Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

The Productivity Equation

I am currently on the road, working with fantastic friends in Southeast Asia. We spent the day yesterday with a family on the train, traveling along the beautiful Vietnamese coastline, having great food and important conversations.  

While I love these times on the road, I also struggle with being productive in other important areas. 

Early mornings become sacred. 

There are moments when it all comes together. Every cylinder is firing and I don’t have to think about productivity because I am an unstoppable machine of productivity. Getting much done and getting the right things done, I lay my head on the pillow at night knowing it’s been a day well spent. 

But that’s not every day. 

It may not be most days. 

Why are some days more productive than others? 

Productive days don’t have more than 24 hours. Gaining more hours in your day will not increase your productivity. Cramming more activity into your hours doesn’t increase your productivity. A productive hour has three components. 

Time: the minutes. 

Attention: Your focus during those minutes

Energy: How well your mind and body is attuned to the thing you’re focusing on. 

I believe there is a formula for an hour of creative productivity. Time and attention (or focus) are the additives. Energy is the multiplier.  

(time + focus) x energy = productivity


Time is a raw resource.  

Focus is a learned skill. 

Energy is a complex, largely subjective, amalgamation of sleep, emotional state, food, brain stimuli, and more science than I know how (or is possible) to get into in a 300-word blog post. 

Energy is not only a critical factor and when it comes to being productive, it’s the multiplier. Learn to judge your own energy levels. 

Then choose your activities well.