How to be productive ?

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A few years ago, I decided to give a try to some productivity techniques inspired from different books, so I could observe the change that this could create in my daily life.

One of the techniques consisted in waking up early, having a task list, prioritizing certain tasks and having a good bite every morning. [1]

Back then, I would spend all night with a bowl of chips plus Netflix and Chill. The idea of waking up early every morning was quickly resolved. As for my to-do lists, I created so many of them that I finally filled my basket with scraps of paper, most of which were of little use to me. Most of my predictions were wrong. I would schedule meetings for the next two weeks, which eventually would take place two months later. I would schedule tasks the day before and end up the next day with another list of tasks that were much more extensive than the day before. The irony of it all. I began to think that life was against me. A few months later, I gave up.

There was something I was clearly missing and that something, most people happen to miss as well.

In fact, when I look at the way I handle myself today, I realize that very little has changed from what I used to do. Other than the fact that I no longer Netflix and Chill all night long, most of my best articles are written at 2am. My planning is still shitty. The to-do lists, one heck of a mess: I ended up dropping them as time went by.

That’s what works for me, but probably not what works for you. So why even talk about it?

I believe that productivity is a deeply personal thing. I often see people who sit in circles and learn what Jeff Bezos has for breakfast on Mondays and start implementing the same crap in their lives. We all have different brains and therefore the situations in which we feel most effective vary from person to person.

Most of the literature on productivity supposes just the opposite. They assume that you are able to adopt those few habits that will make you a productive person. Yet productivity tips differ from case to case, person to person, and situation to situation.

Productivity tips for ploughing a cornfield are probably not helpful in completing your tax returns on time. Similarly, tips on being productive in resolving disputes won’t help you clean your apartment faster.

So it’s not a combination of green smoothie and carrot juice that will make you more productive overnight. It’s much deeper than that.

Let’s find out what it really is.

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