The Counterintuitive Productivity Hack You Can Use Every Day

I am a lazy person.

Yep, it’s true.

People assume you must have to be some kind of natural super-human productivity machine in order to run a successful business. But you don’t. Believe me.

In this week’s video, I’m going to show you how you can get more done in your busy schedule, EVEN if you feel like you have a full calendar and can’t fit more in. I’ll give a hint: Deadlines are your friend

70 Responses to The Counterintuitive Productivity Hack You Can Use Every Day

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  1. Wendy says:

    Yes, yes, this is so true. On my busiest days I get everything done. Yesterday I was supposed to study that was all. Did not do it, went shopping, had dinner with friends, no studying. Added it in this morning at five and did all of the other things I had to do today. Pasted test btw!

  2. Finnish Fairy says:

    I really should clean up my apartment in more efficient way…. Maybe using this technique could help me with that task.

  3. Nupur Choudhury(NC) says:

    Thanks a lot!!! This is such a valuable message from you! I needed it, since I have currently a number of projects going on simultaneously!


  4. Laya says:

    Gresat video. Most people know they are a lot more productive when busy. My question to you is how to fill up the diary during office hours when work is slow (i.e. can’t just go to the gym for 4 hours). Any tips would be most welcome so that (a) the work day passes more enjoyably and (b) the bits of work that I do need to do get done more efficiently!

  5. Siobhan B says:

    I think your absolutey right. But I’m well off don’t need to do anything for monetary gain, you’d think “boy she has it made” but NO it’s terrible!! Nothing to look forward to! And if I do have to get something done I suck at it!! And if I do have something on my agenda, I blow it off or I’m late! Help Matthew obi getyourshittogether konobi your my online hope! Lol no really

  6. Corinna Erwin says:

    I have been using this technique for years. I am more productive and accomplished than many people my age because of it. The key is dream big- live out your dreams-schedule it- then just do it. I even schedule alone and play time with my children. Thank you for sharing love you and all your wisdom.

  7. NancyH says:

    I have been putting off studying for the bar exam in July! I purchased the online bar review program back in March and felt that I had soooo much time to prepare so I held off. Well…we are almost in June now and I STILL haven’t started yet. Ugh….This video REALLY helped! Thanks Matt!

    • cynthia says:

      Girl you better start that lol just make a schedule for yourself that you can study 2 hours every day. Goodluck!

  8. Amy says:

    Definitely agree. Currently working on my Master Thesis, and I have to set my own deadlines etc. When I clear my whole day to work on it I procrastinate soooo much it’s insane.

    I book my days, and fill them up as much as possible, like going running in morning, yoga in the afternoon, meetups, friend-dates or date-dates in the evening. In between I have my thesis to work on, but almost never do I work on it in the evening. I want my freedom too, and I feel very happy and productive about that.

  9. Nicole says:

    Hello Matt,
    I am happy every time I notice there is a new video online from you!
    It really feels like you are a man who does understand what I really want and need!…
    Well, who knows if you do so well in every other area of life, but you seem to be really good in giving advices already! Would be interesting to find out what else you are really good in… ;-)
    But, back to your videos: they are really fun to watch (you have a great sense of humor – one more thing you can add to the “Matt is good in” list!), and lots of beautiful pictures! I guess it might be Jamesons creative view on the world that provide the Ideas for the looks of the videos. The camera work is amazing! Especially in those short movies you guys do from time to time! The ankles, movements, backgrounds… the sound too! Seems like you know what I want too…
    Great job guys! I can only learn from you!
    Want more of that!


  10. Emily says:

    Yep, I got this from a book on procrastination: schedule your fun first and you’ll be more productive during the blocks of time in between. This past Saturday ended up working that way for me as I met up with a friend at 2 PM. Even though I slept in super late from being jet-lagged plus picking up housemates from the airport the night before, I still squeezed in paying bills and tackling finances before meeting up. Made an impromptu stop at my favorite store because it was close by and having a big sale and I needed new sandals for summer. I arrived home around 4 and had another friend coming over between 5:30 and 6 PM. So I spent about an hour putting together a blog post and getting photos off my phone. Then the evening was free to hang with my friend and be off to a party!

  11. Madeline Melo says:

    @lisa kennedy
    I too have 2 boys on the spectrum. one mild and the other more severe and omg yesssss I agree about the cleaning… I just take it one day at a time and try not to be so hard on yourself. xoxoxoxo glad I am not the only autie mom out there

  12. Madeline Melo says:

    I love when it isn’t just dating advice :)
    Don’t laugh at me but I have always applied your advice (yes … even the dating advice) to the areas of my life that are not going so well. Like marketing, networking … making friends. I have been in a wonderful relationship with my guy for 14 years so dating advice is not an issue for me but if you change the wording around just a little bit … you can apply your tips to almost anything! Anyway … I am breathing and alive and actually read and listen to all your stuff and I just wanted to thank you because you really do help me out in areas of my life I didn’t really want to focus on.

  13. Carey milton says:

    Matt, your life hacks have added new perspective to my life. Today I have complete what is required according to my boss.

  14. JMP says:

    Hi Matt,
    I want to de-clutter, have been procrastinating.
    I’ll give myself a couple of hours in the room and schedule it in This week. See how it goes.
    Love your advice.

  15. Niroshi says:

    Hi Matt,

    I’ve already seen you in a bathtub… I meant your video ;)

    I love your life advice videos, great to help me become a better me! This one strikes true to home. I have a lot of things going on at work, and I do notice that when I have an entire day, a lot less gets done.

    Hope you have an awesome day,

  16. Francine Huot says:

    You’re funny… the bathtub scene… My other comment is, I agree with you about the counterintuitive prod. I’m a person that needs structure to get things done, otherwise, I’m all over the map. I’m in communications doing a project for raising awareness about species at risk. I’m in Canada. Great work you’re doing. Cheers!

  17. Swenja says:

    Thanks, Matthew for this simple yet great advice!

    Like this I could prepare a short presentation for tomorrow’s class before meeting a friend for lunch :)

    And I also set another appointment for afternoon, so I can be productive before that time!

    Much Love from Germany

  18. Lisa says:

    I delayed producing my Vlog today because I took an extra long Sunday nap. Yes, I taped it, but I did not upload it, edit it, and post it. I keep an extra long working To Do list, so I cannot even begin to finish it in a given day. I can’t imagine you have a solution, yet I’m ok with the idea that you can give me insider tips on being successful with my next guy. Thanks for the blog spots.

  19. Rachel says:

    Hello Matt, today your video resonated with my work calendar but not my weekend calendar. One thing that I would add is dedicating lunch or just one hour to getting the errand list done. For example, if you know that there are things that will take an undetermined amount of time, email for example, looking at the volume and planning out a rough estimate to how long each email will be you write can help break up the hour. Try this with grocery shopping too, it helps keep a budget. ;-)

  20. Lia says:

    Hi Matt,
    Sorry if this is completely left-field, not related to this blog post specifically, but I’ve recently discovered you through your videos on YouTube, and I have a burning question, relating specifically to a not-often-discussed issue: the asexuality spectrum. You’ve talked in the past about the issue of sex, and pointed out that showing attraction isn’t the same as expressing intent… is that still valid for someone like me who may NEVER want to actually “go there?” In my case I can still find someone attractive, still want to be close to them, but just not want to cross that particular line. Are there any changes you’d suggest in showing that flirty side (desire/attraction) if that’s the case? I don’t wish to lead anyone on, but I’d like some guidance if you don’t mind! :)

  21. lisa kennedy says:

    Getting my whole house clean with a two year old autistic toddler that keeps things thrown around….busy busy busy. How to do it all???

  22. Cory says:

    So right! The weekdays are far more productive… if I could be as productive on the weekend with “me” stuff, I’d be so much better off. Unfortunately, I need the weekends to recharge from my high productivity weekdays!

  23. Nancy Asherman says:

    I completely agree. I am always more productive when I have less time.

  24. Karolina says:

    I totally agree, however there’s always one creative task I have no specific deadline for and that’s the biggest problem.

  25. Cynthia says:

    Brilliant, Matthew…!!! Appreciate your sharing with us all sorts of precious experience and comments. You are truly a genius…

  26. Productive Soul says:

    This is a productivity tip I heard for the first time. It is counterintuitive. Coincidentally, I was at a meeting last week and used the same tip by accident. It felt good. I will continuously incorporate this into my daily schedule.

  27. Marianne Meeder says:

    I am living and breathing. I needed to hear this video. There is always so much to do and we can check out of being responsible for it all instead of stepping up. I want to take on being responsible for higher outcomes and productivity that I can have it all and not procrastinate. Am applying for jobs and working on my own business as well. Thanks for the tips!

  28. Erin says:

    Completely agree — and have used this tip for years. For those who ask, “How do you get so much accomplished?” — this is the secret. More is more. (Go figure, right?) BTW, the 9:00 or 9:30 time seems to be the sweet spot for me, as well. Then the up-at-6, get-a-few-laser-beam-hours-in happens consistently.

  29. Rozanne says:

    Matthew, you can definitely do more videos on these kinds of things! Actually, within time, maybe you should look to start something down this alley as well.

  30. Corrine says:

    Thank you for this video. Time is my biggest eneny; or perhaps I’m my biggest enemy….according to time. Either way, I’m going to apply your concept. Thank you for an out of the box idea.

  31. Neethu Vimal says:

    Hearing this productivity tip for the first time ;)..I will give it a shot…I have been putting away my desire to start my own training sessions. I need to have a serious deadline that scares me a bit I guess. ..Thank you for the tip !

  32. Yamara says:

    I love it! I want to know more Matt!

  33. Audrey says:

    Yip I’m one of those ‘lovely’ people that looks forward to your other than dating advice:) I’m also a terrible procrastinator. Really interesting take on getting more done. Thanks Matt.

  34. Benjamin says:

    This is so true. I have an enormous to do list. Much of that list consists of tasks related to my recent start up company. I’ve recently completely cleared my schedule in hopes of knocking out a bunch tasks, only to end up looking back and seeing not a lot of progress, yet I ask myself, “what happened , I had all day.” This video is super helpful and speaks exactly to my situation. And I am implementing this strategy, along with breaking tasks into turtle steps, right away. Thank you

  35. Adina says:

    Thanks Matt! I’m on it!

  36. Louise Stabell says:

    I actually think I´ve been putting off 30% of my life, wasting time trying to get things started or preparing with Netflix ;)

    Take Care
    Louise Stabell

  37. Shalyn says:

    Yes! I also find that I am most productive when I work backward from my deadlines. I can pack a few things into a given time frame if I organize them realistically and using common sense. If my mind is on business, do a few different business-like things rather than business, educational and personal.

  38. J says:

    Ha! I have trouble making time for rest! I clear my schedule to rest and do everything but… however stuff does get done.

    This was a great little reminder that I have more time then I think I do.

    Thanks Matt!

  39. Chrystan says:

    Thank you!

  40. Megan Latte Ormond says:

    I’ve been procrastinating writing my thank you cards from my birthday party for about two months now. Let’s see if I can get them done before my brothers graduation party today! #futuremrshussey

  41. Alice says:

    Thanks so much for that! Very timely. I just transitioned out my old job and I’m launching a new one, trying to date more in alignment with what I truly want and need (thanks for your help in that area!) working and getting in shape – well, you get the picture….
    Last week was my first one full-time in my new position which is very self-directed. -Feel like I didn’t get anything done because there was so much do!
    Will use this lovely Sunday afternoon to do some time blocking for the coming week. I’ll let you know how it goes :-)! Alice

  42. Whitney Stimpson says:

    I needed to hear this today! I need to write an article for my company’s news letter. I’ve been putting this off all month because I’m scared I’m going to do a poor job. I’m not a writer! I’m going to work on this at 10:00am before my meeting at 11:30am.

  43. vj Slaughter says:

    My new focus is to get my Insurance license. I put off studying because I would take care of other ppls needs and kept thinking I can do it later, tonight, tomorrw. BUT tomorrow always got pushed to the next day. Thank you Matthew for some very sage advice.:)

  44. Sassi Neri says:

    Hi, Matt, hope you´re having a great day!
    I am 21 years old, very confident outgoing and spontaneous. The problem is, I seem to attract guys who put me on a pedestal and get that puppy look in their eyes, saying “I will do anything for you!” which I get bored of quickly since I don´t feel like there is any challenge for me. On top of that, contrary to my social life, I am submissive when it comes to sex but I don´t know how I could possibly market that. I am told I give off a dominant vibe and no one would guess I am not the one with a whip in the bedroom.
    I´d love your advice on what I can do.

    • Sydney says:

      Be comfortable bringing your sex life out into your real life.

    • Sydney says:

      Also, there’s no such thing as dominance and submission. Those are created by people.

      Just create what you want.

      • Corrine says:

        I love that statement. I feel that once you can let go of all inhabitions and be free of judgement & insecurities with someone, you with be universal in the bedroom (or any other place, in your sexual activities) people who say your dominate or not or other are dating as a sport; as a posed to looking for a soul mate on a quest for a better/deeper meaning to life & love.

  45. Tonya Wood says:

    Yard work. I recently got a full time job. between that, kids and dating…. my yard has taken a back seat. Thank you for that video that just confirmed what I was already thinking.

  46. JJ says:

    Hello! I have been watching and listening for about a year now and have enjoyed your insights, especially the “life coaching” kind of thing. Have I found a man? Not yet, but I’ve been fairly overwhelmed with attention. I find your advice has helped me in ALL of my male relationships, friends, relatives, not just romantic possibilities. Amazing how differently men and women think! Anyway, thanks for all you do, it is really valuable to me and,many others. Take care. JJ

  47. Laurel Arnold says:

    Good Morning,
    What you propose makes sense. You’re completely accurate on your analogy of clearing your schedule could create worse procrastination & defeat the purpose of why it was originally cleared. Today is one of those days But I will use your advice and let you know how the day pans out Thank you for all you do.
    Please say Hello to Jameson for me

  48. Mansi says:

    Hi Matthew, i have usually noticed that the more time i have, the more i waste it. I always procrastinate. And since i have exams coming up, i think i have a lot of time and procrastinate everything to the last few days. This time, ill set small deadlines for myself and see how it works. Thank you so much for this wonderful idea.

  49. Elke says:

    Hi Matt,
    that was a more than interesting and helpful advice. So my deadline for today will be a nice barbecue .
    During next week I will work on these additional deadlines and try to find out how it works since I’m loaded with tasks although these are vacations for me .
    I’ll report about it.

  50. Amy says:

    I love this and timing was perfect! I have a lot to do today so now I plan to shorten the time to do it and fit in some fun this afternoon. It will be a great day! Thank you for the advice, Matthew!

  51. Carol Wile says:

    I have been trying to clean out my wardrobe closet for weeks now. It’s a weekend project that always stalls because of distractions. I think I need to dedicate a whole day so many times I don’t even try to begin, because too much of the day has been used. Wish me luck!

  52. georgianne says:

    mathew– your video could not be more true. as an artist i have all day every day to make art. how much more productive am i when i schedule breaks every hour from painting to–stretch, answer email, do some cleaning , some marketing.

    thank you for reminding me

  53. Ander says:

    I have been struggling with productivity, in particular a certain task that I find really hard – so yes, I have been giving myself entire days to work on it, and hense not getting much done.

    This is a good idea, I will try it.

  54. Jgirl says:

    Plan to attend a lunch spinning class to guarantee a certain amount done before the class.

  55. Rens says:

    Inspiring as usual Matthew and team. Thanks for this post. Am in the same boat with the ‘laziness’ – a whole day of freedom to do an assignment leaves me with doing anything but that (including with reading this post). Did a little reflection, and yes I am most productive when I’ve got something else on the roll.

    I will use your technique to finally get pen on paper and work on that assignment I’ve been pushing out – two hours and I’ll call my family overseas – awesome deadline setting! I know this will work.

    Thanks heaps! x

  56. Ms Ro says:

    Totally agree with this. When I have a tonne of things to do, I find I manage to do almost all. But when it is just the one, it gets put off, or I procrastinate…

  57. C says:

    Thank you Matthew. You have helped guide me through a tricky time recently. I am very grateful for that.

    I don’t usually write comments but you asked so nicely.

    You may have seen it already but this talk (link below) reinforces your point. I have created many deadlines since I watched this video. Procrastination can turn from something funny to something quite sad. I hope it may inspire someone else.

    Have a great day. C

  58. Iris says:

    The less responsibilities you have the harder it gets to be productive. It’s very tiring and draining to make up things to make the day useful with nonsense stuff that nobody cares about. When I have something useful to do I go like an unstoppable train and I’m amazed how much I can achieve.

  59. Faizah says:

    I’ve been doing this “technique” my whole life, and I thought I was the only/odd one.haha

  60. Janna says:

    That’s good advice. But it should be said that a pre requisite to it, would be to break up big and daunting tasks into a series of small, concrete and manageable tasks. It’s the big and daunting that we don’t know how to handle that makes us procrastinate.

  61. Meera Sinroja says:

    This is very new Matthew. Usually, when there is a lot to do – I start with the most easiest thing, get them done one by one – and then even if the one most difficult thing gets carried forward to do the next day – I dont mind because I know there is nothing else left to do. But your deadline theory is good – I like it. Ill implement it and let you know what I come up with.

  62. Helen says:

    Thank you Matt. Actually, I will never leave my day empty. From the time I wake up, I meditate, have a workout, do my paintings, learn something new etc. I will not deviate from my daily schedule and if something else comes into my day like going out with a friend for example she will be fitted into my schedule and I will work it out. Some tweaking will then be in order. Nice to hear from you. Awesome video Sweety. x

  63. Julie MacKenzie says:

    Great advice as usual! I’ve done this myself…. ;) Adding things to my schedule so that I can focus my time more in a short time frame. Don’t clear your day to do it…That is so true!
    Getting a report I need done before I go the Retreat! I have cleared many days to do it…but, I have ended up NOT doing it because of what you said…I know I have the 2nd half of the day if I have procrastinated in the morning…& guess what?? I have NOT done it yet…I do have a deadline…We shall see if I make it…I know I will…but, I have been “putting it off”….??? Yikes! Thanks for the advice… Hugs! & by the way.. I don’t know if you look like a 21 year old blogger…but, you sure look “darn sexy” in that t-shirt! Stop it! LOL!

  64. Reni says:

    Inspiring video. OptimAl utilisation of time has always been my challenge. This helps tx.

  65. Suzi says:

    Great advice Matthew, wish the guys I have dated would be more productive with their time.

  66. Angela Skabelund says:

    Getting a speadsheet modified and uploaded onto a sales platform similar to eBay. Thank you for the tip

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