The vital difference between push and pull productivity

Posted by in Productivity

The vital difference between push and pull productivity

When you remove everything else, there are only two kinds of productivity: push or pull – as diametrically opposite as the words I’ve chosen to describe them. Let’s find out which one you are, and see whether it makes you want to change things up.


Pull productivity


Is rare, and to be treasured.


This is the state in which you are so supremely excited about doing something that time seems to vanish in favour of a perpetuous stream of getting things done. You are, in short, experiencing the productivity equivalent of a tractor beam; rarely anything seems menial, and it’s easy to get – and stay – motivated.


The only danger in this state is that emotions aren’t necessarily always the best indicators with regard to prioritizing, which means it’s still important to maintain a system which guides the raw power that drives you.


Push productivity


Is rampant, and inevitable.


In a world built, inhabited and operated by humans and their infinite and varying desires, it is impossible to facilitate a Utopian society in where everyone are given the opportunity to not only explore their varying interests, but also switch occupations at their whim. Failing the advent of free energy coupled with a omniscient, obedient robotic workforce, push productivity is the sole option for a great many.


Now, you may consider this to be what is – in professional terms – described as a ‘bummer’. As with most things in life, however, it is what you make of it.


Putting some pull in your push


Pull productivity is a matter of acceptance – of making the best out of the situation as it is, which is not to be confused with accepting defeat. If you can or will not bet everything on a switch from push to pull, either out of fear, insecurity or because you are prevented by your obligations, there are a myriad things you can do to put some pull in your push.


The first, perhaps unsurprisingly, is to allow yourself the luxury of increased headspace and awareness of what’s on your plate in order to allow yourself to better contemplate your current situation. If you then want to measure your progress towards a life with more of what you want to do in it than what you must do, try this little hack on for size.


And lest you forget: things really are what you make of them.