Force Yourself to Move Faster To Increase Productivity

No one on the history of earth has ever waited until 11:00 pm on a Sunday evening to start a ten page term paper, right? Or how about in business, no one has ever made excuses that they were waiting on ‘this one crucial detail’ from someone to complete a project, only finding they are overdue.

move fast

By taking a step back and evaluating, you might find that moving faster may increase your productivity.

When I am speaking of moving fast, in this context, I am referring to ‘working’ fast or ‘pushing’ yourself a little harder than normal.

What role does procrastination have in this? Could purposeful procrastination be a good thing?

I am not quite sure, but one thing I have learned is that sometimes when you find yourself in a pinch you perform your best work. Why is that? Is it the lizard brain freaking out that you will get into some kind of trouble so it tells the adrenal gland to give you a little boost?

Try these few things next time you want to push yourself to move faster to get something done.

Increase the urgency, even if falsified

Calendars and to do lists can do marvelous things to trick us into moving faster. Who needs procrastination?

Schedule a due date and time ahead of schedule, but make it the ‘freak-out deadline’. Work will get done.

Publicly proclaim your intentions

You don’t have to share with your Twitter friends what your deadline for a top-secret project is, but tell a couple of key people that you are pushing to get something done by such and such time and date, and tell them to remind you about it.

They will remind you. Think friend-sourcing.

Shut off distractions

Ever find yourself taking a quick peek at the ol’ email inbox right in the middle of a time you are working on some pretty heads down stuff? Stop!

Do this first: Go into Outlook and shut off notifications. Do it. Trust me. This applies to any email client (Apple Mail, Gmail, etc.).

Yes, even mobile phones. Go into your notification settings on your phone and turn off sound alerts and yes, the little red icon that blinks or appears over the email icon.

You will thank me later. You won’t miss a beat, I promise.

Next, Invest in some GTD (getting things done) education. Lifehacker has been talking about getting things done for years, and are huge David Allen and GTD fans, but one blog that I’ve been watching more closely lately is written by an interesting Internet entrepreneur, Michael Sliwinski. It is appropriately named, Internet Business Productivity blog. The dude knows his stuff. Something I’d likely expect as a founder of Nozbe a project management GTD app.

Have fun

Don’t forget to have fun. When you are doing well upstairs and feel relaxed enough to laugh and enjoy yourself, things just seem to click better. Moving faster, and pushing yourself out of a rut boosts the fun ratio exponentially!


Do you have an example of an experience where you pushed yourself to ‘move faster’ and it paid off?


  1. Great post Mark. Thanks for the internet business productivity blog recommendation.

  2. Great post. As a writer, I find myself frequently under deadline pressure. I would also suggest a pair of headphones. Music can help you to block a lot of distractions!

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