Be more productive by doing nothing

Over at Behance, James Altucher writes about five ways to do nothing and be more productive. He advocates doing nothing any time you are in one of these five mental states:

  1. Angry

  2. Paranoid

  3. Anxious

  4. Tired

  5. Want to be liked

James nails that it’s not just about focusing on the right things, it’s also about removing damaging actions from your process:

Many productivity books tell you what you can do MORE of in order to achieve goals, purpose, success money, etc. But MORE is hard to do. I’m already busy. Now you tell me I have to make a to-do list with six things that make me feel grateful on top of it? I can’t do it all.

You need to eliminate first. You need to be a productivity minimalist in order to be a success. The key is to find the easy things you can chop off where you can at the very least do nothing instead of doing things that actually DAMAGE your productivity.

It's a good reminder that sometimes its better to let things lie and simmer for a bit until you can be sure you’re approaching the issue with a clear head and vision.

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Getting the right things done

For advice on getting the right things done, Peter Drucker’s, The Effective Executive, is a classic on the topic. Although the title says, “effective executive”, you can replace “executive” with “knowledge worker” anywhere throughout the book and it still holds true.

It's a good reminder that sometimes its better to let things lie and simmer for a bit until you can be sure you’re approaching the issue with a clear head and vision.