Hand-picked quotes about productivity from the best non-fiction books

Here are the best quotes about productivity.

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Planning is important, but the most important part of every plan is to plan on the plan not going according to plan.
If the task is how-to in nature, I only read accounts that are “how I did it” and autobiographical. No speculators or wannabes are worth the time.
The world has agreed to shuffle papers between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., and since you’re trapped in the office for that period of servitude, you are compelled to create activities to fill that time.
I am a big believer that if you have a very clear vision of where you want to go, then the rest of it is much easier.
Guilt [is] interesting because guilt is the flip side of prestige, and they’re both horrible reasons to do things.
In the strictest sense, you shouldn’t be trying to do more in each day, trying to fill every second with a work fidget of some type. It took me a long time to figure this out. I used to be very fond of the results-by-volume approach.
Don’t encourage people to chitchat and don’t let them chitchat. Get them to the point immediately.
Reconnect with nature. Though most people live in cities these days, human beings are made to be part of the natural world. We should return to it often to recharge our batteries.
Introverts are much better at making a plan, staying with a plan, being very disciplined.
What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it. Efficiency is still important, but it is useless unless applied to the right things.
Check e-mail twice per day, once at 12:00 noon or just prior to lunch, and again at 4:00 P.M. 12:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. are times that ensure you will have the most responses from previously sent e-mail.
Your inbox is a to-do list to which anyone in the world can add an action item.
Am I being productive or just active? Ask yourself this question multiple times a day.
One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.
Learn to be difficult when it counts. In school as in life, having a reputation for being assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it every time.
Identify the few critical tasks that contribute most to income and schedule them with very short and clear deadlines.
Work alone. You're going to be best able to design revolutionary products and features if you're working on your own.
The first answer to any question isn’t much fun because it’s just automatic. What's the third... is more interesting here.
Starting something doesn’t automatically justify finishing it. If you are reading an article that sucks, put it down and don’t pick it back up. If you go to a movie and it’s worse than Matrix III, get the hell out of there before more neurons die.
It is your job to train those around you to be effective and efficient.
From this moment forward, resolve to keep those around you focused and avoid all meetings, whether in person or remote, that do not have clear objectives.
Batching is also the solution to our distracting but necessary time consumers, those repetitive tasks that interrupt the most important.
It is imperative that you learn to ignore or redirect all information and interruptions that are irrelevant, unimportant, or unactionable. Most are all three.
Pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but it tells the truth. You mostly envy those who have what you desire.
Focus on “just-in-time” information instead of “just-in-case” information.
Set up your work, your hobbies, and your social life so that you spend as much time inside your sweet spot as possible.
Everything around you that you call ‘life’ was made up by people that were no smarter than you.
Fun things happen when you earn dollars, live on pesos, and compensate in rupees, but that’s just the beginning.
Extroversion is less prevalent in Asia and Africa than in Europe and America, whose populations descend largely from the migrants of the world.
Introverts seem to be better than extroverts at delaying gratification.
Make no mistake, maximum income from minimal necessary effort (including minimum number of customers) is the primary goal.
Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if you will forget it before you have a chance to apply it.
Be focused on work or focused on something else, never in-between.
Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical manner possible. Being efficient without regard to effectiveness is the default mode of the universe.
It’s amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.
People can dislike you—and you often sell more by offending some—but they should never misunderstand you.
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘reticular activation’? It’s basically the idea that it’s easy to hear your own name spoken in a crowd.
Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness.
Introverts are capable of acting like extroverts for the sake of work they consider important, people they love, or anything they value highly.
Take it slow. Being in a hurry is inversely proportional to quality of life. As the old saying goes, “Walk slowly and you’ll go far.” When we leave urgency behind, life and time take on new meaning.
Another reason many people fail in their process is they cannot live without instant gratification.
Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating.
Problems, as a rule, solve themselves or disappear if you remove yourself as an information bottleneck and empower others.
Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.
We find so many people impatient to talk. All this talking can hardly be said to be of any benefit to the world.
Lack of time is lack of priorities. If I’m “busy,” it is because I’ve made choices that put me in that position.
If more information was the answer, then we'd all be billionaires with perfect abs.

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Hand-picked quotes from the best non-fiction books