Productivity is not doing lots of stuff fast.
You can do lots of stuff and get nowhere closer to your ideal. Most people are living their lives this way. They are burning themselves out running in a million different directions. Our society has become obsessed with constant doing. There's little time left for being and living.
Productivity is purposefully and consistently moving in a desired direction.
1. They Don't Care What Other People Are Doing
Most people spend the majority of their time watching and observing other people. The goal is to emulate and copy, or to compare and compete. This highlights an utter lack of achieved identity -- an emotional and spiritual immaturity.
On the other hand, insanely productive people spend very little if any of their time worrying about what other people, "their competition," are doing. They see this as a distraction from their work. They put their heads down and execute.
2. They Don't Care What Other People Think
"What people think of you is none of your business." -- Amy Hatvany
The majority of the population lives in absolute fear about what other people think of them. They try to be perfect. They try to be liked. They are unwilling to be vulnerable. To be real and truthful.
Insanely productive people put themselves completely out there. They are doing their work for themselves and for the people it was intended for.Anyone outside their target audience doesn't exist to them. Haters and critics are flowers, not darts.
3. But They Care Intensely About Those They Serve
Despite caring very little about what other people think, insanely productive people care fiercely about other people. They have a love for humanity that is nothing short of divine. Every person has infinite potential in their worldview. When they look at another person, they see a person -- not an object. They feel. Like really feel. It's not a staged act.
Insanely productive people are incredibly empathetic. They relate with people on their level. They're relevant and connect. They influence with their love. Those they serve can feel it and they're changed.
4. They Don't Need Permission
Most people wait. They believe they can start after they have enough time, money, connections, and credentials. They wait until they feel "secure." Not insanely productive people.
Insanely productive people started last year. They started five years ago before they even knew what they were doing. They started before they had any money. They started before they had all the answers. They started when no one else believed in them. The only permission they needed was the voice inside them prompting them to move forward. And they moved.
5. They Learn Through Doing
Theory can only take a person so far. Putting yourself out there and falling flat on your face, over, and over, and over is how insanely productive people learn. Rather than having meetings and discussions, they go out and practice.
While most people are reading, thinking, and dreaming, insanely productive people are out doing. The goal is to learn while creating output. Non-productive people on the other hand have a lopsided ratio of input and output -- with very little of the latter.
6. They Can Enjoy Where They Presently Are On The Path
"When someone says: "So what's next?" As in, "how are you going to top that?" You don't have to have an answer. The answer can be: "This." Your life doesn't have to be about impressing other people or a successive series of achievements."--Ryan Holiday
Insanely productive people find joy in the journey. They aren't always waiting for that next chapter in life. They are happy with where they are. They are alive. Non-productive people wait for contentment until after they graduate from college, or get that promotion, or retire. All the while, their life passed them by and they never really experienced the moment.
7. They Constantly Prune Their Lives
"You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything." -- Greg McKeown
Last but certainly not least -- insanely productive people continuously "clean their closet." They live minimally. When life starts getting too busy, they step back and remove what is unneeded. Rather than adding more to their life, they say, "no" to almost everything. If they've made non-essential commitments in their future, they cancel those superfluous appointments.Their lives are simple and to the point.
Productivity is not what you do, it's who you are. It's less about life-hacks and more about life-style.
You can learn all the tricks you want, but only the fundamentals performed consistently will quickly move the needle.