Join getAbstract to access the summary!

How To Be More Productive by Working Less

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

How To Be More Productive by Working Less

Mark Manson,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

To achieve more, work less.

auto-generated audio
auto-generated audio

Editorial Rating



  • Controversial
  • Applicable
  • Inspiring


The conventional picture of productivity hasn’t changed in hundreds of years: nose to the grindstone; early to bed, early to rise; work more, produce more. But what if this way of thinking doesn’t help you produce more, or even worse, is counterproductive? Internet entrepreneur and blogger Mark Manson questioned the gospel of productivity and discovered that most of the time – thanks to the law of diminishing returns – less is more. His conclusions could revolutionize your day planner. But readers beware: Manson’s profane style of writing would make the most hardened of truck drivers blush. Nonetheless, getAbstract recommends this article to anyone who’s ever wondered if work has to be so difficult.


Putting in 12-hour days, taking work home, skipping vacations and bringing your laptop to the beach when you do take time off – the conventional concept of productive work means long hours of self-sacrificing devotion. To get more done, you have to put in the hours. That’s what productivity gurus have been saying for centuries.

Only it isn’t necessarily so. The gospel of getting things done says that the more you work, the more you produce. This is a doctrine of linear returns – twice the work ...

About the Author

Mark Manson a blogger and Internet entrepreneur. He is the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck.

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    M. S. 7 years ago
    I like Manson so I read the original article. While there is no evidence whatsoever that his opinion is correct - I agree. Working long hours isn't working for him and neither for me. I can achieve amazing things in a time period of 3 hours where I achieve 80% of my results. In the past, I tried to work additional 9 hours just to work 12 hours (because that's the way to achieve the most right?) but as Manson described I didn't see more results than after the first 3-5 hours.

    I think we urgently need to abandon the 40h work week thinking. The information age has different requirements.

    I regularly write blogs about these topics, check out