Productivity Isn’t Good? Blame It on Entropy and Inertia

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Your productivity and values increase or decrease based on how you deal with 2 physical laws. Even if you do not know about the laws, they still impact you. So, if your productivity is not good - blame it on Entropy and maybe Inertia also.

It is hard to imagine anything you do that ISN'T subject to those two laws. Your learning, your physical condition, your clothes, your pencil, your relationships - and the list goes on - are all impacted. Oh, did I mention your productivity?

Productivity Isn’t Good? Blame It on Entropy and Inertia


Consider entropy. First, what is it?

A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system. The inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society

Entropy describes what is constantly happening in life. Things left to themselves without any care will tear down and rot away.

If you are sitting in a chair right now, entropy is at work on that chair. It is decaying, rotting away as you sit there. No energy is being applied to the chair, so it is decaying slowly – but still decaying.

Unfortunately, the same is true of your good values and good thinking! If you do not regularly put energy into your good values, they are decaying! Every good thing you do, including your productivity, will not last long without additional energy applied!

You experience this every time you learn something new. Unless you think about or review that new learning, you will not remember it. And think about your work. Just because your productivity was great today does not mean it will be good tomorrow!

The Need for Humility

And inertia will either help or hurt you. What is that?

A body at rest will tend to stay at rest. A body in motion will tend to stay in motion unless an external force is applied.

You experience this when living excellent or lousy values. Inertia works for you with good values when you aren't putting energy into them. They don't go away immediately (...a body in motion will tend to stay in motion...), but they slowly erode because of entropy.

Inertia hurts you more when you have lousy values because it is difficult to stop a bad habit.

Humility accepts this and recognizes the need for improvement and vulnerability. 

If you want to start something new, inertia will again work against you. It is like a giant flywheel, which Jim Collins describes in his book Good to Great. It is very tough to get that huge flywheel moving, but once it is moving, inertia helps keep it moving.

Your Choice

Self-governing people understand the constant energy it takes to maintain and increase their values, much less their daily productivity. They also know that excellence fades quickly!

These two laws impact you constantly, even if you forget about them or never learn about them.

Pay attention and work toward high performance and excellence, or "go with the flow." Unfortunately, the flow most often takes you downward, like a swirling vortex—the porcelain receptacle!

It's your choice - excellence? Or would you like to go with the flow?


2 physical laws you must know, bad thinking, entropy, get things done, inertia, why things fall apart

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