Maximize My Productivity? I’d Rather Not, Thanks

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I once dated a guy who tried to tell me how to ride the subway. (If you’ve been in New York for more than a year, this is beyond insulting.)

Sometimes, he’d grab my arm and insist that, rather than stepping directly onto the arriving train, I run with him to the front car, so that when the train arrived, we’d be directly in front of the most convenient exit.

Some of his train “hacks” involved switching trains three times so we got someplace 10 minutes earlier. I’d say, “Dude, we’re on a date. We don’t have to be anywhere at any particular time. How about we just keep sitting on the train we’re on—which is going exactly where we want to go—and enjoy each other’s conversation?”

Personally, I’d rather have a pleasant 30-minute train ride—ideally one where I get lost in a magazine (or a fun date) and forget I’m even on a train—than a 22-minute train ride achieved by having to think about train hacks the entire 22 minutes.

And that’s pretty much how I feel about a lot of productivity advice.

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