The Best Productivity Advice is Time-Negative

Takeaway: Productivity advice is great. But you have to make that time back—and then some.

Estimated Reading Time: 55s.

Productivity advice is great—but consuming it can take a lot of time. You need to make all those minutes back—and then some—in order for that time to have been well spent.

Productivity advice falls into two categories. The first is advice that’s time-negative. This category allows you to gain back time—including the minutes you spent reading the advice in the first place. This won’t always happen—not every bit of advice will fit with the way you work, or the way you think. But when you find productivity blogs, books, and talks that do mesh with your life, you’ll find you’re gaining time rather than losing it.

On the flip side, productivity advice that’s time-positive consumes more of your time than it gives back. Many “life hacks,” pointless organizational tactics, motivational websites, and articles about daily routines fall into this category. This second category of advice gets in the way of you hunkering down and doing the work.

Take stock of the productivity advice you consume. How much of it is time-negative, and how much is time-positive? Your time is valuable, and you shouldn’t waste it on the latter category.

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