Published in


Why is This Simple Productivity Hack So Underrated? (It’s the Only One You Need to Know)

No, it’s not getting up early, making a routine for the whole day or following the Pomodoro technique.

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

I first heard about it a month ago and then one of my favourite YouTubers was already talking about it.

That made me curious to try out the power of this simple-looking productivity hack.

As a disclosure, no, it doesn’t contain any productivity space jargon. It also doesn’t include the use of any mobile apps like Todoist or Notion.

It’s simple and straightforward. That’s why it’s underrated, maybe.

Well, it’s talked about quite often but I have not seen many people saying that they take into practice this hack.

So, what is it?

I’ll cut to the chase. This hack is called the Rock, Pebble and Sand Mindset.

Wait, what? Have we become kids again? Well, technically, I still am :)

No, not that rock and pebbles.

It’s a simple technique where you do the most important tasks in the very beginning of your day and gradually move to less important tasks.

According to this template, you approach the big beasts or rocks (that are important as well) first. It might feel intimidating at the beginning, but it’s best to sort this task out of your way at the very beginning of your day.

After you are done with the most important tasks of the day, you move on to the pebbles, or comparatively lesser important tasks.

This simple template for approaching tasks throughout the day eliminates the need to make a to-do list, allocate time and follow the Pomodoro technique.

Though you’re totally unrestricted to use them as a complement.

Keep in mind that it’s not a rigid rule to follow. You can still do the least important task of the day in the beginning as long as you have in mind what’s the most important and that it gets to be done ASAP.

And you actually do it.

What’s the problem with mainstream productivity tips?

There’s a serious one.

YouTubers like Elizabeth Filips keep talking about this topic frequently.

And that’s focusing too much on productivity and less on doing tasks on hand.

Let’s say you are doing something and you’ve set a Pomodoro timer, but you keep looking at it every 5 minutes. This way not only are you wasting time but also you are preventing your brain from going into a flow state.

The same happens with too much planning. We confine ourselves too much to them.

We start to focus more on completing “productivity goals” than on completing the “actual work.”

Why is this simple mindset the best solution?

I’m not saying you should ditch all productivity advice and solely follow this one.

Nor am I saying that you need to unlearn anything or anything is (severely) wrong in following mainstream productivity advice.

But it’s time you ask yourself if a simple mindset adoption can get the job done, do you need elaborate systems that make you a robot and suck out all creativity out of the job?

Following this advice is like using a lite version of any app—it takes less (mind-) space.

Why not give it a shot?

Advantages of using Rock, Pebble and Sand Mindset

I already discussed one of its greatest pros and that is it saves your mind space and also gets the job done.

After all, what’s the sole purpose of being productive? To effectively manage your time and get shit done. Right?

Apart from that, here are some more advantages of the Rock, Pebble and Sand Mindset:

  • This helps reduce the hassle of continuously tracking your progress.
  • Gives you the freedom to do anything while still lightly fencing that restricts you from jumping tasks and getting distracted.
  • You are mindful of your progress and that motivates you to do more, as opposed to always chasing the next milestone.

I hope you found this article informative. I hope I was able to add some value to your life. Until next time!

Shout out to the writer of one of the most wonderful personal essays I have ever read, Ailya Waqar Zaman. Her words speak to the soul and I thoroughly enjoy reading her articles. And I am sure you will, too.

I’d also like to mention Megan Llorente and appreciate her for all of her lovely poems. She is also an editor at MIDFORM, a publication that focuses on mid-sized articles and poems. You are just fabulous, Megan :) Read her latest poem Moving, Moving, Moving:

Join 75 others who receive a fascinating story every Sunday in their emails.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Vritant Kumar

Vritant Kumar


I love to read editorials in a newspaper. 6x top writer and a 16-year-old