Leonard Cohen on Productivity

20140416 WFP
20140416 WFP

I love Leonard Cohen’s writing – his lyrics, and his poems. I heard in an interview that there was one lyric that he spent a year on. One line of a song … 12 months until he was happy with it.

Last week I wrote about getting it good enough. To be productive, I think we need to fall in love with the idea of good enough. It can’t be crap, it has to be good, but just good enough. I give myself 15 minutes to write a blog. That’s enough time to get it good enough … and then I stop.

And I reckon that about 80% of the stuff you do, you spend too much time on. You could get it good enough in less time.

Then there is the other 20% … that’s stuff that you could spend more time on. My blog doesn’t deserve any more time, but my Linkedin profile does. (Having said that, I guess I better head over and give it some love).

Finally there is the 1% … or even the 0.01% of the things that you do that are worth spending a year on. The thing that you are creating that could make the difference, that’s worth getting perfect.

And of course the trick to this is working out the 80% to do quicker, the 20% to spend more time on and the 0.01% to completely obsess over.

Love to hear your thoughts – what do you need to spend less time, or more time, doing? You can leave them below.