Today I am sitting on my desk with a pen and a notepad next to me and writing down everything I do and the time it takes me, so I can understand why I keep reaching the end of the day and not move forward with what I had planned for the day.

So, my conclusion is: on average for every hour I spend "working" 20 minutes are lost. From breaks, phone calls, random searches I do online, etc.

So, on an 8 hour work day, just around 5 are actually productive.

@hugo keep doing that for a month and you'll need a brand-new notebook.

@smonff I would love to have a valid excuse to buy a brand new notebook :)

@hugo You're welcome! He has a podcast too Greg and his guests are all chasing the same ideal in slightly different ways; perhaps one of them resonates with you better than the rest.

The best thing about the podcast is how carefully Greg listens to his guests. He never argues with them even when they're in apparent opposition; he just tries to understand where they're coming from.

@hugo I don't know a single other person who knows. I gave my copy to a friend and it didn't really resonate with him. He has his own battles I guess. For me this book was the right thing at the right time.

@kai I am going for a walk now and will listen to the podcast to see if I like the vibe :)

@kai I need to listen more or read a chapter of the book to know how I feel about it. But thanks for bringing it to my attention.

@hugo Sure! The feeling of not getting everything done is universal.

It stands to reason that you must be more strategic about *what* you wish to accomplish. When you can't do more, you have to do less.

Take some time off (probably the last thing you want to do!) to rest and strategize about how to proceed most effectively.

Once you are at peace with the path forward, you will be free to commit yourself fully to accomplishing your highest purpose.

That would be the way of the essentialist.

@kai Right now I am not really extra stressed or something. I actually feel the opposite, that is why I was wondering why I am not more done. Something is stealing my time :) that's what I am attempting to find out.

@hugo I'll be curious to know what you find out

@hugo it's a bit selfish since I would like to be surrounded by essentialists 😋


The observer effect of quantum physics says the simple fact you do this will change the outcome.

And, of course, the time you spend writing things down will make everything take longer anyway…

@jackwilliambell It's actually true :) I act differently just from knowing that I am keeping track.


You can thank Neils Bohr for that. (You might thank Heisenberg too, but I'm uncertain…)

@hugo Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It's basically that, but with a 25 minute timer to chunk your time up into discrete pieces.

@nate yes, tried it many times and do a similar thing with my phone. I decide to set X amount of time to a task and don't allow myself out of that task until the phone buzzes :)
It does work when you have something specific you need to do.

@hugo According to a thing I out together for a client this week, 38% of knowledge workers' time is spent looking for information.

@dajbelshaw that's interesting and it's a % pretty close to my little test I did today.

@dajbelshaw @hugo Thrn there is the raw productivity loss when we switch topics (around 20 mins seems to be the accepted average).

In that if I take an unrelated phone call, it’s 20 mins before I am back at full focus on my task.

@robert Yes, we were discussing this on our podcast episodes about remote work recently!

@epilepticrabbit was saying she's trained herself to ignore distractions until she's ready to deal with them...


@hugo even that is extraordinary.

I'm good for about 3 hours of focused work. The rest is fluff.

@kai the strange thing to me is that I can't do the focused time without the "fluff" :)

@hugo e quando precisas de discutir uma coisa rápida com um colega, e quando dás por ti passou mais de meia hora, e o resto das coisas na lista de tarefas do dia a ficar pendente?

@hugo a subtil arte de distinguir "longos telefonemas que podiam ser emails" de "longos emails que se resolviam com dois minutos ao telefone ".

@hugo thing is, tho, we need a break every now and then so we actually keep being focused enough and healthy, so those breaks still count anyway. :blobcatbusiness:

@eloisa yep, I can't function without those breaks 😅

@hugo see? So, those breaks are essential for work, too. Thus, they count as productive time too. Just a different experience of what it means to be productive. :ablobcathappypaws:

:_catsleep: I'm the most when I'm dreaming!

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