By May 26, 2016

The REAL Reason Why You’re Not Productive

We all want to be productive right? Over the last few years, a huge amount of studies, theories, books, and strategies have been published about productivity. Different authors, life coaches, and productivity coaches have specialized in making people more productive in this ever changing world of the 21st century.

However, while there is a lot of different strategies, people seem to be unable to follow these strategies. They find it hard to implement these strategies and they often fail, getting back to their standard routine. So, today I'm going to ask a simple question: Why most people fail when trying to become more productive?

What most people don't know is that, if there is a missing piece in this whole story, things will definitely fall apart quickly. And that missing piece is definitely discipline. If you don't have discipline, you won't be able to stick to whatever changes need to be made and, then, everything will fall apart.

So, how do you develop discipline? Why is it so important in order for you to become more productive? Watch this video and find out!

Here's a good example of where discipline, or rather the lack of it, weeds out the winners from the losers: creating a blog. Every one says they'll do it. Few do. If you're serious about taking up the challenge, check out my blogging course here.

Transcript Of The Video:

John Sonmez: 

Hey, what’s up, John Sonmez from I got a question here, a pretty short one this time but maybe a long answer. “Hi John, I will keep this short and cut to the chase: How can I build and develop more discipline as well as time management organizations? I have trouble even sticking to a to do list sometimes. Thanks.” This is from Jake.

Jake this is—if you could solve this problem how productive would you be? I’m going to refer you first of all—I’m going to give you the top advice that I can in this video and then I’m going to refer you to a whole section. I wrote a whole bunch about productivity in my book Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual. Definitely check that out. There’s a whole section with multiple chapters on productivity and I think that you really need to study productivity in order to keep you productive.

Let’s talk about sort of discipline and the time management aspect. First let’s talk about how you develop discipline. It doesn’t matter what kind of productivity techniques that you apply. It doesn’t matter what you know. If you don’t have discipline you’re never going to reach your goals, you’re never going to accomplish anything. How do you build discipline? Discipline obviously I could talk about discipline for hours, but I’m going to give you some short techniques and some ideas that are going to hopefully point you in the right direction about developing discipline.

Discipline, one of the best ways—here’s something to understand about discipline. Let’s talk about discipline in general. I love this—I think it’s T Harv Eker quote where he says, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I always think of that in regards to discipline. The other thing I think about in regards to discipline is this idea that I believe someone said—maybe it was Brandon Carter he said that “Discipline is doing what you’re supposed to do whether you want to or not.” I really like that definition of it.

When you combine those 2 things together what you find out is that basically when you develop discipline in one area it applies in multiple areas. That’s why you’re going to see a lot of times when someone starts to get one bad habit kicked from their life that they start progressing in other areas, it’s because they’re developing discipline. One really good way that I found to develop discipline is to develop physical discipline first, because that’s sort of the easier one to visualize, to see what you’re supposed to do. It’s hard to develop the discipline to concentrate and focus and write or something like that, but it’s really easy to see if you have the discipline to get up in the morning and go to the gym every morning or to go for a run. That physical discipline will actually develop mental discipline because the difficulty, our bodies are 100 times more capable than what we think they are capable of. We can always run further, we can always lift heavier, we can always take it to the extreme, beyond what you imagine but it’s your mind that stops you. The weakness is in the mind. I think Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about this a lot is that it’s your mind that’s weak he says.

That’s the key is if you want to develop discipline figure out areas where you can have that discipline whether that be—some of the things—again I talk about how I eat one meal a day. I fast until 5 everyday. I’ve been doing this for almost 2 years now, about a year and a half. One of the reasons why I do this besides the health, the physical benefit is to keep my discipline, to keep my edge. If I have the discipline to not eat until 5:00 every single day then what happens is that disciple carries over to other areas. When I want to sit down and write, if I have to write 1000 words or I’m going to focus on something for 2 hours it’s not a problem because I’ve developed that discipline.

What I’d recommend if you want to develop discipline is figure out things that are tough that you can do that are going to develop that discipline. Go and start a workout routine or a diet or a running routine and follow that and make sure that you do it. Wake up at a certain time everyday. Remember to try and live your whole life with this discipline. What ends up happening is a lot of people try to compartmentalize their life. They think that they’re going to have discipline in one area but they think that in other areas that they’re just going to be lazy and it’s not going to matter. What you find is, again, that quote, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” You’ve got to really live your life. It has to be a principle that you follow and you have to practice it. If you want to get better at developing your discipline go and do the things that are going to require discipline from you. That’s how you grow that muscle.

Same thing with time management, once you have discipline then you can actually start exploring time management. If you don’t have discipline it doesn’t matter. You can schedule out your day and you can manage your time as productively as possible but if you don’t have discipline how are you going to stick to that. Sticking to it is the hard part. If you can do that then all those productivity techniques will work so I’m not even going to really talk about the time management part until you get the discipline part.

I think that’s the basics of developing discipline. Self discipline is really the key of it. If you have someone else that’s pushing you or forcing you to do something it’s not going to work as well. You have to be able to do it yourself. It has to come from you, your own internal motivation. Remember, it’s whether you feel like doing it or not. When you get to the point where you can do things whether you feel like doing them or not that’s when you have discipline. Until you have you’re not going to have productivity. Focus on that. Like I said, get to the gym, start a diet, start an exercise program, running, whatever it takes to be able to build that discipline and that muscle will continue to grow and you’re going to see it. When you sit down to work you’re going to carry that same discipline over. Until you can do that it’s just not going to happen.

Anyway, I hope that helps you. If you have a question for me, email me at If you like this video subscribe to the channel. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."