Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Efficiently Productive

What is it? Every efficiency means what you can do with what you have.

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash
Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

If you think about productivity in terms of tasks, the more tasks you accomplish in the lowest time possible, the more productive you are (or seem to be). My question is: what’s the cost? If your mind and body never take a break, eventually, they ”break”.

Doing as much as possible, as fast as you can, leads to burnout and it is a mindset focused on the numerator of the efficiency ratio: what you can do. What if you act on the denominator?

If you have less to do, the likelihood of getting things done increases, and your productivity becomes more efficient. Also, fewer things to do implies you reduced your tasks to what brings greater value to your goals and vision for your productive life. But, ultimately, if you follow the path of less to achieve more, it means you’re most productive when you have nothing to do?

Yes, strangely. When you have nothing to do, your mind is incredibly open to perform creatively. But, it has a price. You’ll have to go through boredom.

“ I saw a connection between the lack of stimulation – boredom – in the flourishing of creativity and drive. (…) Can my lack of ideas have to do with never being bored?” (Manoush Zomorodi)


About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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