Activity ≠ productivity

“[I] was just playing defense most of the time… I’d spend all day in these meetings and realize, shit, I haven’t actually accomplished anything… I was just reacting to everything, rather than actually going out and playing offense ” – Chris Sacca, venture capitalist

I hadn’t been able to pinpoint a frustration that was getting worse by the day. Then I heard this from Chris on Tim Ferriss' podcast and bells went off. I’d been spinning my wheels, busy as hell, and not accomplishing as much I as I was capable of. Chris’ comments about his own experience snapped me out of my productivity slump.  

Activity ≠ productivity.

Maximizing productivity requires being primarily proactive, not reactive. Spending a day primarily reacting is how you get home at night wondering if there was any productivity in your maze of activity, as I was doing. Life is dynamic, and while we are not in control of 100% of our time, we control much more than we think. Simple steps to eliminate clutter, like deleting emails rather than responding to them, and avoiding conference calls and meetings you aren’t really required for, go a long way in freeing up the day and putting you in the driver’s seat.

I knew this, as you probably do, too. Hearing it again, though, was a timely and much appreciated swift kick in the ass.