Feel-Good Productivity Book Summary - Feel-Good Productivity Book explained in key points
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Feel-Good Productivity summary

Ali Abdaal

How to Do More of What Matters to You

4.1 (142 ratings)
17 mins
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    Feel-Good Productivity
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    If all this talk of feel-good productivity is sounding a little too woo-woo, fear not. There’s actually solid biological science that supports its existence. 

    As mentioned in the introduction, the first force responsible for preventing productivity – of both the feel-good and hustle culture variety – is low energy. 

    Most often, like many people, you attempt to compensate for your lack of vitality with caffeine, sugar, and other external stimulants as you go about your day. But, as you’ve no doubt experienced first-hand, these short-term fixes can only do so much.

    But there’s an alternative that’s also more sustainable, a cocktail readily available to you at any time: your hormones. Endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin all naturally flood your body with the physical and mental energy to accomplish more. And – here’s the kicker – feeling good is what releases them.

    Fortunately, there are three accessible strategies you can employ to get these feel-good hormones circulating. Abdaal calls these the three “energizers”: play, power, and people.

    Play points to what you’d expect: injecting more fun and adventure into your days. Yes, life is inherently stressful but not every moment requires straight-faced seriousness. Instead, you can approach life with a spirit of sincerity – still caring deeply while allowing space for laughter and lightness. Remember, your life is the quintessential journey. You’re supposed to embrace, enjoy, and explore it, not soberly suffer through it.

    Abdaal’s second energizer, power, refers to a different type of power than the one you likely think of first. Instead of power over others, this kind of power is power over yourself. It’s the sense of personal empowerment in your own life.

    Personal empowerment can still be attained even if your external circumstances seem to suggest otherwise. For instance, you might not get to choose what you work on in your day job, but you can always choose how you work on it. With a spirit of play, perhaps.

    The third and final energizer, people, alludes to what you intuitively know: the individuals you spend the most time with matter, both for your mood and productivity.

    The obvious implication is that you need to surround yourself with more cheerleaders than vampires – people who lift you up rather than drain you out. If you don’t already have such folk around you, you can lead the charge by modeling a dynamic of camaraderie rather than competition or conflict.

    At this point, the link between your energy, mood, and productivity should be somewhat clearer, and you’ve probably got a few ideas as to how you can incorporate more play, power, and people into your daily life. But here are a few of Abdaal’s mini experiments to throw into the mix.

    When faced with a tedious or undesirable task, ask yourself, How can I make this fun? When attempting something overwhelming or anxiety-inducing, try, What would this look like if I was the world expert at it? And, when feeling detached or isolated, consider who you could turn to for help on the specific issue. Asking someone for advice or support can, paradoxically, be just as much a gift to them as to you!

    So although you now have the energy to execute, it still might not be that simple. In the next section, you’ll discover what might be blocking this energy from freely manifesting.

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    What is Feel-Good Productivity about?

    Feel-Good Productivity (2023) presents an unconventional approach to getting more done: prioritizing enjoyment and well-being. Through the dual lens of science and philosophy, it explains why we struggle with low energy, procrastination, and burnout, then offers a series of fun mini-experiments to help you boost your mood, output, and ultimately, success.

    Feel-Good Productivity Review

    Feel-Good Productivity (2021) by Ali Abdaal is a book that explores how to maximize productivity without sacrificing happiness and well-being. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It offers practical strategies to boost productivity while prioritizing self-care, helping readers achieve a healthy work-life balance.
    • By combining science-backed research with personal experiences, the book provides insights and actionable advice that are both relatable and effective.
    • The book's engaging tone and relatable anecdotes make it a captivating read, ensuring that the topic of productivity remains interesting and far from boring.

    Who should read Feel-Good Productivity?

    • High-achievers seeking a more balanced approach to work and life
    • Entrepreneurially-minded students and professionals
    • Anyone interested in holistic lifestyle design

    About the Author

    Ali Abdaal is a doctor turned YouTuber and entrepreneur best known for his videos on productivity, psychology, and lifestyle design. His eponymous YouTube channel has over 5,000,000 subscribers, and his Deep Dive podcast is now in its seventh season. Abdaal and his work have been featured in Business Insider, Men’s Health, and the Times

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    Feel-Good Productivity FAQs 

    What is the main message of Feel-Good Productivity?

    The main message of Feel-Good Productivity is that you can accomplish more by focusing on your well-being and enjoying the process.

    How long does it take to read Feel-Good Productivity?

    The reading time for Feel-Good Productivity varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Feel-Good Productivity a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Feel-Good Productivity is a great read for those interested in enhancing their productivity in a holistic and enjoyable way.

    Who is the author of Feel-Good Productivity?

    Ali Abdaal is the author of Feel-Good Productivity.

    How many chapters are in Feel-Good Productivity?

    Feel-Good Productivity has 10 chapters.

    1. Introduction
    2. Mindset
    3. Goals and Planning
    4. Productivity Habits
    5. Time Management
    6. Focus and Deep Work
    7. Well-being and Work-Life Balance
    8. Growth Mindset and Learning
    9. Optimizing Learning and Memory
    10. Conclusion

    How many pages are in Feel-Good Productivity?

    Feel-Good Productivity contains 250 pages.

    When was Feel-Good Productivity published?

    Feel-Good Productivity was published in 2021.

    What to read after Feel-Good Productivity?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Feel-Good Productivity, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Slow Productivity by Cal Newport
    • Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte
    • The Art of Laziness by Library Mindset
    • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
    • The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
    • Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse
    • SYSTEMology by David Jenyns
    • The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • Get Better at Anything by Scott H. Young