A lot has been said about the insanely productive.
In fact, the best article I’ve read on the behaviors of insanely productive people is this article by Benjamin P. Hardy.
Today I’ll show you the flip side of what productivity looks like. Something I’m sure a lot of you know too well.
Don’t fret. The first step to changing any habit is awareness. It’s my goal to make you aware of these insanely unproductive behaviors so you can change them.
1. They Love Getting Coffee [insert: drinks, brunch, lunch, dinner, etc.]
The one thing insanely unproductive people love doing is getting coffee. Why? So they can talk about all the things their productive friends are doing instead of actually doing work themselves. There’s no easier way to create the illusion of being busy than by scheduling several coffee dates in the middle of the day. I’d love to help you with that proposal Karen but I’m actually running out the door to go meet Jim for coffee, maybe tomorrow?
2. They Care What Others Think
If you’re wondering ‘what do unproductive people talk about during all these coffee dates, especially since they’re not getting any work done?’ Let me tell you. They ask lots of questions. If insanely unproductive people have learned anything from rereading Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People for 10th time this year, it’s that getting your coffee date to talk about himself is the best way to get him to like you. The best way to be unproductive is to care what others, who are not your target audience, think.
3. They Forget Who They’re Serving
It’s not easy being insanely unproductive. In fact, the hardest part is keeping all your unproductive commitments straight. In the midst of all the coffee dates and business seminars, unproductive people often forget who they are servicing. They start asking themselves questions like… Why am I at another business seminar this month? Oh right, it’s to help me grow so I can help you… Sorry, what’s your name again?
4. They Need Permission to Park in the Staff Parking Lot
Insanely unproductive people are the McLovins of the world. The ones asking ‘why you would park in the staff parking lot if you know you’re not staff?’ Unproductive people need to be validated. I saw a popular digital marketing company advertising their own digital marketing certifications. You can become certified in buying Facebook ads now. As if you need a piece of paper telling you or your future employer that you can buy ads. As soon as you buy your first few ads and they either generate an ROI or they don’t, your boss will know whether you’re qualified or not.
5. They Learn Through Reading
Scan any insanely unproductive person’s bookshelf and you’ll see what their biggest weakness is by how many of the same topic books they have. How many millionaires do you know who have more than 10 books in the “How to Become Rich” genre? I know several insanely productive people who don’t read any books. Why? Because they’re too busy doing.
6. They’re Waiting to Arrive
Insanely unproductive people live for the future. They believe they must pay their dues before they can officially “make it.” There’s nothing wrong with doing hard work or “pushing the broom,” so long as you’re not living a deferred life. “Productive people find joy in the journey,” says Benjamin Hardy.
7. They Say Yes to Everything
My favorite line in Benjamin Hardy’s article about the behaviors of insanely productive people is number 7. Hardy says, “Their lives are simple and to the point.”Insanely unproductive people’s lives are the exact opposite: complicated and without direction. The reason why is because unproductive people say yes to too many things. When their lives get busy, instead of scaling back commitments, they take on more.
The road to living a productive life is simpler than you think. Bruce Lee’s famous quote sums up the difference between being productive and being unproductive perfectly.
“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
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