September 23, 2007

StopWastingBreath: Don’t Read Non-Productive Productivity Tips!

The human brain can only handle so much information in a short period of time.

As I approach 40, I am learning this limit very well. So, whenever I see an article, blog posting, email, etc. that says '98 tips to a more productive life' I instantly delete it. I can tell before even pulling up the list that this is a list of items that is impractical for me to absorb in a single sitting. Or in a single week. Or in a single month.

If you ever sit down and listen to a great music jam session (primarily R&B) you will find out that the silence in the music is just as important (if not more) as the actual notes that are being played. You cannot always have noise. Just a good guitar riff or kick drum every now and then in the hook can make for a great tune.

So, if I subscribe to several productivity RSS feeds, and at least once a week I see a post about ' The top 38423 ways to promote your blog' or '98432 ways you can have everything you want right now' I will be forever trying to keep up with all the items. The result is that I will be LESS productive than I was when I started. No thank you sir!

My advice to you: Don't read these posts, or if you do just glaze over the first 10 to see if you see anything new. Otherwise delete it because it will just fry your brain trying to implement. Odds are anyways you've already read them in the past month.


~ Patrick

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  1. I always fall into the trap of thinking that perhaps of those 98 tips there are 10 that I’ve been completely oblivious of for my entire life. What I end up doing is wasting 15+ minutes of my life that I could have spent elsewhere. For some reason my brain tells me that if I’m being unproductive I should waste more time figuring out how to be productive. Maybe those 98 tips should be to:
    1: Stop reading this and do what you’ve been putting off all day.
    2: See above.
    3: See above….
    and so on.

  2. James,

    Thanks for reading and commenting. Those 15 minutes that you are talking about REALLY start to add up after awhile. Pretty soon you can start counting the days you’ve lost bring “productive”. Hah! Right. 🙂


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