How to work more meaningfully in a short time is a problem that we all always worry about. Many people have listened to advice on time management since Benjamin Franklin began telling success stories. But in today’s era of evaluating individual and organizational performance not by working hours, but by actual achievements, such advice no longer seems to work, and the popularity of smartphone productivity applications such as Ever Note or To Do List represents this reality. Chris Bailey, a young Canadian, suggests ways to live more productively in line with these changes in the times with brilliant ideas and experimental spirit.


Becky, who had been fascinated by being a productive person since her teenage years, chose a completely different path from what people thought was right to study it in more depth. He gave up two job opportunities and started a productivity project in the form of a one-person study based on experiments for a year. I searched books and papers on productivity at random, interviewed experts from all walks of life, and looked at how they spend their days productively. For more in-depth research, he systematically studied from human brain structure to biological clock rhythm, the effects of Danjeon breathing and meditation, the biological effects of coffee, and know-how to get a good night’s sleep. All of the things that I learned so far were carefully experimented with, identified techniques that actually worked and those that didn’t (alifeofproductivity.com) and then blogged the results.

Some of the experiments he conducted during the project were really interesting. One of the best examples is watching TED lectures for 70 hours a week, taking a nap for 3 hours every afternoon, and being perfectly lazy for a week. However, the author confesses that most of the experiments have pushed themselves into hell in the name of understanding productivity. Experiments such as using a smartphone for only an hour a day for three months, living in a windowless room for 10 days, and waking up at 5:30 a.m. every morning for three months were truly a great challenge. His bizarre and provocative experiments became a hot topic when he was introduced to major U.S. media, including The New York Times and TED.

Concentration and passion management are more important than time management.
how to slow down and work more consciously

The book, decorated with the concept of “My Year Crazy for Productivity,” selects and introduces 25 techniques that have actually proven effective among the thousands of productivity techniques Bailey has encountered over the past decade. The author mobilizes himself as an experiment object, performs experiments that may be called somewhat extreme, and adds to the confidence of the research by verifying the effectiveness of productivity techniques. Through various data surveys, interviews, and experiments, the author brings out new and groundbreaking concepts and ideas from the universal theme of productivity.

The advice that you should be smart rather than working hard is only the beginning. Starting with the question of why you should be productive and in what way you should be productive, how to reduce your low-impact work, how to strategically consume caffeine and alcohol, and how to manage your work hours and e-mail.

Fifty years ago, when most people worked on the factory assembly line, they were considered more productive if they did more in a short time. Today, however, productivity does not necessarily mean more work at work, as individuals change their knowledge and information into salaries. The author diagnoses that as we move from a time economy to a knowledge economy, the standard of productivity has changed from a problem of “how much work do you do” to a problem of “how much you achieve.” In order to achieve more, the author preaches that you must work more carefully and consciously, and that you must excel not only in time but also in concentration and energy management. The most productive people have enough speed to do everything they have to do, while carefully and consciously processing the weight of the work.

“Organize less time for difficult and high-achievement work”.
The difference in performance between working 90 hours a week and working 20 hours a week is insignificant.

Many challenges to existing ideas are also found in this book. When you do something important, you shouldn’t spend more time, but rather reduce it.Or, the argument that you should do less, not more, is tilted, but the author persuasively solves it.

To find out the difference in productivity between working crazily and leisurely, the author compared each achievement by repeating 90 hours of work every other week and 20 hours over four weeks. As a result, there was no significant difference in performance between working 90 hours a week and working 20 hours a week. Rather, when I worked 90 hours a week, I delayed my work or lost concentration, which led to more mistakes. On the other hand, when I worked 20 hours a week, I was able to exercise more energy and concentration in a limited time. Several studies have shown that the ideal weekly working hours are 35 to 40 hours, considering the breaks needed to handle all the work and replenish the energy and concentration required for the day.

If you have a lot of work to do over time, people think it’s usually best to work longer. But if we go beyond certain limits, we’re just busy and cling to useless things. The author advises that limiting the amount of time spent on work and increasing energy and concentration when doing important things is the key to productivity. If you’ve been working long hours for months or spending too much time on something, that means you’re using your energy and concentration unwisely.

“Focus on one thing at a time”.
If you’re busy, but you can’t achieve anything, you’re no different from being lazy.

The author’s reverse idea is that it scientifically proves its illusion against an existing system that is recognized as a major channel for multi-tasking to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, while revealing the superiority of single-tasking to focus on one task at a time.

Several studies have shown that multitasking hinders productivity, but why do many people still risk their lives here? In response, the author interprets that the work is much more interesting and encouraging when dealing with various things at once. However, if you do several things at once, you will make more mistakes and get more stressed, while your concentration and energy will be distributed between different jobs, so you can’t concentrate on anything. It has even affected memory and was found to overload the brain. This is why we don’t remember many scenes when we watch movies or dramas on smartphones or tablet PCs. On the other hand, if you focus on one thing at a time, you can pour your concentration and energy into one place and achieve more in the same time.

The author introduces a method of concentrating for a short time and taking a short break with his own solution to control distracting thoughts and increase concentration. For example, you can handle one thing for 20 minutes and have a five-minute break. The author’s harsh advice that if you are busy but can’t accomplish anything, it’s no different from being lazy, embarrassing for those who are living hard because they are busy and tired with work or who mistake themselves for being productive.


“The more valuable you do, the more troublesome it is”.
How to get close to things you don’t want to do, from exercise to work at work.

The author also discloses strategic measures to improve the habit of delaying work and to make it fun to do things that people don’t want to do, even though they have to work out and work at a company. We keep putting off our work. The author says procrastinating is a very human aspect, and advises that it is important to think about why procrastinating. The author says that the person’s personality also plays a part in delaying work, but the characteristics of the work itself are greater. Usually, it is likely to be delayed when doing something that is boring, annoying, difficult, unorganized, or not properly rewarded. This is why certain tasks are put aside until just before the deadline.

The most influential job is valuable because it is difficult and troublesome. Usually, these jobs require more time, attention, and energy than other less influential jobs. This is why the more troublesome things you do, the more annual salary you are given. The author says that the more problems one achieves, the more troublesome the work is, and the act of delaying work is an instinctive and emotional response triggered in the process. This is why it is difficult to increase productivity.

The author suggests a trick to remind people that what they dislike is not as bad as they think. Make a list of things you want to postpone, organize all the costs of delaying, and start. On the one hand, the author advises that delaying work may mean that what you are actually interested in does not match a particular task. If you keep delaying your work, it may be better to find another job.

“Drink coffee strategically rather than habitually”.
Drink after 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., when cortisol levels are the lowest during the day.

Do you have any habits that seriously harm productivity? Aren’t you suffering from insomnia at night after drinking coffee habitually in the morning and drinking another cup when you feel drowsy in the afternoon? The author also introduces the secret of getting rid of many habitual behaviors that he wants to break, but gives in every time.

Drinking coffee habitually every morning is a romantic way to start the day, but it is not very helpful for your body’s energy management. The metabolic action of caffeine takes an average of 8 to 14 hours, and drinking coffee in the morning drastically reduces energy in the afternoon.