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Is the secret of productivity really just doing what you enjoy? | Oliver Burkeman

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/05/secret-of-productivity-time-management-theory

theguardian.com

Is the secret of productivity really just doing what you enjoy? | Oliver Burkeman
By far the biggest predictor of whether something gets done is whether it’s fun to do

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The best predictor of getting things done

The best predictor of getting things done

The secret to great productivity is simply to do what you enjoy.

Copying other successful people will not guarantee you success: Just because Elon Musk works 120 hours a week does not mean that you'll have the same success if you work for 120 hours a week. Musk likes to work those hours. If you tried to follow that schedule, you'd have to make yourself do it. The same goes to advice like "write every day." It won't work unless you want to write.

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An objection to "do what you enjoy"

One big fear we have is that when we let ourselves do what we enjoy, we'd waste even more hours each day on social media, instead of doing important things.

But we know that when we start a session of challenging work, we often need to give ourselves a push. After that, it's the enjoyment that'll sustain our motivation, not productivity hacks.

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The Mere Urgency Effect

This bias addresses why we do unimportant tasks we think are time-sensitive over tasks that are not time-sensitive, even if the non-time-sensitive tasks provide greater rewards.

How to overcome this bias:

  • Use the Eisenhower Matrix. It will reveal the urgent/not urgent and important/not important tasks.
  • Block off on your calendar the most productive 2-4 hours each day for your most important work.
  • Only answer emails at specific times. Don't allow email to bleed into other time.
  • Give your important tasks a deadline and find a way to commit to it.

The Zeigarnik Effect

This effect describes our tendency to remember incomplete or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. Each unfinished task takes up some of your attention, splitting your focus. It also interferes with your sleep.

What you can do about it:

  • Write your tasks down as soon as they come to you.
  • Have a system in place for organizing and regularly reviewing your tasks.
  • Have an end of work shutdown ritual, so your unfinished tasks don't stay in your mind after-hours.
  • Take a small step to help you get started. The act of starting can help you keep going to the end.
  • Don't forget to review your completed tasks and celebrate what you've already accomplished.

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Wealth Is A Relative Term

Wealth Is A Relative Term

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How Much You Need to Become Wealthy In Dollars

According to a Modern Wealth Index Survey, the amount needed to be comfortable in America is $1.4 million. To be wealthy, you'll need a net worth of $2.4 million.

An average pre-tax yearly salary of $389,436 is needed to be in the top 1%, although it varies by state.

Buying Time

We all, rich or poor, have the same 24 hours in a day. But we can use our money to buy more time. For example, by eating out, you don't have to decide what to cook, shop for ingredients, cook, and clean it all up.

If you can carve out more time for yourself, you can use it in other ways that will improve your life. You can start a side hustle, exercise, read, or spend time with family and friends.

We Don’t Know What Productivity Really Is

We Don’t Know What Productivity Really Is

Most of us want to be productive but do not completely understand what we do, why we do it, and who judges it as productive or non-productive.

Productivity can be defined as the eff...

Productivity: Modern Knowledge Work

Knowledge work in the modern age involves thinking, analysis, theories, trial and error, problem solving, brainstorming and other stuff which is done in a variety of counter-intuitive ways. It is defined by a diverse range of iterative exploration of yet-to-discover possibilities.

Comparing the earlier (linear) definition of productivity to modern knowledge work is like comparing a bicycle to a computer.

How The Idea Of 'Productivity' Holds Us Back

  1. The linear definition of productivity assumes that if we complete our to-do list, we are productive for the day, not taking into account the time required for creative insights that come from serendipity and lateral thinking.
  2. It falsely ties us to a quantitative output, which involves pseudo-work based on input and output of an age gone by. Example: Making and emailing a daily report that no one reads.
  3. As we answer emails and put out the fires, we miss opportunities for creativity and deep thinking, and even getting bored, which makes the brain work better.