Matt Cutts: On Productivity

by Haider

in Productivity

Matt Cutts, one of Google’s most visible faces, offers many nuggets of wisdom over at his personal blog, with a special focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization, i.e. how to get your site ranked higher in the search engines).

Last year he offered a simple productivity tip that I’m sure will appeal to many readers:

Step 1. Buy a productivity book.

Step 2. Look at the productivity book and tell yourself, β€œIf I don’t get X done, I’m going to have to read that productivity book.”

What I like about his tip is that it highlights a problem that’s easy to fall into: an obsession with productivity-enhancing resources.

People who want to become more productive (i.e. get their work done) avoid their work in search of just the right book and just the right software and just the right audio seminar that will somehow turn them into well-oiled productive machines.

When they read one productivity book, they look for more productivity books.

When they try out one productivity software, they search for more productivity softwares to try out.

This obsession doesn’t help get work done. It offers a convenient (although not very convincing) excuse to avoid the work: “Hey! Can’t you see I’m trying to be more productive!?”

Matt’s tip works for those who hate reading, but it also shows what we should focus our efforts on: Get X done.

Of course, productivity problems can’t be solved this easily.

Raise your hand if you suffer from productivity problems every now and then (I bet if you have a hand to raise, you have it raised right now).

But productivity problems aren’t created equally. Each problem has its own root causes, which you need to explore in order to rid yourself of the obstacles standing between you and getting your work done.

Do you hate the work you have to do?

Do you not know what you should be working on right now?

Is there something else you’d rather be doing?

Are you afraid of making mistakes?

Are you afraid that things won’t work out as well as you hope they would?

It’s crucial that you know what’s holding you back for you to make any progress.

And if you hate reading, give Matt’s tip a try. It can “literally CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!” πŸ˜€


1 Abdulwahab Alhajji May 12, 2010 at 10:25 am

You’re so right. I usually do the books thingy but now that you’ve cleared it, The picture is clear! i need to get X done A.S.A.P Without any books πŸ™‚ thanks a lot for sharing this πŸ˜€

2 Haider May 12, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Hi Abdulwahab,

Thank you for your input. πŸ™‚

Books can sometimes help, but they shouldn’t be our obsession. I know I fell into this trap many, many times. Productivity books and tools filled my to-do list more than the stuff I needed to get done!

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