same people that created the phrase hustle culture. It gives them an excuse to be lazy. It protects their fragile ego.
Don’t worry if your goals offend people. It’s a reflection of them, not you.
How to tell if you’re serious or just playing around
The average person loves to plan.
They love to pretend their goals will happen in the future or they’ll find the hours at some magical time that doesn’t exist.
Zach Progrob once said “If you were serious, you’d already be doing it.”
This advice ripped my face off. True productivity isn’t talking. It’s taking action at the seed of an idea or the start of a new goal. Serious people just start the work and figure it out as they go.
Execution IS a plan.
“An hour before 9 is worth 2 after 5”
This is one of the best productivity rule of thumbs I’ve ever come across.
Don’t underestimate those early hours. Most of the world is asleep or they haven’t fully booted up yet.
One of the easiest ways to find more time if you’re busy is to wake up earlier. That doesn’t mean you get up at 3 AM and have a cold shower followed by a green smoothie.
It just means you wake up slightly earlier and experiment with productive tasks first thing, before emails and other people’s priorities flood your day.
Use the compound hours of early morning.
The optimal path to achieve any big goal
Author Dan Koe taught me there are two paths to make a goal happen:
The most optimal way of doing something is the one that you enjoy but still gets results.
So rather than prioritize hacks and shortcuts…
Focus on the approach that you enjoy the most. Because the least optimal path is to choose a strategy that’s a pain in the ass, focuses on perfectionism, and is one you can’t stick to for more than a few days.
B.S. fake work versus real work
Not all work is equal.
A lot of tasks look like work but are procrastination in disguise:
- Endless college upskilling
- Planning sessions
- Ridiculous Elon Musk morning routines
- Reading books to feel busy
- Meditation apps
Real work is:
- Customer emails
- Shipping the product
- Delivering the service
- Sales and persuasion activities
- Posting social media content
- Skill acquisition (done fast)
Don’t get caught up in fake work.
The worst trade in the world
Many of us are unproductive because we trade time for money.
This is a bad deal. If you trade time for money you’re going to run out of time (hat-tilt Naval). As time depletes you’ll find yourself in a vicious loop of too many tasks and not enough time.
The best use of time is to use it to make money that gets invested in assets that make more money. In the long run money buys back your time instead of stealing it from you.
Let time work for you. Don’t let time abuse you.