Can Burlap Underwear Really Enhance Your Productivity?

Photo by Andreas Klassen on Unsplash
  • Painful breathing exercises
  • Timeboxing
  • Teas
  • Elixirs
  • Cold showers
  • Snazzy apps
  • Oddly expensive music
  • … and a few other romps with lunacy that I’m too embarrassed to mention here.

Productivity results from staying focused on what matters most, eliminating non-essential activities, eliminating non-essential decisions, and avoiding distractions.

There are simple practices that, when combined, have given me positive results. You don’t need an app or fancy processes and diagrams.

Identify What You Want To Accomplish

I have two personal goals each day. Write five-hundred words for my blog. Write or edit my novel or short story. Both of those activities involve creation. That is what’s most important to me. Everything else is secondary.

Carving Out Time

I get it. You’re busy. You have no time. We’re all pressed for time. Here’s the truth. If you have time to watch television, enslave yourself to Social Media updates, or waste time on gaming, then you have all the time you need. You’re just choosing to use it for non-productive purposes.

Minimize Decisions

Minimize the number of decisions you need to make each day. Decisions require you to analyze, agonize and decide. This process requires time and energy. Don’t underestimate the energy expended from making unnecessary choices.


Do you work better surrounded by people or in isolation? For me, it depends. I usually prefer isolation, but sometimes I like the energy of working in my local coffee shop. Even if you’re a strong isolationist, I suggest you define a public space to work. An occasional change of scenery can help spark your creativity and give you a boost of energy.


Setup a routine to follow. I wake up, start the coffee machine, boot up my computer, pour my coffee, put on my headphones and start work. I stick to it as much as possible. It’s okay to adapt or adjust as necessary but try to avoid deviation from your norm.

Stick To Your List

Remember that list of your two objectives? Pull it out and get to work. Don’t think. Just follow what’s on your list. When you’re done with the first item, cross it off and move onto the second. Do not second guess or change plans midday.

Everything Else

What about music, mushroom teas, meditation, and all the other performance-based products? If they help you or you enjoy them, then go ahead and use them. None of these other hacks have made me more productive or more focused. Give me a strong cup of coffee, and I’ll spend my creative time pumping out plenty of output. Stick to the basics, and you’ll surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish.

Experimenter in life, productivity, and creativity. Work in Forge | Elemental | Business Insider | GMP | Contact: barry@barry-davret dot com.

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