Update 16th Oct 2020

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If you’re looking for a sure fire way to be productive and get stuff done then there’s one word you need to know: Polymath.

A polymath is someone who excels to an extremely high level in a wide variety of disciplines. That means that if you want to learn how to be more productive with your time you’ve just found the very people who have it down to a fine art.

Meet Polymaths

The interesting thing about this rare breed of doers is that the most famous and renowned polymaths were born hundreds of years ago. Names such as Isaac Newton and Thomas Young will be familiar to anyone who has studied the sciences, and they’re also names that are amongst the most productive people on earth.

You may think that Newton spent his life studying gravity. But did you know that he also showed that white light is made up of every colour in the rainbow, spent great amounts of time studying scripture, and helped the royal mint combat forged coinage? Then there’s Thomas Young, a man whose range of talents was perhaps even broader than Newton himself. But how did they do it and what can we learn from them?

What’s Their Secret?

The interesting thing about Newton and Young is that they excelled in a time long before productivity apps and electronic notifications took over the world. This tells us that they simply didn’t need any of these devices to get things done.

With this in mind we can stop our search for the next amazing app that will turn us into super-productive people, and instead focus our efforts on getting back to basics.

Mindset is Everything

Perhaps the most striking thing about Newton and Young is that they had a real passion for their work. They weren’t simply going through the motions and filling out their time-sheets at work. They were pushing the boundaries of their own understanding to try and discover new and exciting things about the world.

This meant they took real enjoyment in what they were working on. For them their work wasn’t a chore, it was a passion that drove them through life. Whilst not all of us are able to spend our days exploring the wonders of the world there is another key word that we can take from Young and Newton: Mindset.

Their idea of doing what you enjoy is key to getting stuff done. If you can find a job you enjoy you won’t feel like you have to watch the clock and wait to leave. Instead you’ll power through and the days will feel like they’re flying by. When this happens it’s a great sign that you’ve adopted a productive mindset.

The Last Word

You don’t have to go away and throw yourself into a dozen different projects to boost your productivity.

Remember that not everyone can be Newton, but everyone can get more done than they think they can! 

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