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How Being Unproductive Taught Me 4 Things About Productivity

“I’ve seen guys sit the whole day doing nothing, and I hate it when people are unproductive. I don’t like a guy who sits on the couch all day.” – Olga Kurylenko

I’m the guy who used to be so unproductive my priorities abandoned me. And I never retrieved them until I replaced my bad habits with good habits. Playing video games till stupid 0 clock at night. Waking up and doing the same thing over throughout the day. Reading the online news frequently. Overdosing on TV without any moderation. Lack of real focus, goals, or what was truly Important to me.

Yep, I’ve abandoned that way of life after I decided to wake up from my slumber. And being unproductive taught me 4 things about productivity. I hope that you’ll find this short list useful.

1. Productivity Starts With Passion.

“Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.” – Franz Kafka

Think back to the time you were in high school. When you studied courses you had zero interest in, were you ever productive? What about a particular job you’ve worked at in the past that was too mundane. Did you ever feel productive? And what about when you’ve felt guilty after spending hours on Facebook doing nothing of importance. Did you ever feel productive whilst doing it?

Productivity starts with passion. When you’re interested in what you’re doing, it’s easier to be productive. When passion is the driver of what you’re doing, productivity is no longer a chore. When you’re passionate about what you do, the urge to get something done is greater.

Passion is defined as – an intense desire or enthusiasm for what you’re doing. It’s easier to do something you get “lost” in then it is to do something you despise. Passion is necessary for productivity.

2. Productivity Starts With Discipline.

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.” – Jim Rohn

This will sound contradictory to what I said about passion, so hear me out. While it’s true passion is a part of productivity, you can’t be passionate about everything you do. Therefore self discipline is also a necessity when it comes to productivity.

Sometimes tasks and activities that are a top priority aren’t things we enjoy or love to do. For example – I can’t say I love exercising. Sometimes I don’t feel like exercising either. But I discipline myself and do it anyway. Then I end up feeling so much better afterwards because it’s a productive use of my time.

So whether you dislike:

Customer service
Recording Periscope streams
Editing blog posts
Dealing with technical stuff online
Managing your email Inbox
Creating/editing videos
Teaching on camera

Discipline yourself to just do it and get it over with. You’ll thank yourself for doing it afterwards. 1 tip I’ll share is when doing something boring or uninteresting, listen to music while you’re doing it. It works well for me and makes it more interesting.

3. Productivity Starts With Purpose.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

This is the most Important step. Productivity without purpose is like a key to the ignition. You can’t start your car without first putting in the key to start up the engine. The same applies to productivity. I’ve learned you’re less likely to be productive if there’s no purpose behind the task or activity. This is the reason some kids mess around in school and seem “unfocused”. This is the reason some millennials (my age group) hang around on street corners doing nothing for themselves.

It’s a fact that whenever I lacked purpose in my life, my time was spent on things that don’t matter. Like excessive video gaming, girl chasing and doing things for the “sake” of it. Pump some purpose into your life, write it down and you’ll witness the magic that happens as a result.

4. Productivity Starts With BIG Goals.

“Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.” – David Joseph Schwartz

When you have no goals, there’s nothing to work for. When you have no goals, there’s nothing to get excited about or look forward to. Which gives you the excuse to be unproductive. But when you do set yourself some real, purposeful goals, your productivity starts to kick in.


You know what you’re aiming for.
You know what you want, down to the finest detail.
You’re clear on your targets.
Pin ItYou’re aware of the difference it will make by achieving it.

That drives you to get important things done more often than not. And that gives you a reason to use your time more wisely. Instead of setting small, unexciting goals like – write 1 article per week. Try an article a day. The bigger the better.

In Summary:

Develop a passion for what you do.
Discipline yourself to do important things you don’t want to, but may dislike.
Clarify your purpose.
Set purposeful goals and make them big.

Table Of Contents

Katherine Hurst
By Theo Ellis
Theo Ellis is a content creator who's passionate about entrepreneurship and making a difference. He shares his personal experiences to help you grow, build your confidence and be yourself on his own website. In Theo's early 20's he felt lost as to what direction to take in his life. He went on to create his own successful business which led him to want to guide others how to follow in his footsteps.

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