Productivity for "lazy" people
[Friday Flow #33]
Write of Passage started this week, and the energy is real. It’s hard to really capture, but imagine a course where the students aren’t just there for the knowledge, but for each other. And where even a newcomer picks up on that vibe right from the first day. And all this despite that it’s entirely online. David Perell (and his business partner Tiago Forte) have built something really amazing in the world of online courses, and it’s a delight to be part of.
I’ll be facilitating my first mentor session on Saturday and I’m nervcited about it!
(Side note: I made “nervcited” up and then thought, “Yeah I bet someone has probably thought of putting those two together”. Well, I was right.)
Essay: How to be productively lazy
My essay this week is about how to be productive without killing yourself. I don’t know about you, but I find that a lot of productivity advice basically requires you to become some kind of machine always looking for how to “make the most” of every moment. And although I don’t think most people (including those giving the advice) really live that way, it’s hard not to feel like you’re severely underwhelming yourself.
Or is that just me?
Yet people somehow to think I get a lot done. And since the first essay prompt for Write of Passage is to write an answer to a frequently asked question, I decided to go with it. My friend and namesake had this to say:
Here’s an excerpt:
I often get people asking me how do you do so much without looking like you do a lot? How do you read so many books? How do you write so much? How do you manage all that with working as a doctor? And how do you still manage to find so much time to connect? …
The conversation about productivity has long been dominated by the hustle and grind types (perhaps because they are hustling). It's little wonder many people seem to think of "productivity" as almost a dirty word, conjuring up images of a joyless life of producing "results", or at best making them feel unproductive because they're not out there grinding all day everyday.
But as we say in Nigeria, "life no hard reach like that." At least it doesn't have to be. Yes, there's a lot that's hard about life, but that's precisely why it doesn't need our help adding to how hard it already is.
You can read the rest of the essay here: Productivity for "lazy" people
This week’s proverb is a reference to one of the points in today’s essay, about how I get upset when people suggest that they aren’t doing something because they don’t have time. I’m like, how about you just own that you’re maybe just not that interested?
Only a lazy man says “It is only because I have no time that my farm is overgrown with weeds.”
That’s the real laziness, the kind you don’t want.
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Read your full Productivity article and I love it! I'm a big believer in the Taoist maxims 'Doing without doing' and 'No-one knows the usefulness of the useless'. Personally, I find I can only live my life in alignment when I apply the "backwards law": I convince myself I'm fine as I am, don't need to be anything, achieve anything, do anything, and it's only then that I'm ready to be and do all the things I need to be and do. If I start out by demanding a bunch of things out of myself I end up doing everything out of a sense of guilt and fear. I have to trust that all the things I want to bring about will happen naturally without my forcing them: I actually *like* productivity and self-improvement, and I do both of them better when I'm motivated by genuine enthusiasm, spontaneity and energy than when I'm going 'I suppose I should...'