Busting a myth

If you have ever played the computer game, Diner Dash to completion, the final stage sees protagonist, Flo, a very efficient Restaurant owner gaining an extra pair of arms (temporarily thankfully) so she can fulfil more orders faster. I mention this because I have noticed a lot of people tend to have misconceptions about productive people. Efficient and effective workers are seen as either magical beings like Flo who have an extra pair of arms that lets them get a lot more done or they are seen as ascetics who achieve productivity by denying themselves everything else.

The truth is productive people are in many cases average people just like you. They have not been shown to be more intelligent than the rest of the population. They have just mastered a few simple principles and have acquired the discipline to apply those principles every day.

Intensity adds. Consistency multiplies.

Shane Parrish

Contrary to popular opinion, denying yourself the joys of life will not make you more productive. It might make you more miserable. I assure you productive people:

  1. Take breaks.
  2. Sleep.
  3. Have bad days.
  4. Take care of themselves.
Whatever happens, get enough rest

The growth of hustle culture and motivational speakers has created a myth that if you are not working on something 24/7 or making money while you sleep, then you are a failure. If you buy into that myth, you will only push yourself to an early grave. If you don’t chose the time to rest, your body will find the time for you. Burnout is real. So is stress from overworking.

Contrary to motivational speaker belief, productive people avoid working when they are tired. They realise that just as absenteeism can be bad for the workplace, presenteeism (defined as workers showing up to work when they are sick) can be just as bad. The aim is not to work 24/7 but to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Productive people have realised that it’s not the hours you put into the work that matters but how much work you put into those hours.

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