The Productivity Trap

xkcd.com/874
“I never trust anyone who’s more excited about success than about doing the thing they want to be successful at.”

This trap is extremely easy for people to fall into.

When we treat productivity like a hobby, we can fall into the trap of spending significantly more time reading and writing about productivity instead of being productive. If you find yourself learning loads about various productivity systems and how to make the most out of the day instead of being productive, there’s a problem.

You might not have even noticed that it happens because it feels like you’re being productive (you’re learning more about productivity) and you’re always looking at things related to being productive. This way, it reinforces the false idea that you’re using your time to accomplish important things.

Keep it simple

A large reason for this might be the increasing complexity of productivity systems. Trying to juggle two different calendars, three email accounts and one hundred to do lists is extremely overwhelming and actually detrimental to getting more done in the day.

You don’t need multiple aspects to whatever system you decide to use. When you look at the different things you utilise to help you get the most out of the day, ask yourself how much you can get rid of without losing any effectiveness. For example, if you have two apps that help you make to-do lists, get rid of one or both and use pen and paper. Also, don’t rely on apps to do everything for you.

A small reminder 

Remember that reading about doing work isn’t the same as doing work.

Using all your motivation from motivational pictures to look at more motivational pictures isn’t a good use of your motivation.

Information about productivity is only useful if you go on to do something productive!

 

Do you find yourself reading more about productivity than doing what you need to do?

***

1. The comic is from xkcd.com/874. It’s a fantastic web comic. If you haven’t heard of it before, I strongly recommend reading through one or two or five.

2. If you found the post helpful, share it. If you thought it was more concise than War and Peace, you should follow the blog. Then get back to work, of course. Or be happily unproductive.

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3 thoughts on “The Productivity Trap

  1. What an excellent quotation, right below the comic! And indeed, because it was more concise than Tolstoy’s monstrosity, you’ve gained an ardent follower:D

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