8 truths about productivity

Do you sit in front of the computer and then you decide what to do?

Do you start your day by replying to WhatsApp messages or emails?

Do you stay up until late at night connected to the virtual world?

These are just 3 of the infinite habits that are not productive because they violate the absolute truths about productivity.

At the end of a busy day, you wish you’d accomplished more. This happens when we go against the first rule:

1. Being busy doesn’t mean being productive

Productivity is about the efficiency of production. It’s the ratio between the amount of work you put into something and the result it generates.

If you don’t have clear goals, you can’t be productive. What do you want to achieve?

If you want to learn a new language, replying to messages, paying bills, posting on social media, is not productive.

For sure everybody needs to do this kind of tasks, that’s why successful people either outsource trivial tasks or schedule blocks of time to perform them.

Try asking yourself 3 to 6 times per day using your phone’s alarm: “At present, am I just busy or am I working on my goals?”

2. New tasks are always coming up

The more you do, the more tasks pop up, and the lack of time issue remains.

If you have a clear goal, prioritizing tasks is your next step.

You can’t do everything all at once; it doesn’t matter how good you are good at multitasking. Unless you prioritize your tasks, you’ll always be busy.

Now let’s analyze one thing that happens all the time: when a friend sends you a message, is it at the time you would like to receive it, or at the time your friend would like to post it?

The answer is obvious, isn’t it?

If you don’t take care of your most important asset, your time, you turn into the agenda of others.

3. Don’t let other people set your agenda

The practical action here is to disable the notifications of your phone, turn off your email client and set a period of your day just for that.

I block 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at the end of the day to check emails, WhatsApp messages and to do other administrative stuff.

Moreover, now we are going to the fourth truth:

4. The purpose is your most valuable asset

The most flawed direction I see people taking is the rush towards money.

I don’t think I need to list all the benefits of money here, but looking at it as “the goal” is one of the biggest mistakes our society has made.

The idea here is to stop and think: I know money is necessary, but first of all, what do I love? What is my life purpose?

If you want to help people to live a healthy life, there are many ways you can conquer your wealth. If you love sports, you can be a personal trainer, if you like healthy food you can be a nutritionist, and so on.

You might think, most personal trainers are poor. I can’t build the life I want by following this path. Instead of looking at the unsuccessful trainers, why don’t you try understanding how the successful professionals got there.

When we do something with passion, it’s easy to become good at it. The better we become, the more chances we have to make more money out of it.

Just don’t go the other way and decide to make money at any cost.

One thing that often happens to me, is when I’m doing something aligned to my goals, and suddenly I remember that I need to do something else: I have to clean the dishes before my wife arrives, I need to send that email to my friend, I have to book my next trip, etc.

I get so anxious about these “less important” things that productivity falls remarkably.

This is because I’m contradicting the fifth truth:

5. Stop thinking of something that you can’t deal with at the moment

To stop this energy thief, a great idea is to have a repository of those ideas that pop up in your head.

I use a to-do list application for this, but you can just have a pen and paper always at hand. Quickly jot down what pops up in your mind and return to the critical task.

Now the sixth truth is:

6. Don’t treat exceptions as rules

We have a huge tendency to do this both in our personal and professional lives!

I need to lose weight: but I have that barbecue party this weekend. So, I’m not going to start my diet.

I need to stop spending time on my phone and removing the notifications would be a good starting point. But what if there is an emergency? So, I’d better not switch notifications off.

We just saw the exception as a rule!

Wouldn’t it be more efficient to adjust your diet to these days or create a channel for urgent messages?

For sure!

And now we come to an advanced topic related to productivity, which is about HAPPINESS.

Sometimes we want to be more productive because we believe that when we are productive enough, we will have time to do the things we really like and then we will be happy.

I thought so, and then I set my day to wake up at dawn, to study, to meditate, to do extra work and so on.

I was an extremely productive person, but it comes to a point where I became a robot, and I forgot the simple things that make sense to me!

To be clear, I do not mean that we should not want to conquer things in life, I even see it as one of the essential elements of happiness.

But we can not leave aside the seventh truth:

7. Happiness is not a destination


Be very productive, but don’t fall into the trap of not living your life today, hoping that in the future you will be freer and then you can be happy.

And the eighth and last truth is:

8. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it

This sentence goes for everything in life, but let’s focus on the productivity issue here: procrastinating is more comfortable, so everyone delays.

Not mastering your own time is more natural, not a coincidence it’s a common situation.

To overcome this kind of difficulty it’s crucial to work on your life purpose, again, every successful person knows exactly what are they meant for.

If you need help finding your purpose in life, shoot us an email and let’s begin a new life.

Roberto Simões

Growth-driven designer and entrepreneur. He believes that good design is conversion-driven; therefore, it has to be data-informed, as well be intelligible, engaging, and delightful. He loves branding; he is obsessed with marketing and product design. Mindfulness practitioner and music lover, he's always trying to increase his productivity.


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