Despite what some people seem to imply, there’s more than one way to become more productive.
There are actually two main approaches you can take to productivity.
Both work equally well.
But it’s important to know which approach is best for you.
I call one the approach of an almond, and the other the approach of the peanut.
Almonds vs. Peanuts
Growing up, my parents always had little bowls of nuts in the living room.
I don’t know why, but they were always there.
I used to try like mad to open the almonds because they were my favorite, but they were always such a tough nut to crack.
Peanuts, on the other hand, were easy. My little fingers could easily twist them and pop out the two little prizes inside.
The other day, I was visiting my parents and, sure enough, there was a little bowl of nuts sitting on the coffee table.
I cracked open an almond and a peanut for old time’s sake, and I was reminded about a very important productivity principle I want to share with you.
As I looked at the almond and peanut, I realized that they represent two different kinds of people.
You’ve got the almond, which is a single, unified nut.
And you’ve got the peanut, which is compartmentalized into two different halves that don’t even touch.
Become More Productive as an Almond or a Peanut
In my experience, I’ve found that people tend to approach their productivity in one of two ways.
Some people approach their productivity like an almond. That is to say, they see every part of their lives as connected. Their family time, career, social life, hobbies, and vacations are all working together to accomplish a single goal.
Other people approach their productivity like a peanut. For these people, the different parts of their lives are all compartmentalized. They have career goals, family goals, social goals, etc.
Either approach can work, but they work very differently.
And, most importantly, they will produce different results.
The kinds of productivity challenges you encounter, as well as the appropriate solutions you will need, are largely determined by which approach you take.
And if you try to become more productive by mixing and matching the two, you’ll wind up being frustrated.
Related Article: Do You Know Your Productive Personality?
So, Which are You?
Knowing yourself is an essential part of productivity.
So, if you’re not sure whether you’re more of an almond or peanut, take a few minutes to think it through.
You’ll be glad that you did.