There are a lot of books and websites out there giving you tips on how to be productive. Give those assholes two stiff middle fingers and only pay attention to my advice.
To Do Lists Can’t Control You
Have you seen these things? They’re amazing. You write down everything that needs to be done and then…I don’t know…you tell someone else to do it? That’s what I do. But I understand that not everyone has the ability to delegate an entire workday, so you should do what my peons do.
First up, don’t listen to other sites that tell you to do all the easy things first, or tell you to do one hard thing and a bunch of easy things. That wastes valuable time by doing things like reviewing the whole list and triaging by difficulty. Ugh. Animals. And then the list is dictating your entire day to you before you’ve even started. Besides, your brain love surprises, so give it what it wants. Just close your eyes and point to an item on your list, then do it. After, if you feel like it, point to another item and do that, too. Don’t like what you pointed to? Try again. But no more than like, three times, otherwise you’re ruining your productivity.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: But what about deadlines? Fuck deadlines. So what if you forget the little things, like picking up the kids at school. They’ll figure out a way to get home on their own. They’re a lot smarter than they let on. Got an important deadline? It’s called a “forced extension.” That’s when you don’t bother to ask for additional time, you demand it by missing the deadline. Besides, if it’s that important, someone else will do it for you.
Alternatively, if you have a boss who places emphasis on actually making your goals, then your list will need to have due dates which you will then use to filter the list so you can do your random selection with relative ease. This, unfortunately, affects your ability to be productive, so you might want to think about getting a new boss.
Email is Your Enemy
Did you know that average office worker gets about 120 emails a day? No one has time to deal with all that! So, right when you get into the office, deal with the morning influx using the following procedure:
- Delete every third email. These were somehow lost by the mail server. Looks like IT has a little problem to troubleshoot.
- Reply to every other email with “Looks great, [receipient name].” Remember to use the recipient’s name, moron.
- Reply to the remaining emails with “I think there are some areas that need improvement. Partner with [random co-worker’s name] and get back to me with solutions.”
Don’t bother reading any of them before deciding what to do. It’s really not worth it.
That wraps up the morning influx. For the rest of the day, you’ll need to use the Illuminati Magic Eye Ball, on sale for only $666.69. You’ll get amazing email response templates like:
- This isn’t my problem, Eric. Fucking deal with it.
- Pull your head out of your ass and do your job.
- If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were looking to be fired.
- This is why Sharon got that promotion instead of you.
- This is why you got that demotion instead of Sharon.
- Paycuts are coming!
- Are you wearing the same shirt as yesterday?
- I didn’t tell you so I could do it myself.
You can use a regular Magic 8 Ball instead, but you’ll need to get a bit creative in wording your responses unless you want to get hauled off to the funny farm. And you lose the ability to be awesome.
Meetings Should Always Run Over
Other places will tell you that meetings need to have time limits. I call bullshit. The best meetings are the ones that organically come to a close. About 50% of meetings are just socializing. So, if you only set aside one hour, then you’ve got 30 minutes to cram stuff into or risk having to schedule another meeting to finish everything. That’s unrealistic and unproductive. Additionally, agendas are awful. Someone has to waste time writing one up and then some douche-lord has to distribute the agenda and incessantly keep people on track. See how much time is wasted trying to control things?
Take it from me: The most productive meetings are mine. I start by commandeering a conference room and throwing out anyone who may already be in there. I prefer the one on the 42nd floor since the air conditioning control for the whole floor is in there so you can be assured that the room is always just the right temp – no matter how crowded it gets. An added bonus is that if the room is already occupied, then there are usually pastry and coffee left behind. Yum! Then I write down three things we need to accomplish on the big whiteboard (not an agenda) and make the announcement that there’s a meeting in 30 seconds. If you have properly intimidated your staff, like I have, they’ll drop whatever they’re doing to attend.
And that’s important. You want them anxious to get back to what they had to leave half-done. Once everyone gets there, tell them that no one leaves the room until the things on the board are accomplished. Then sit by the door to make sure no one leaves until the meeting is over. I recommend Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja to pass the time. All this guarantees that meetings that normally last an hour will only take 20 minutes and no one will be in the mood for chit-chat. Of course, if the meeting runs longer than that, then it needed to.
Distractions Don’t Really Distract
They all say to limit your distractions. I can’t even. Distractions refresh your brain! How many times have you seen a TV character have an epiphany? They almost never have it when actually working on the problem. Hell, the whole concept of “sleeping on it” is just recommending that you distract your brain for a few hours. Anything that gets you thinking about something else for a few minutes…or hours…isn’t bad at all.
So, you’ll find the most productive people are sitting at their computers watching cat videos instead of working because when they start working again, they’ll solve problems at least five times faster than before. Certainly more than the person watching someone watch cat videos. Why? Not enough distraction. See, if you’re watching someone watch cat videos, you’re thinking about their productivity, which makes you think about yours, which automatically makes you less productive. Jeez, you’d be better off reorganizing your to-do list by difficulty and coming up a with a gameplan of which to pick and how many to pick each day for the rest of your life.
Reading About Productivity Is Stupid
The self-help market is astoundingly large. Everyone wants to be a better person, but would rather read about how instead of actually doing it. How much time have you spent reading about how to be productive and how much more productive are you for it? Be honest. You haven’t made considerable improvements. Sure, you took one or two tips, but we both know that it lasted a month and then you were back to getting nothing done. But I’m sure that every time you see a productivity article you can’t help but click on it. Depending on how much of this shit you’ve tried to feed your brain, you’ve probably read all the tips anyway. They’re just regurgitating each other’s regurgitation now. So how productive is it to read about becoming more productive. None at all.
Glad I wasted your time.