The best way to feel like you’ve been at least somewhat productive

In Britain, the majority of things we produce aren’t physical things. A huge number of jobs involve sitting in front of a computer all day, responding to emails, playing with Word or Excel and reading the BBC news website. Most of the things we produce are digital. They’re ideas.

As our manufacturing sector and natural resources aren’t great, it’s nice that other people are willing to pay us for our ideas. It means a day spent moving pixels around on a monitor can result in some other pixels getting moved around in our bank accounts and us being able to eat food. That’s fairly good.

Busy business women

I wonder if they’re aware that none of their computers are turned on

However, do this for too long, too often, and you can get the sense you haven’t produced anything. You have little to show for what you’ve done. This is why I generally dislike buying stuff from iTunes, there’s not something physical to prove I actually own something.

In which case, to make your day feel a tiny bit more productive, all you need to do is make something physical. It could be writing a letter to an old friend, maybe hammering a nail into the table you were making or building a clay oven in your garden.

When it comes to the evening and your frustratingly productive friend asks you: “what have you been doing with yourself all day?!” you can show them the slide you built from your bedroom window to the street. They’re bound to be impressed.

So my advice to you: get out and make something. If all else fails you can at least take solace in the fact you made a swan out of paper…


The best way to revise, make notes and then fold them into swans!