The only productivity tip you need this year (no.1 will solve all known diseases and create world peace!)

I’m going to let you into a huge secret.

This is a big one. This will put all those other ‘top productivity hacks’ lists and ‘10 things really successful people do’ listicles into the shade. This is a piece of advice I have for you that will not only increase your productivity inordinately, but it is also simple to enact, empowering and you’re able to do it IMMEDIATELY.

Get your pen and paper ready to take notes and prepare to be amazed at the brilliance of the process.


and you get one extra piece of advice free:


Get it?

Let me elaborate.

I’ve started feeling like the world is treating me as some kind of imbecile, like I’m bumbling around in a big-print version of the world, surrounded by the demented scourge of banal lists composed of regurgitated information, repeated, twisted and vomitted out onto every social media outlet available.

Click-baited titles adorn links which simply serve as an adverstisement of the quality of the article within, with the lowest grade articles screaming for attention like the most desperate of X-factor hopefuls (remember guys, no.7 will turn cardboard into 24 carat gold!). But each article merely pours turgid, base content onto my screen as it’s author attempts to stretch as much ‘content’ out of as little information as possible.

For some weird reason, productivity and life hacks have managed to manouvre themselves into the unique position of being perceived as ‘helpful’ spam, like quasi-intellectual articles. They’re not, they’re as spammy as fake viagra e-mails advertising a 50% off sale if you provide your mother’s maiden name and credit card number. God knows Medium is littered with productivity hacks.

But before all the students of time and motion saddle up their high horses to ride into town, let me be clear, I’m not advocating ignoring productivity as a thing, as it clearly exists. People study it, learned people write papers, there are beautifully researched and curated books pouring forth the wonders of enhanced efficiency. These all have immense value.

What I’m proposing, is that each time you see a link and think “Oohh, look, Steve Job’s top three pencil sharpening productivity life hacks to make you a genius”, you should go and get a blunt knife or a fork and slowly, very slowly, force the rounded point against your thigh until the cold, numb metal eventually pierces your skin, at which point you can yield to the pain, which will provide some physical context to the utter drivel you were about to endure, just because some idiot thought it would be a good way to get some ad revenue. Think of the blunt instrument as the list and your skin as your soul. This is what happens every time you read tripe on the internet.

Now that a blunt instrument is firmly lodged in one of your lower appendages, turn to some form of literature, perhaps a poem, or an excerpt from some easy reading such as Proust, or even something more uplifting, such as the great redemption by hearing from the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Take 5 minutes to read just a few lines from one of these monoliths, consuming the words gently and allowing them to seep through the pores of your soul. Finally, remove the blunt instrument, seek any relevant medical treatment that you may require and return to your work as a marginally more enlightened being.

The prospect of this process will ensure you don’t suffer the humiliation of reading sodding listicles of no value or more junk than you need to. The end result is greatly enhanced productivity.

As a grand finale, I want to take this one step further to prove my point. Do you know what really successful, productive people are doing, right now, at this very moment?

  1. They’re not sitting around reading listitcles which detail what successful people do.
  2. They’re not sitting up in the middle of the night cutting and pasting productivity tips into different social media platforms or submitting them to BuzzFeed.


I’m Gavin. I write about things that annoy me on the internet. Please don’t follow me on Twitter, I’m not putting my facebook link here either. Nor will you find me on Youtube, Flickr, LinkedIn or Pinterest. In fact, just leave me alone, I want some peace and quiet so that I can think and write. Here’s my e-mail address: