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How To Be Productive According To Ancient Philosophy

https://dariusforoux.com/productivity-ancient-philosophy/

dariusforoux.com

How To Be Productive According To Ancient Philosophy
Improving productivity has been a pursuit of the modern human being from the start of civilization. Somehow, we believe that productivity is something that became important after the industrial revolution. We assume that, because we live busy lives, we need to optimize our time-especially in the 21st century. That's not true.

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Busyness leads to unproductiveness

Busyness leads to unproductiveness

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates

Don’t take on more tasks and responsibilities. You end up doing many things in a mediocre way. Instead, focus your time and energy on a few important things.

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Make small progress every day

Make small progress every day

Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.” – Plato

Set 3-4 important tasks that will directly contribute to what you want to achieve in life.

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Marcus Aurelius

“If you seek tranquility, do less. Or do what’s essential. Do less, better. Because most of what we do or say is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more tranquility..."

Marcus Aurelius

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Keep the momentum going

Keep the momentum going

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius.

One unproductive day can destroy your whole momentum. And that can set you back months.

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Small things lead to big outcomes

Small things lead to big outcomes

All your small actions combined, form your system for living.

And that leads to the big outcomes in life: More happiness, fulfillment, wealth—all a result of your system.

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Be mindful about the work you do

Be mindful about the work you do

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle

No matter how hard you work today, never see it as a sacrifice. You will end up resenting yourself.

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Celebrate the process, not the outcomes

Celebrate the process, not the outcomes

Neither blame or praise yourself.” – Plutarch

When you blame yourself often, you end up hating yourself. And when you praise yourself too much, you end up loving yourself in an unhealthy way (a form of narcissism). If you overdo it, you sacrifice the quality of your work.

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Productivity has always been important

Productivity has always been important

Although productivity might seem something that became important only recently, after the industrial revolution, it has been a topic of discussion ever since ancient eastern and western philosophy started.

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Productivity guilt

Productivity guilt is a mindset of feeling bad about not creating, achieving or working hard.

The Zeigarnik effect

This is the tendency to have “intrusive thoughts” about a task that we once started but didn’t finish. 

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Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

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Quality And Quantity

While assigning value to the output of knowledge workers, we cannot simply measure the output like before.

Coders and doctors cannot be measured by the hour, as their output is not uniform or consistent every hour.