How To Double Your Productivity By Doing Absolutely Nothing

It’s simple: Learn to say “no”. Depending on how you are currently doing and how much you are willing to change this one very short word can double or even triple your free hours – giving you the time to focus on what’s important.

Years ago I made a decision that I would not join any organizations or hobby clubs unless they would be really meaningful to me. I made a conscious choice to think before accepting any new tasks or assignments.

This very simple act of saying “No, thanks” in the right place will have a huge impact on your productivity.

It works in game production. Here are some examples.:
– Learn to say no to new projects
– Learn to say no to new assignments that aren’t anywhere near your responsibility or should have been done by someone else
– Learn to say no to new ideas which aren’t useful in anyway or should be brought up in far away future
– Learn to say no to new issues which someone else can handle

I don’t mean that you start accepting nothing I mean you should stop accepting everything.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Juuso, your advices are brilliant! Everytime I wonder why I hadn’t discover it on myself if they’re so simple! :D Simple, but how valuable! :)
    Thanks, man! I’m reading your site from a few hours, but the tabs in my browser “branches” from every article to two/three another :P I’m impressed by your talent to make catchy titles too ;) You’re doing a reat job and I know I will learn much from your site :>

  2. Yeah, that is true, sometimes it’s hard to say NO. But in the other hand sometimes it is useful to say yes too. As far as I know as a new programmer it is hard to get a job without proper portfolio, and saying yes to new projects is one way to get stuff to your portfolio. Of course you’ll have to make sure that you have enough time to do them, one project can take 12-18 hours per day.

    Anyway, usually the problem getting stuff to your portfolio is because you are lazy, it’s quite sad sometimes when you join in some project and then you are the only one after 2 weeks doing something. But in a way I understand it, people are different, I can’t asume everybody work as much as I, 100 hours in a week isn’t anything new to me. :)

  3. @Jake: yeh, sounds very familiar. Same goes for programmers: if the game producer wants 100 little things done asap… you are obliged to negotiate. Don’t accept anything (of course this hint is not for *my* team members – you still have to do anything I say ;)

  4. Also in business, if a client has a list of 10 improvements they want made to some software. Don’t say no, but go, hmm do you really need this and this, and hmm this could be done more simply and be just as effective, and do you really need this now or can you wait etc. Then you can reduce the list to 2-3 vital points and 2-3 later points and ditch the rest. I used to bend over backwards giving them everything they wanted, working all through my holidays etc, before I found out that people give you “wish lists” not “essentials” and you can hone it down quite easily yet still remain totally professional.

  5. Like Chuck D said, “No” is the easiest and the hardest word to say. I recently found this blog from Blitz website- it looks great!

Comments are closed.