5 places I’ve failed with A Year of Productivity recently

by | Jun 17, 2013 | Housekeeping

Takeaway: I have been incredibly busy moving lately, so even though I’ve been putting in 40 hours/week into this project, I’ve dropped 5 of the balls I was juggling.

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 8s.


Over the last two weeks I’ve moved from my apartment and into a house with my girlfriend and her dad. Even though I have been putting in a solid 40 hours a week since starting this project and have done as many things as possible to boost my focus, it’s still difficult to be productive when you’re living out of suitcases and surrounded by a ton of stuff to do (like painting, unpacking, and a whole lot more)!

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One of the things I want to do with this is project is be honest about where I succeed and fail. It’s one thing to pat myself on the back every time I do something well or whenever an article gets published about the project, but I’d feel weird if I didn’t talk about where I fail, too.

With so much to do, I’ve had to do a lot more in the same amount of the time, and something had to give.

5 Places I’ve Failed

Something I’ve found is that this project takes more than 8 hours of work a day to make it into something I’m really proud of, which is okay, but it means that a lot of stuff will fall through the cracks if I have to do something big, like move.

Here are 5 places I’ve dropped the ball over the last couple of weeks, and why:

1. Meditating for 60 minutes/day

  • I’ve tackled higher-leverage activities instead of meditating (stuff that feeds directly into the project more), mostly because one hour is a ton of time each day. I’ve averaged about 15 minutes/day of meditation.
  • I usually meditate after “work”, and these days after work I unpack, renovate, and clean. Blah.

2. Working out on a regular basis

  • I don’t have access to a gym right now, and I’m not a huge fan of working out outdoors. I will have a gym membership sometime this week. I’m also pretty pumped to start my body composition experiment then too!

3. Waking up at 5:30 every morning

  • I’ve found myself doing housework late into each night (like painting, renovating, unpacking, and cleaning). Again, blah, but it needs to get done.
  • Waking up at 5:30 is a huge change, and I expected to fail at it at the beginning.

4. Eating well

  • My girlfriend and I have little free time to cook, so we’ve eaten a lot of snacks and takeout meals. We still have eaten well-to-very-well 75% of the time, but that number’s usually a lot higher.
  • We haven’t created a meal plan that accounts for unexpected stuff happening.
  • I have poor impulse control when it comes to food, and there have been a lot of unhealthy snacks around this house that I’ve discovered. It might be time to make that food a bit more expensive.

5. Using my smartphone for less than 60 minutes/day

  • I use my smartphone for Internet tethering on-the-go, which makes me a ton more productive. I’ve traveled a lot over the last couple of weeks, and figured the benefits to breaking the experiment to get more done were worth it.
  • I just downloaded the beta version of iOS 7, and I haven’t been able to resist playing around with it. (It’s pretty awesome, but buggy right now.)

All that said, I still have been:

  • Writing like crazy. Creating valuable content for this site is what I want to do the most, and I have been writing a ton.
  • Brainstorming and planning new features to add to the site, future topics, and ways to get the word out.
  • Investing at least 40 hours/week into the project.

All things considered, I think I’ve performed well considering all I had to do, and I think I compromised in the right places when I had to. I should be back on track with these five things in the next week or two, after all the dust settles from the move!

Written by Chris Bailey

Chris Bailey has written hundreds of articles on the subject of productivity and is the author of three books: How to Calm Your Mind, Hyperfocus, and The Productivity Project. His books have been published in more than 40 languages. Chris writes about productivity on this site and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can become more productive without hating the process.

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