The Simplest Productivity Hack? Ignore Useless Stuff
Gary Vaynerchuk once said,
“You know what is far more interesting than debating or defending yourself? Continuing to execute and allowing history and merit to be the judge.”
It’s a powerful quote, and what’s cool is he could’ve easily replaced “interesting” with “productive” here. It is horribly unproductive to argue with people, do you know that?
In fact, last June I lost an entire off day to arguing with someone on Twitter. I literally spent about four hours going back and forth with him and the day’s plans in beautiful Bali evaporated by 2 PM.
It was a bitter fight that the dude absolutely loved, I’m sure, because he was riling me up big time and kept purposefully missing the point with me for hours on end.
This is the state of the internet, ladies and gentlemen, and while you’re never going to be perfect and you will get things wrong, it’s not doing you any good to spend more than 20 minutes arguing with someone online — or more than 20 minutes even giving your detractor a second thought.
I want to talk about online debate (amongst other somewhat useless things) from a productivity perspective, but first let me talk about it from a stress standpoint.
The Stress Prolonged Debate Causes Isn’t Worth It
Last August I had a pretty bad Medium battle with another writer that lasted for a few weeks. 😆
Looking back on it now it was pretty funny, but if you look at some of the videos I posted to Youtube around this time, my face looked like a pepperoni pizza. I had a severe breakout that I think was caused from the stress of going back and forth with him.
Forget arguing, stress can play a pretty vital role in productivity, too.
And when you feed the fire of your online detractors, the stress caused from that will inevitably have a drastic effect on the quality of your work.
History Will Show Who’s Right — Eventually
For all of his shortcomings, President Trump was recently somewhat vindicated for his potential role in Russian collusion during the 2016 election.
Mueller found no Trump-Russia conspiracy, but that didn’t stop the President from tweeting about it and commenting on it for countless hours since 2016.
What if he spent that time working instead?
The dude I had an argument with in August said that Medium was going to forget about all of its indie writers and stop paying us.
Well, it’s almost 9 months later and I’m making more than I ever have on Medium. So is everybody else.
Like Gary Vee said, if you allow history and merit to be the judge — and not the people watching your argument on social media, that will make you much more productive.
Between debating this guy and writing a few articles in response, I probably lost a good 10 hours of my life.
My pride got in the way — don’t let it get in the way of you and your goals. It’s a time suck to get caught up in drama online.
If you truly believe in what you’re saying, you’ll be right eventually, and your detractor will have to eat their words at some point or simply live in ignorance.
That’s pretty good revenge, isn’t it?
Worrying About It Isn’t Helping, Either
One last thing — if you’re anything like me, you’ll wonder whether you were actually right about something hours after an argument.
You’ll overanalyze it and look at it from all angles, meanwhile you’ll be completely detached from what’s happening in reality.
That thousand yard stare is real, folks.
Ignore it. Let history be the judge.
Come To Think Of It, Ignore Most Stuff
I’m convinced that a true increase in productivity more-so comes from not doing useless stuff in the first place rather than trying to get more done in an hour.
It’s insane how much useless stuff I get tangled up in every day and every week.
Every morning when I wake up here in the Philippines, I see all the messages people in America and Europe sent me overnight (since it’s daytime there while I’m sleeping).
I get some messages that are important, and many that are not. If I decided to respond to every email I received in-depth, I’d say goodbye to 2 hours immediately every day right off the bat.
Not a good strategy at all.
I also get bombarded with requests to do free trips in the Philippines which is VERY tempting for me, but after seeing the packed schedule and multiple weekdays I’ll have to sacrifice, I must say no.
I have said yes to so many things I shouldn’t have the last year, and I’m convinced that these small yes’s have lead to a huge decrease in my overall productivity.
You really don’t need to listen to all those productivity experts out there (yet). Just slice all the useless stuff you’re doing/responding to/arguing with first, and you’ll find you have a ton more time on your hands.
Then you can start to implement some of the more advanced productivity techniques that many smart writers deliver on a weekly basis.