The Productivity Problem

There’s a bit of a theme about productivity in what I write about but never really any productivity. This year hasn’t seen the 50 blog posts that I had targeted for this year - it’s reached far less than that - 8 (so far). Here’s what I think the issue is.

The Problem

I’m the kind of guy who writes lists. I have a pretty big list of blog post ideas on my The Astronaut Wunderlist list - some that have been there so long that I’ve forgotten what I had planned for them.

I’m also the research type. I’ll read up reviews on productivity with iPads, workflows, how to improve your Twitter usage and save articles to Instapaper and not really act on them.

I caught myself reading an article on being productive with iPads - read on my iPad - and I realised that I’m doing it all wrong. I got half way through the article and I realised it was never going to say “do this to be more productive” and I definitely knew it wasn’t going to say “I’m really getting lots done on my iPad now that I’ve read these 100 great articles on productivity.”

Reading only gets you 10% of the way - actually doing is the other 90%.

I’m going to apply this to drawing, blogging, video editing and coding for my own personal development. But apply this rule to any other field. Chefs never got good at cooking just by reading cook books. Directors never learnt how to edit incredible movies by reading and watching filmmaking tutorials - it’s through practice, problem solving and mistake making that you learn.

One personal example of this is my work. Over the years I’ve built up a great technical knowledge of video production and streaming, taught myself the basics of coding and editing and more because I needed to on the job. There was no training, minimal manual reading, just getting on with it and getting things done.

The Plan

  • You can quote me on this multiple times over the years but it’s time to be more productive. I now have 3 weeks off work so I’ll have plenty of time to get going on this.
  • Going going forward I’m going to cut down on the amount of non-important reading and watching I do.
  • Instead of watching tutorials and reviews I will watch short films on YouTube and Vimeo.
  • Instead of reading news articles I will write journal entries or blog posts.
  • I deleted Flipboard from my phone. Apple News has replaced that for me - so I will remove that (as best I can)
  • I will read through all my Read Later lists and act on them
  • I will not get caught up on research for blog posts (this has no research done at all)
  • I will blog post weekly at a minimum. Even if it’s to say how bad I’ve been at keeping up with this.
Jay Peilow Written by:

Jay is a front-end web developer with an interest in code, design, photography and video.