Self-improvement: Increasing productivity // Part 1

After careful consideration, I decided that I didn’t want MJ&Steff’s blog articles to be like all the other freelance writing articles. You can find SEO, copywriting and content writing resources with a simple Google search. In fact, it’ll probably provide you with dozens of pages of results. The problem is that they all seem to regurgitate the same things. There are only so many ways you can tell somebody how to “get started with freelance writing” and the likes.

This is why I’ve decided to share my learnings about increasing productivity through books I’ve read and found useful to me personally. Today, I’ll be sharing content from Li Shang Long’s “You Only Look Like You’re Working Hard” (it’s a Chinese book which hasn’t yet been translated into English). Let’s just jump right into it

You only appear as if you’re working hard

In order to be productive, you need to ask yourself whether you’ve really been working hard, or if you only appear as if you’ve been working hard in order to try and impress others. If you fall into the latter category, you’ll never truly succeed in bettering yourself.

Some people appear as if they’re up every night working extremely hard, but they’re actually just on their phone “liking” a bunch of content on social media.

Some people appear as if they’ve spent all day sitting at the library. In reality, they’ve literally just been *sitting* at the library.

At the same time, some people appear as if they’re super healthy and go to the gym everyday. In reality, they just want people to think they’re working hard. All they do is go to the gym, snap a few photos and try to flirt with others who are actually working hard at the gym.

The following applies to various people around us. Perhaps it will even apply to some of us. These people look as if they’re concentrating extremely hard on taking notes in class, but when exam time comes, their performance is subpar. At the same time, there’ll be those people who look like they don’t really care about what the lecturer’s saying most of the time, but they perform better than anyone else in their class.

Many people will think that the latter is just a natural-born genius who doesn’t have to work as hard as the average person. But this isn’t true. Nobody’s “naturally” knowledgeable about everything. In fact, many people who appear on the surface to not really care about working hard will work hard when nobody’s watching.

They won’t tell anybody the hard work and effort they’ve put into something because at the end of the day, all that work is really just for themselves. They don’t put effort into letting others know how hard they’ve been working because they’re concentrated entirely on learning and succeeding.

Although nobody will ever know how hard they worked throughout that period of time, at least during that period, they never got distracted by other people.

There aren’t any shortcuts to success. If anybody tries to sell you a course on “quick ways to succeed” at anything, it’s probably not useful. Success is something that you have to force. You have to work hard, study and use your time wisely.

I’m sure that there’s somebody in the world whose life you admire or envy. I’ll admit, I wouldn’t mind being in New Zealand’s Chief Justice Helen Winkelmann’s shoes. But I know that I can’t attain her position unless I work hard during law school, and later, throughout my career. At the same time, you can also achieve the life that you want with hard work, bravery, hope and dedication.

Remember: You should be able to say that you admire the way that you live. Otherwise, what’s the point?

At the end of the day, you should ask yourself. Have you really done everything you can? Have you really dedicated all of your time and resources to succeeding? Can you say that you have no regrets? Or, do you only appear as if you’ve been working hard?

Published by Steff

Professional copywriter.

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