Sean Sperte

Productivity at its Best

09 May 2006

The latest issue of A List Apart has an article about working less.

But in the larger scheme of things, does that really matter? Will we lie on our death bed and say “Damn, I wish I would’ve got more done at work?” I doubt it.

I know I won’t be saying anything remotely like that on my death bed. For one, I ain’t a cusser. Secondly, I believe I work to live, not the other way around.

Ryan Carson (yes, from Carson Workshops and DropSend) says that productivity is not a matter of time, but mentality. He and his wife decided to do something crazy to prove it: Work only four days a week.

It worked.

We have more peace. More time to think. More time to enjoy life. It’s fabulous.

Sounds good to me, but I wonder if Mondays (my current day off) are supposed to provide that for me already.

Ryan also gives a couple practical pointers as well; things like don’t instant message, don’t keep your email client open, ask for alone-time, and make lists.

I lost count of how many times I’ve read these three things lately:

  1. Don’t instant message
  2. Get alone
  3. Prioritize your projects (get organized)

I think Jonathan Snook put it best when he said that productivity is like a stream train that takes a lot of energy to get moving … And once it’s derailed, you’ve not lost 5 minutes, but 30.