My attention is usually drawn when someone posts a contrarian view and has the guts to go against mainstream thinking. A recent article by Philip Naudus published on Medium claims that most of the productivity improvement advices and books written on the subject, are wrong.
Observing various studies conducted by different researchers, he essentially concludes that various kinds of tricks, tips and tools not only give a false feeling of being able to influence your productivity. They also seem to have a marginal effect on productivity. Even the weather (as unpredictable as it is) is apparently a better productivity predictor; days with heavy fog and rain are sure to negatively influence your productivity.
He does distill one simple advice out of the different studies that he analyzed:
"Whatever makes you happy, do that."
Intuitively, this makes absolute sense. When you're happy, you at least sense you have more energy. You spent your time more effectively and most probably you have far more meaningful conversations. The smile on your face induces the people you interact with to be more positive and willing to cooperate as well.
"But for some twisted reason, our society glorifies creators who work their fingers to the bone, refusing to slow down or take a break."
This is probably the main problem. We feel the need to conform to fulfill our need to be socially accepted and part of a group. We need to build resilience against what our surroundings want us to do or what we believe they want us to do.
Therefore: recharge often, take time off and make sure you spend enough time on things that you love doing. Never waste a good holiday 😉.