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  • anthonydanselmo

You don’t work clearly enough

Sunday, April 28, 2019

10:20 AM

Want an easier way to read this article, check out the Medium version. It has better formatting and can be found here:

Productivity gives you life, work kills you. And it is up to you to distinguish what is the difference between the two. We know the concept of being busy: phone calls, text, email, job, school, work, friends, family, food. There is power in learning the difference between being busy and actually putting in productive work. To add to that, there is even more power when you learn to identify when productivity has actually ended and now they are just doing busy work.

The difference between work and productivity is intention. What is your intention of doing what you are about to do? And did you create that intention or did you just pick it up from someone or something else?

In this case, Intention is everything.

True work is productive work, productive work gives life. True work is what you should always be doing, and you should not use the concept of work as an excuse to put off other parts of your life. This tends to be challenging for goal oriented people who always feel that there is always more that we could be doing to achieve the next goal. 

 Furthermore, because we are goal oriented people we “know” work is a good thing. Fact is, work is only good when you decide on an intention and are now following through on it.

Anything other than that is just an excuse for you being lazy. I hope that insults you, Mr./Mrs. Goal Oriented always working people. You’re lazy if you are working for the sake of work. You’re too lazy to create an intention for what you want out of life. So instead of creating that intention you actually fill the void with more work. And you continue onward, until you do in-fact become a workaholic. And, you may in fact have an intention for your life, but because that intention was not self-created, it was given to you by someone else, you feel like you’re being productive, but the question is: is it good production? If it’s not what you want out of life, but you are consistently being productive for it, I would venture to say no.

Productivity (True Work) is when you have clearly defined a goal, broken that goal down into a set of steps, and then actively focusing on accomplishing the steps, thereby accomplish the goal.

How did we get so confused between work and production?

Like I said, work is the easier thing to do. It takes no additional effort, an object in motion will stay in motion. It’s easier to be “Working” than to constantly ask — “is this true work”. It’s easier to work then it is to change your habits, and your actions. And society does a great job (especially American society) at confirming that you cannot be doing something wrong because work is good, right? It can’t be bad to work. Few of us are taught how to create an intention, and because we are ignorant towards how to do it, that adds to reasons of why we shouldn’t create one (Pain V Pleasure). So being taught work can never be bad, and because it is easier to default thing to do are 2 ways that we lose the distinguish the difference between the two. But, we also become confused because we use “work” as a defense mechanism.

We can use “work” as a defense mechanism because it is ambiguous. And because it is not clear, people are less likely to question it. 

For example.

How to get confused between work and productivity:

When people ask, “what are you working on”. You start by telling them what you are genuinely working on. Most of the time, those people can relate only on some small % to what you are actually doing. But because they cannot relate entirely, they hurt you in one form another (for multiple reasons, but mainly because of the feeling of insignificance). It could be as simple as, you’re really excited about a project. But the other person isn’t, so they respond with “oh cool”.Even if they say oh cool, the simple fact that they are not excited by it is what hurts you.

On the good days, you can deal with it, no problem. But on the bad days, it hurts you and sets you back and makes you begin to see faults (that you normally would be happy to challenge) but are now disheartened by them. This starts back as early as Elementary School.

It’s more than just projects your excited about, it’s anything where the other person does not understand. And because they live in their own separate worlds, not yours, it is very likely that few will truly understand. This is why we tend to gravitate towards people in the same field as us, we feel a better connection, because of the “they understand me” we subconsciously put on them.

As you get older the same thing happens except this time it could be worse. If you come to an age when you are working on your ambitions and what excites you, if you are surrounded by bad or average minded people, they will rarely understand it. And because they don’t understand it, they will condemn it in some way.

They will poke fun at it.

They will be indifferent towards it.

They will despise it.

Any reaction other than the preconceived one in your head will hurt you. You need to learn the ability to preconceive a reaction before it happens, but you also need to be able to see the reaction independent of your preconceived action. If the dream / desire is so great then even your family / friends may still not understand.

As a defense mechanism, People stop telling their desires and excitement, and begin to simply tell the world they are busy with work. And because people can understand “Work” due to the fact that it is a 100% ambiguous idea they rarely question it. Finally, because they don’t question it, this is positive reinforcement that we should not tell people what we are actually working on

So in summary, the two main reasons for confusion are:

1. It is the easy (lazy) thing to do.

Do not say work for the sake of it being easy. Be direct, be clear, tell the person what you are working on. You can use this as a guide to determine whether you are being productive, or just doing work.

2. Defense mechanism

We stop talking about dreams, desires, ideas, concepts, etc when we begin to get criticized (no matter how slightly). That criticism could be something as simple as lack of reaction. Don’t let the criticism stop you from speaking about those topics if they truly interest you. You can use this to see if you love an idea enough to follow through despite others. You can use this as a guide to who should be in your life. Great people will always foster growth, the only time they would discourage you, is to improve you.


When someone asks you, “what are you doing”. Do not say, “working”. Every time you do that, you lose the clear distinction between productivity and work. By truly stating what you are working on, it allows us to:

Hear out-loud what work we are actually doing.Hearing it out-loud allows us to figure out if we are actually being productive.

It allows us to speak things into existence.

It allows us to determine who we deserves to be in our lives.

It allows us to work on the ability of seeing reactions independently of pre- conceived notions.

It allows us to connect more deeply with individuals, because it is no longer ambiguous.

It allows us to foster the understanding that clarity is key.

On the reverse side, if you ask someone what they are doing, and they respond “working”. Ask them, “may I ask what you are working on?”.

This allows us to show kindness and caring.

This allows us to see who is being productive and who is just busy.

This allows us to figure out who should be in our lives.

The person who is constantly working with no clear intention.This allows us to see who is understanding.

Furthermore, if you ask that person, “are you just working or are you being productive?”

If they are offended, this is a sign of stagnancy.If they are grateful you asked, this shows growth.

This allows us to figure out if we can be of service.

The concept of productivity is difficult to find in organizations because of two prominent reasons : in large organizations people might be working with intent, but because that intent is not rewarded on an organizational level, they fall into the concept of work. In small organizations, people believe that there is always more that can be done, and they proceed to do more, and more, and more, and work gets done. But is it the correct work?

Have goals, break them into steps, act on completing those steps. Do not fear real work, despise fake busy work.

Additional thoughts:

When did we learn that questions were negative things?You don’t want that attitude in your life, so it begins to separate you from those closest to you, which is another rabbit hole.

We live in a world where if you truly believe in something you have the power of speaking it into existence.

With the free exchange of ideas, words have more power than ever, as long as they are said with purpose and conviction. Yes, there is more noise than ever in terms of speaking up, but then it becomes a question of how much do you truly believe in your vision and making it come a reality.

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