Stop reading, Start applying

Every year, hundreds of books get published that claim to have the magic method that will solve all your productivity issues. Thousands (millions?) of articles get written on the topic. These materials are read by plenty of well-meaning people seeking to become just a little bit more efficient at work, or looking to achieve a better work-life balance.

With so much material written on the topic (and not all of it good for you), there is a risk of feeling overwhelmed and wondering where to start. There is also a risk of trying something new because it is the latest productivity fad and giving it up after two weeks to move on to another fad. In my opinion, however, the greatest risk comes from people who keep buying productivity books and subscribing to productivity blogs but never try implementing any of the prescribed solutions.

The timing is never going to be perfect

There is a place and time for learning. When you are faced with a persistent personal productivity problem that your most sincere attempts have not been able to solve, it is fair to research the problem and find out how others were able to overcome them. However, if all you do is keep reading and never implementing, there is a point at which reading becomes procrastination. It’s like the story of the man who wanted to run a marathon and chose to buy a book about marathons instead of getting his body into shape to run one.

In the book How to get from where you are to where you want to be by Jack Canfield, one of the chapters is titled “Take action.” It doesn’t get simpler than that. You can read all the books written about personal productivity in the world. None of them will be of any use to you until you try the concepts they prescribe. It’s always easy to start tomorrow. What is difficult is finding the courage to start right now.

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