The End Of Productivity

Or, How We Realized We Were Making The Wrong Course

What would you do if you had an extra day in the week?

That’s the question we set out to answer. Between coaching, freelancing, and moving through our own personal existential crises, we understand that so much of the joy we have found in our lives has come from having the freedom to spend our time how we see fit.

Since we’re naturally drawn to teaching, we hoped to give people a way to reclaim their time.

Research has shown1 that the average American worker only does about 3 hours of real work in a day. So we figured, if we could help people find 3 or 4 hours a week for themselves, it would be the equivalent of finding an entire extra day.

Sounds simple, right? At the start, we had pretty good success—we came up with some really effective ways of reserving time, then using that time to get even more time, all the way up to four hours. We drew inspiration from workout programs, productivity coaching, lifehacking…

And we hated it.

Okay, hate may be a strong word. Here’s the thing we realised almost immediately:

If you had an eighth day, you would spend it the same way you spend the other seven.

Are you a workaholic? Do you overcommit to responsibilities? Are you trying to monetize a hobby? Do you feel a deep, inescapable dread when there’s nothing to do?

All of these point to a much deeper sickness we all suffer from. Our relationship with time has gotten toxic.

We’ve heard our entire lives that “Time is Money,” as if that somehow makes our time more valuable.

We are constantly rushing to get to meetings on time. We are constantly worried about wasting time. We are constantly worried that there isn’t enough time.

When are you going to have kids? When are you going to change careers? When are you going to take that trip you’ve been thinking of? When are you going to retire?

(Did your blood pressure just spike? Ours did.)

We are bombarded with messages that reinforce the idea that time is scarce, and the best thing you can do with it is use it.

This viewpoint is insidious! It’s the source of so much of our anxiety—what if there’s not enough time? It’s the source of jealousy and insecurity—look at what they accomplished by age (insert number I’m afraid of). And even in trying to complete this course, we succumbed to the same mindset—is four hours enough? Is four weeks too long?

How much time is worth it to change your relationship with time?

Did you catch how that question is rooted in scarcity? Individually, the two of us have spent years changing our relationship with time, but we were afraid that if we couldn’t give you the same shift in only four weeks it wouldn’t be “worth it.”

Like I said: insidious.

So, we’re shifting. Away from the quick fixes, away from “flat abs in 30 days or your money back,” away from the notion of scarcity. We want to teach that you have all the time in the world; it would be a disservice to the message to act any differently.

With one year coming to a close and a new decade beginning, we believe very strongly that the Story of Scarcity should come to a close as well. Let’s make 2020 a year of Abundance—of time, of value, of the things that really matter to us as Humanity. And let’s start in the only way it’s possible:

One day at a time.

  1. Kaplan, Ed, et al. “Workplace Stressors & Health Outcomes: Health Policy for the Workplace.” Behavioral Science & Policy Association, 15 Feb. 2017, 

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