The Thrill of Productivity, and the Agony of Deceit

pondering-guyThere’s nothing quite like looking back on the day as it comes to a close and seeing results – knowing that you’ve actually accomplished something. My mood in the evenings when I’ve had a productive day is entirely different from days when I’m not getting stuff done. I can be exhausted from working my butt off, but the thrill of accomplishment makes the exhaustion worthwhile.

Compare that with the feeling when you’ve been wasting time and blowing off work. Oh, you’ve done a great job of kidding yourself. You’ve been busting hump all day – just look at how much time you’ve spent at the computer. But inside, you’re well aware of the deceit – the lack of any real work getting done.

Who Are You Fooling?

Working in constant panic and fire drill mode, especially for a work at home parent, is a disaster. Things fall through the cracks and you start ending the day ticked at yourself for wasting a whole day. Then during that important evening family time, you waste it by thinking about what you didn’t get done. Maybe you even get a little snippy and moody. Being productive makes for a much smoother home-business and can make for a more peaceful home.

Stop kidding yourself. If you are just treading water, eventually you’re going to drown. That is unless you reach for a life preserver – start by making a productivity plan.

Focusing on Productivity

Do you have a productivity plan? Are you a member of the GTD set, or perhaps a Mac-n-Merlin enthusiast? I lean toward grid-paper, mixed with some DYI Planner, my own flow template, and a little
Printable CEO
thrown in. No mater what you use, it’s better than keeping it in your head. Just the act of making a list can help thrust you into a cycle of productive work.

Make a plan, no matter how simple, and follow it. Things will constantly come up, so make sure it’s flexible. By giving yourself a map to follow, you are much better equipped to have a productive day.

The thrill of productivity can have a huge impact on your business and your home life – but unfortunately so can the agony of deceit.


  1. Thanks for providing those links. I’ve bookmarked them.

    I agree wholeheartedly with writing things down – so much so that it is the motto for our site: “Thoughts captive by shackles of skullen walls within the mind are non-existent. This thought, pardoned by script, exists and is free forever.”

    I wrote lists in college and without them I would have been lost.


  2. ps. you know, if you put, say, 12 of your cartoons on a shirt and sedd them at, you’d probably sell a few shirts. You could put 12 per shirt, and call the shirt “success from the nest T’s” Volume 1, 2, etc, etc. Create more shirts with 12 more cartoons for each volume. People just might collect the shirts at they would comic books!!! I say this because I need some cool white tshirts and can think of nothing cooler than your cartoons on the back. (never know until you “write/try it out.”)


  3. can’t resist a 3rd comment – sorry. Wouldn’t it be cool if you created T-shirts and had them packaged inside of vacuum sealed plastic (like those space saver bags). People could buy one shirt to wear, and one shirt to collect/trade, never taking the shirt out of the bag, just as they do comics. I don’t beleive comic writers have ever done such a stunt, but it could open a whole new revenue stream for comic writers. Put cardboard inserts inside the sealed plastic to keep the shirt properly positioned and making it stay so during shipping.

    Just my two cents (do it and get my dollers).

  4. Hey, Buck – Those are some great ideas. I have a few things in the works that I’m hoping to move forward soon.

    Unfortunately I was a little shortsighted with the cartoons so far – I did them all as low-res for the Web. So printing them wouldn’t turn out too well. But I’m working on a similar idea.

    I really appreciate the feedback and the fact that you’d be interested. I might try the packaging idea. I know I’d buy something like that from some of the cartoonists I like.

    Stay tuned, and thanks again. Readers like you keep this fun.

  5. What program do you use for illustration? I’m no cartoonist but I’ve used the drawing capabilities of Flash and found it very easy and powerful. Just curious.


  6. I use a combo of GIMP and FireWorks on hand-drawn and inked cartoons. I’ve used a variety of tools over the years, including Flash. I’m transitioning to using exclusively open source and free tools (when possible).

  7. Excellent observations and a great set of links too.

    I created my own single page, week-at-a-glance planning tool in an attempt to keep track of all my activities in one place. It is available to everyone as a free download.

    It allows me to see the ‘context’ of my week and manage the flow of my work.

    It would be really interesting to see how you use those tools in context of your life and business.

    Love your cartoons! FYI, I would buy your t-shirts.

  8. Greg – That’s a great worksheet. Very clean, well organized, and thought out. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Those looking for a nice context view of their day should check it out.

  9. Eeek, so need to improve my productivity – my problem is getting caught up in the web and blogging and the hours fly by. I am thinking about getting a life coach. Do you have any thoughts about this? Thanks.

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