Machen MacDonald: Productivity through advanced common sense |

Machen MacDonald: Productivity through advanced common sense

Machen MacDonald

We live in a world that can feel like it is perpetually accelerating in ways most of us find challenging to keep up with. Yet, there are certain simple, proven methods that can provide a sense of calm and wellbeing. By doing so, we thereby add to our ability to be even more productive.

I have found that we must find ways to slow down if we are to speed up.

Below are some advanced common-sense viewpoints otherwise known as hacks that can help bring back a sense of being more in control in our life and in our work.

Live beneath your means

Granted the cost of living is high in California and when I ask how much more income someone would need in order to feel financially on top of everything, the answer is always around 30 percent more than what they are currently earning; regardless of their current income.

The answer is not to make more money. The answer is to live within your means.

Put things back where you found them

So much time is wasted looking for lost items and cleaning up accumulated stacks of stuff. People often rationalize there is not time to put something back or clean up after themselves during the present moment but that they’ll have time later to deal with it.

The problem is they don’t make time later to do it until things have stacked up or they have to locate the misplaced item. With people always crying they don’t have enough time, you would think they would get on top of this one.

Admit when you make a mistake and own it

Make good on it and move on. People waste a lot of time and energy hiding from the mistakes they don’t own.

Everybody makes mistakes and people are actually pretty forgiving. We tend to be the hardest on ourselves. So, start with yourself.

Admit to yourself you made a mistake and then admit it to others. Learn what you can from it. Forgive yourself for the mistake. Forgive others. You will feel lighter.

Take a 30 minute walk every day

If you have a regular exercise routine for yourself, high five! If not, make the time to move for 30 minutes every day.

Walking is a great form of movement to get the blood and oxygen flowing. Last time I checked those are two vital requirements for a healthy body. Oh, and water. Drink water.

Your body is made up over 70 percent water. If you are not flushing the old processed fluid in your body out and replenishing it with clean water in, then your body is akin to a stagnant cesspool. Just sayin’.

Raising the bar for yourself

Other things to make you feel good on a physical, mental, and emotional level include but are not limited to:

Do something nice for others and don’t get caught.

Return what you borrow.

Say please and thank you.


Stop blaming other people.

Give cloths not worn to charity.

Don’t argue.

Learn when to keep your mouth shut.

Don’t criticize people, including yourself.

Learn from the past, plan for the future, organize the present.

Get and stay organized.

Be kind to unkind people.

Let someone cut in line at least once a month.

Take time to be alone.

Cultivate good manners.

Be humble.

Realize you live on a planet where many things are not fair. It just is what it is.

Listen more talk less. We have two ears and one mouth. Use them in that same proportion.

Strive for excellence, not perfection.

Be on time.

Don’t make excuses.

These are some of my favorites. I would love to learn what your best practices are for living a happy, healthy, and productive life.

Please share your thoughts by pinging me by email or social media.

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000.

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