#52: The Productivity edition

Adam Reed
Man Body Spirit
Published in
4 min readApr 17, 2021


I have a love-hate relationship with the modern obsession with productivity. Like many, I have more things I would like to get done in any given day than there is time, so I have an aversion to spending longer than is necessary on any given task (well at least the less engaging jobs).

But I’m also very familiar with what can happen when one gets a little too deep into the world of productivity systems, creating a self-induced form of anxiety and stress that comes from trying to spend every minute as optimally as possible and squeeze too much into each week.

There’s a fine balance to strike. And the advice I give these days is first be as ruthless as possible in pairing down your To-do list to only the most essential tasks before engaging in any activities or systems designed to maximise your productivity.

And being sure to time box and keep separate your ‘productive hours’ from the critically important downtime that you safeguard for leisure and recharging.

Otherwise, all you’ll succeed in doing is turning yourself into a productivity machine — a ‘human doing’ if you will, rather than a human being. As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

So please bear that in mind as you enjoy this week’s The Power Up. In sharing resources to increase your productivity, my goal is to help you be more effective in the time you allot to work and chores so that you can savour the rest of your life even more.

In this week’s issue:

  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
  • 21 Keys to Creative Productivity
  • 6 ways daily exercise skyrockets your productivity
  • How to survive Productivity and win at life: When slacking trumps time hacking
  • Why time management is ruining our lives
  • The dark side of focused productivity
  • What is productivity? And proven ways to improve it

Plus plenty of productivity-themed bonus content too…

As ever, I hope there’s something you can take away to Power Up your life in some way, helping you do more of what’s most important to you.

And if you’d like to receive The Power Up delivered direct to your inbox every weekend, you can sign-up here.

The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

When it comes to books about minimalism as a mindset, not many come close to Greg McKeown’s Essentialism.

Full of practical lessons, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less outlines the “less but better” approach. Focus your energy on the essentials, and you’ll become more productive, more serene, and more successful.

Here are 6 key takeaways.

21 Keys to Creative Productivity

It’s tempting to think that productivity and creativity are mutually exclusive. That they require very different mental approaches. But the most creative people in the world are also some of the most prolific and productive.

Srini Rao distills some of the principles he’s learned from 10 years interviewing some of the world’s most prolific creators on his Unmistakable Creative podcast.

6 ways daily exercise skyrockets your productivity

It’s no revelation that exercise is important for our health and wellbeing. And improved productivity is yet another reason to add a regular run, gym or yoga session to your routine.

Despite taking time out of our day, those who frequently exercise tend to accomplish more and feel better whilst doing so.

Here are six reasons why.

How to survive Productivity and win at life: When slacking trumps time hacking

Too many of us in today’s work culture try to power through our workdays, accomplishing one task after another. We take minimal breaks, pack our laptops for our ‘holidays’ and believe our workaholism is a positive, admirable trait.

However, ironically, those who take vacations and breaks perform better than the workaholics.

Find out more.


I hope you found something valuable in this The Power Up.

If you did, and would like to receive this in your inbox each week, you can sign-up here.

See you next time, Adam



Adam Reed
Man Body Spirit

I think and write about issues relating to 21st century masculinity, conscious living, holistic health & sustainable lifestyles. https://linktr.ee/manbodyspirit