6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day

6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day

Productivity isn’t everything.

In fact, I do think some people attach too much import at times to getting things done; without considering whether what they’re getting done is really meaningful!

That being said, productivity is associated with accomplishment with is associated with satisfaction and happiness and, well, it ain’t all bad!

So, if you’d like to learn more about what productive people do then read on …

via Eric Barker

Sometimes “productivity” feels like a country you’ve heard a lot about but never thought you’d get a chance to visit. Articles, Twitter threads and YouTube Vox Pops all claim to have answers – which never seem to hold up when subjected to real life. It’s amazing you’re still sitting at a desk instead of shrieking on a ledge.

Well, distractedness is nothing new. And we can get some answers from people who struggled valiantly with the issue a long time ago. On this blog we’ve gotten insights on resilience from Navy SEALs, bargaining from hostage negotiators, staying calm from bomb disposal experts and living the good life from the ancient Epicureans. So who is going to teach us about productivity?

Monks. If you’re used to getting most of your facts from memes, you might not know there were a lot of monks running around from Late Antiquity to the early Middle Ages, about 300-900 CE. They talked about getting focused a lot – not because they were good at it, but because it was huge problem for them.

Abba Poemen, a leader at the monastic community of Scetis, said, “the chief of all wickednesses is the wandering of the thoughts.” Monks would space out during prayer or even when officiating mass. (This might sound like a Monty Python skit waiting to happen but the Middle Ages weren’t as different from modern times as you think – I hear they dealt with a pretty bad plague, too.)

Believe it or not, monks were the productivity gurus of their era, always looking for a better way to focus and get things done. They saw themselves as athletes and warriors of the mind. And what did they find was the primary cause of mind wandering?


Um, okay, maybe that answer has not stood the test of time but I think you’ll agree on bad days it definitely feels accurate. Regardless of whether supernatural forces are behind you checking Instagram too much, the solutions the monks came up with can help us all be more focused and get things done.

Jamie Kreiner is a professor of history at the University of Georgia. Her book is “The Wandering Mind: What Medieval Monks Tell Us About Distraction.”

These people really believed in miracles and they might just have a few for us.

Let’s get to it…

They Knew What They Did Was Important

It only takes about five minutes of being at your desk before your brain goes into screensaver mode. A lot of what you have to do may feel pointless — like the reverse of a religious revelation. If it wasn’t for deadline-induced adrenaline, you wouldn’t get anything done.

But for monks, there were human souls at stake. That definitely ups the urgency a bit. When you feel like you’re saving the world, a long to-do list isn’t as intimidating.

Maybe your work isn’t a battle to the death with the forces of evil but there’s still a lesson here: take a second to think about why what you’re doing is important or meaningful. Who is helped? Whose life will be better because of the work you’re doing? Wharton professor Adam Grant did a study where university call center employees saw the impact their efforts had on students. It caused their motivation to soar.

Monks thought they were battling demons. Metaphorically, you can do the same. Next time work feels stale and lifeless, remember that there are people depending on you. Simple tasks take on new life when you tell yourself: MUST. BATTLE. DEMONS!

Now the next step here does not involve you going to live hermit-style on a mountaintop. But we can learn a lot about focus and dealing with others from the monks…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE