What I’m Learning About Productivity

I’ve been playing video games again.

I haven’t consistently played video games since…college. 5–6 years ago. I played them all the time growing up, but once I started working full-time? Nope. I became Mr. extremely-productive-and-ambitious. Last year alone:

  • I was working full-time
  • I was in full-time grad school
  • I obtained a professional craft beer certification (just for fun)
  • I started a craft beer podcast (just for fun)
  • I published my 2nd eBook

And lots of other fun things, like reading 30 books over the year, spending time with my wife, jogging. No time for video games! No time!

And now? I’ve been playing Gauntlet: Dark Legacy (for Gamecube, I had to do some digging online to even find it) for a couple hours every day.

And I’m torn! I’m so torn.

Being productive feels good. Waking up at 7am, praying/journaling/writing morning routines, eating healthy, working out, reading, all feels good.

But I have this thing where if I’m not being productive, for a supermajority of my time…I get antsy. I get full of self-doubt, anxiety, even bordering self-loathing. I think “Hey Anthony, you’re starting your own coaching business. There’s a lot to do. Do you reeeally think video games is a good idea? Because it’s not. It’s a terrible idea, and you’re wasting time!”

And then I might even fall into this shame spiral of crap-I’ve-been-playing-video-games-for-like-90-minutes-I’ve-wasted-the-whole-day-I’m-such-a-failure-I-should’ve-been-reading-PERSONAL-DEVELOPMENT-ARTICLES

Maybe you can relate?

What I’m learning about productivity

I want to be productive. I’m ambitious. Maybe you’re the same way. Maybe you’re working at a job you know isn’t a good fit for you, and you realize you need to leave ASAP, but you keep putting off those informational interviewsand “networking” things to help get you a better job.

Maybe you’re doing fine in your job, but you’re trying to start a personal business. But it’s so hard. Because you gain momentum and even get a few sales on Etsy or start getting a few followers, your work schedule changes, you start eating unhealthy again, you stop jogging, and maybe it’d just be better to avoid these feelings of shame and guilt for not being ultra productive all the time.

So, that’s been me.

I’m learning that it’s OK for me to play video games, even for a couple hours at a time. Even if I snooze past my 7am alarm (which throws my whole day off). Even if I could be reading more Benjamin Hardy or Tim Ferris.

I just need to keep making progress, slow (perhaps very slow) as it may be.

(Which is fine, because I’ve also learned comparing my current position to other apparently-successful-hugely-profitable business other people in my industry apparently have is very bad. It’s not helpful. They were where I am probably not too long ago).

So, I’m going to finish writing this article, and then play some more Gauntlet. I’m going to the gym later, and I have a coaching client later today too. And I don’t have to be ultra productive for a supermajority of today to be successful in my own eyes.

Call to Action

If you read this article and were like, “Wow, this guy is good. He’s both inspiring and funny. He’s the kind of guy I’d want to grab a pint with.” Well, first, thank you. And second, subscribe to StuffGradsLike for more.

-Anthony

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This short checklist covers how I got my dream job in less than 11 months.



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Comments

  1. Kevin Hoelscher says:

    Yes, I do have that “I don’t want to waste any time” bug. I can’t even sit down and watch a movie. Just the other day, I started to watch Creed (the movie, not the band), I made it 15 minutes in, and thought to myself, I’d rather read my dual biography on Custer/Crazy Horse. I turned it off and started reading. There are rarely enough hours in the day.

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