All Work and No Play? Really?

As a freelancer, web-worker or both, I’m sure that you have read quite a few articles or even books about productivity and time management. A lot of people read about all sorts of approaches and end up thinking that a productive person is a robot-like creature who works all day or, in other words, someone who does not know the meaning of the word ‘fun‘.

It’s quite obvious that they end up thinking that time management is not for them and, unfortunately, they are missing out on a lot as a result of such an attitude. Never make the mistake of thinking something like that, as it doesn’t have anything to do with the way things actually stand.

Sloppy People Don’t Know What They’re Missing!

Do you think that someone who is sloppy has more fun? Wrong! Actually, such a person usually ends up wasting a lot of time on activities which could have been completed in a far more effective manner and, as a result, doesn’t have a lot of time for fun.

Even more so, a lot of people become sloppy as a result of the fact that they do something they absolutely hate, so that no, they are not having fun while they work either. Doing something you don’t like, becoming sloppy, taking care of things in an extremely ineffective manner and not having time for fun as a result. Does that sound tempting? I didn’t think so!

Productive People Have More Fun

First of all, one of the most important rules when it comes to being productive is doing something you are passionate about or, in other words, having fun when you work in order to stand a better chance at maximizing results. That’s one huge difference between most people who are sloppy and a productive person.

Aside from identifying the tasks which are actually worth our time, doing things effectively is the name of the game. And, you’ve guessed it: if you take care of tasks in an effective manner or, in other words, if you don’t spend three hours on a task which can be completed in 30 minutes, you will actually end up having more free time for other pleasant activities.

All Work and No Play? Who Gave You That Idea?

No matter what angle you choose to view the situation from, becoming more productive is definitely the way to go. Identify something you are both passionate about and good at, try your best in order to maximize results when it comes to your personal productivity level and you will never look back.

Thinking that it’s all work and no play as far as productive people are concerned is an attitude which can and will make you miss out on a lot. Don’t use it as an excuse, wake up, understand how things actually stand and you will definitely end up congratulating yourself for your decision down the road.

What do you think? :)

Best wishes,
Alan Johnson


Author info: This guest post was written by Alan Johnson, who teaches you how to Become More Productive Through 7-Day Challenges over at


  1. says

    Okay, can’t say I enjoyed this post, and this is why:

    In your intro, you discuss that some people think others applying productivity techniques like time management have no fun.

    Then in the first section, your wording and use of language suggests that those who don’t are sloppy. S’cuse me?

    The section also implies that those who don’t apply productivity techniques are people who don’t enjoy what they’re doing. S’cuse me?

    In section two, you imply that productive people are always doing what they love. That’s absolute bullshit. Most people obsessed with productivity and time management are finding ways to cope with what they DON’T love.

    Also, ANYONE who loves what they do is naturally more productive than someone who doesn’t. It isn’t a question of who uses time management or not. I don’t need time management techniques to play my guitar or write fiction.

    Yes, it’s true that using time management techniques to get the OTHER work out of the way lets you play more… hm, but didn’t you already say that productive people are doing what they enjoy? So if that’s the case, why would they want to get it out of the way? I’m confused.

    The last section implies that to become a productive person, do something you love. Well, I disagree. You may rock all day doing what you love most – what about your other responsibilities and obligations? One can’t ALWAYS do what he or she enjoys best.

    Also, someone who is productive at what they enjoy best does not immediately become an overall productive person in general.

    Maybe I’ve completely misunderstood this post (if so, feel free to tell me to go have more coffee and get my brains on right), but I think this is a pretty condescending, assumptive post. (Good writing, though!)

  2. says

    Well, I liked the post.

    Many posts are written in response to something, be it another post, an attitude encountered, a remark made, what you *think* Bob *really* thinks about you… whatever. So I think that Alan doesn’t want to be considered a robot, and in his mind he’s defending his position against something that we, the readers, don’t necessarily see.

    Typical geek reaction, which I support wholeheartedly.

    And I agree with James: good writing.

  3. Jennifer says

    I have to say, I am not the biggest fan of this post either. I guess the title of ‘All Work and No Play? Really?’ left me with the initial assumption that this would be an article about either making time for play or something else that is a lot closer to what the title implies. Instead I was left with an article that not only seems like every section is in left-field but also doesn’t really seem to stick to a central message.

  4. Jennifer says

    On a side note, I’m doing what I love but still need to find little tricks of the trade to keep myself productive.

  5. says

    Okay, I am NOT influenced by any of the comments above but Alan, this post DOESN’T touch a chord. Your concept itself is flawed. Here’s why- You said- “One of the most important rules when it comes to being productive is doing something you are passionate about”..well I don’t know how you define productivity but for me productivity is directly related to time management and getting maximum results in less time. In fact thats what you go on to say but you are contradicting yourself there. How? well, passion is something which goes in the opposite direction..if you do something with passion, you usually don’t care about the time involved, instead you are so engrossed and absorbed that you forget the world and time. So the terms ‘productivity ‘ and ‘time management ‘ actually become worthless there.
    In fact you’ll find that people who do their work passionately like scientists and musicians are usually the least ” productive” or rather I should say that they are more focussed on the results rather then caring about the time involved in that.
    Obviously,these are my personal views about the post and you are free to disagree.

  6. says

    Well, I have to disagree with James and Abhijeet about the apparent contradiction between loving your work and not wanting to spend all day working. The contradiction here isn’t a real one at all.

    I love doing web design. I also love writing. But does that mean that I want to spend more time doing web design or writing than I need to in order to accomplish my design/writing goals? Of course not.

    I want to spend just enough time working on it to create something really good and still have plenty of time for other things. Sometimes that may mean that I work for several hours straight, but take the next day off. It’s all about how you want to break it up.

  7. says

    I think the key point to take out of this was just to work hard to leave time to play!

    Procrastination or time lag tends to come from things you really don’t want to be doing… and if that’s the case, as Alan suggests, look at it from another point of view – the quicker you finish the sooner you get to do something you *want* to do!

  8. says

    Hi there and thanks for your comments, two observations regarding the message of this article:

    1) Productive people are not robots and, actually, folks who think something like that about productive people are usually the ones who have less fun, as a result of the fact that they don’t manage their time accordingly, spend more time than necessary on tasks which are not worth it and, naturally, end up having less spare time.

    2) Being passionate about what you do always makes you more productive. Does that mean that being productive when doing something you hate is impossible? Of course not but, no matter what angle you choose to view the situation from, a person who loves his or her work will always have an edge.

    Let’s say that George and John are just as knowledgeable and that both of them spend exactly 3 hours per day working on a certain project. Let’s also assume that George is just in it for the money and that John is truly passionate about his work. Under such circumstances, who do you think will stand a better chance at maximizing results during these three hours?

    Best wishes,

    Alan Johnson


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