How to be productive

working on the laptop to be productive

Okay before we start, let’s be honest. This word is so present in our daily life. “We should be productive all the time” and we feel guilty if we aren’t productive. In our society, there is a massive focus on success and achieving goals.

But in my opinion, rest is as important as productivity. We don’t live on this earth just to work and rush through our days. I think we all have to sometimes stop, look around us, and being grateful. I mean even that we are alive on this day is a miracle.

What I’m trying to say is, please don’t feel the pressure to always be productive. Taking time for yourself and doing some selfcare is necessary in order to achieve your dreams.

I sometimes beat myself up when I feel “unproductive” but then I have to remind myself that I’m just human and we aren’t made to always keep going. It’s okay to rest and just chill on your bed.

This article is also available in German.

So, what exactly is productivity?

Definition: It’s the amount of production per factory or worker or day. But nowadays productivity is seen as how much you can get done in the smallest amount of time.

Productivity is basically the output divided by time. But there are two more factors to this equation, the useful aspect and multiplied with the fun factor.

If work is fun then you are more likely to do it, and you don’t need a lot of motivation.

There is no point in being productive, if we aren’t productive about the right things. We want to do a lot of things, but also the right things.

For example while you should write an essay, you might organize a trip with you friends and are really productive in doing that. You’re booking the hotels and reserving a car.

But you weren’t productive about the right things. You should have been spending your time writing the essay.

I do this a lot, this can also be called procrastination. A few weeks ago we had a big exam and the evening before the exam, I just didn’t feel like studying. So, I baked a bread and was just sitting around on my phone. Then I decided to go and play sports and in the end, I didn’t study at all that evening.

What you can do if you’re procrastinating is the following:

  1. set simple goals
  2. create a schedule
  3. get rid of distractions

With these 3 steps I can guarantee you, you will be more likely to do the work.

There is another concept of how to think about productivity: it’s more about the habits not the tools (like an apple watch) that make you productive.

Imagine you have a pilot and a plane, the pilot is here to set the course of the plane and to figure out what direction the plane is heading in. The plane just has to follow the course, take off efficiently and land safely.

We should be in the plane mode about 80% of the time and in the pilot mode for about 10% of the time.

The other time we should be in the engineer mode, where we have to make sure the plane is efficient and that it’s fueled efficient (not use too much energy) and keep everything organized.

The pilot is the use of the equation, the plane the output and the engineer is the time component.
Getting better at productivity is all about finding out, where you can get better, at the airplane, pilot or engineer part.

So, you can ask yourself: What are the parts in this equation where I can improve?

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