Sam Altman on Productivity

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Entrepreneur Sam Altman has been asked frequently-enough for productivity advice that he has relented, and posted on four general areas: What You Work On, Prioritization, Physical Factors, and Other Stuff. The first is the most important, and here is some of his advice:

Delegate the others to people who want to do them. (Image via Pixabay.)
I've learned that I can't be very productive working on things I don't care about or don't like. So I just try not to put myself in a position where I have to do them (by delegating, avoiding, or something else). Stuff that you don't like is a painful drag on morale and momentum.

By the way, here is an important lesson about delegation: remember that everyone else is also most productive when they're doing what they like, and do what you'd want other people to do for you -- try to figure out who likes (and is good at) doing what, and delegate that way.
He reiterates and summarizes at the end:
[P]roductivity in the wrong direction isn't worth anything at all. Think more about what to work on.
The piece overall is thought-provoking, although he does not consistently explain all his advice. But that may be for similar reasons he advises his readers to avoid "the trap of productivity porn." His piece is short, his main point is good and, and he spares you great detail on things (like "physical stuff") that you might need to figure out for yourself.

-- CAV

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