The Little Book of Productivity


I’ve written a lot of articles about productivity over the last two years.  Since I set the goal of making myself more productive several years ago, I’ve read dozens of books and thousands of articles on the topic.  If you’re trying to become more productive, it can be a bit daunting to get started.  Just on this website, I’d estimate there are about 300 articles aimed at tackling the idea through one perspective or another.

Because of this vast spread of ideas, I’ve written an ebook that combines the most important ideas into one source.  The Little Book of Productivity is exactly that, an ebook containing ninety-nine ideas designed to make you more productive.  Some of the ideas will be familiar to readers who have read every article I’ve written.  Others are completely new, ideas I haven’t had a chance to write into an article.

I don’t usually write lists of tips.  Although I love reading a good list of tips, that isn’t my style of writing.  As a result, each idea in The Little Book of Productivity, is exactly that: an idea.  A mini-article exploring a useful principle of productivity.

The ebook is split into seven chapters, and I’m giving the first one, “Beating Procrastination”, away for free.

The full book has all seven chapters and ninety-nine ideas to make you more productive.  You can get the ebook here, for $9.95.  As always, I’ve put a 120-day return policy for the book, so there is no risk in giving the ideas a try.

Here’s a taste of the full book, with just one idea from the preview chapter:

Schedule Calibration

Let’s play a trust exercise. You’re going to stand up and then fall backwards. Don’t worry, I’ll catch you.

What? You fell backwards and hit the floor. That must have hurt. It’s not really my fault, see I wrote this months before you’re reading it. And we aren’t even in the same location.

It would be understandable if you didn’t trust me after my little prank. It would be hard to rely on me in the future if you can’t trust me. While it’s easy to understand why a lack of trust damages a relationship, it can be harder to see how a lack of trust keeps you procrastinating.

When you don’t trust your to-do list, it’s easy to procrastinate. When you finish everything on your list, and proceed to add more, that’s violating trust. Before you started working, you had motivated yourself by saying you would be finished when the list was over. Adding more tasks breaks that trust, so you can’t motivate yourself again.

Schedule calibration is when you have full trust in your to-do list. When it says you have a lot of work to do, you get all of it done. When it says you are finished, you stop. By keeping that trust, you avoid bad habits of both overwork and laziness.

Download Free Chapter — “Beating Procrastination”

Get the Full EBook

  • Glen Allsopp

    Congratulations on getting this out there. Any chance of an affiliate program?

  • Scott Young


    Yes, the same affiliate program as with all of my e-books is also available for this one. 50% commission:

    I should have included a mention in the post.


  • Mike

    WOW. You are the biggest rip-off artist I have ever seen. All you do is copy other peoples work. Terrible.

  • Scott Young


    I can’t claim my ideas are 100% original. In the field of productivity/self-development, nothing is.

    However, I always strive to reference and cite my sources when I have am reusing a specific idea. Sometimes this is difficult because popular ideas diffuse to a point where the original source is unclear.

    As for this e-book, most of the ideas are, if not in entirety, my ideas and my way of explaining a concept.


  • Valentino Aluigi

    Hi Scott, this is the first time a buy one of your books, but I’m a long time fan.
    I decided to buy it because I found the free chapters already worth the full price!

  • Scott Young

    Thanks Valentino!

  • Adrian

    Hi Scott. It’s great that you made the ebook! I think something like what you’ve put out is timely and relevant.

    I wouldn’t worry about coughing up fully original content. David Allen’s GTD is a Descartes and Drucker rip off (check it out, it’s mind blowing). What is most important is character and soul – and I think you have it.

    Keep on keeping on! 🙂


  • Scott Young


    I think the last truly original and relevant, broad ideas for living were laid out by the Greeks and other ancient cultures a few thousand years ago. What most authors today strive to do is to find fresh ways to connect fundamental ideas with new people.

    I think if you look far enough almost every idea can be rooted in others. There is no purely original creative idea, everything is just a mutation of another.

  • Brian Hausser

    I am thoroughly angered and disgusted by you. You should be ashamed of yourself for repackaging other peoples ideas. They are trying to make a living off of their ideas, but you have to steal them, rename them, and call them “mostly” yours. They are MOSTLY NOT yours, but you are good at thievery and plagiarizing. I’ll give you that.

    With hope,


  • Scott Young


    I appreciate your comments and concerns. I always strive to reference works which I draw direct ideas from. For example, when I discuss energy management, I reference the work of Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr, since they have contributed a large amount of ideas and I’m happy to refer people to their book. Ditto for Tim Ferris, Dave Allen and Steve Pavlina.

    Occasionally I will make mistakes and not realize an idea I have has a direct source in something I’ve read. Even more often, another author has previously come to the same conclusion that I have about an idea, even though I have not read their work. Since my writing is all based on personal observation, this will definitely happen.

    The fact of the matter is, we’re dealing with ideas that are based on common observation and human experience. I try to cite when I get into specifics as much as possible, but common sense isn’t patentable. As Adrian wrote, Dave Allen’s work could be derived from earlier work from Peter Drucker. However, Getting Things Done, was a huge bestseller because he was able to repackage those ideas in a way that truly connected with other people.

    Ideas that are basic and core to human experience aren’t “owned” by anyone. I do my best to reference the trigger for any ideas I have, but I refuse to stop writing about what I experience and what I’ve learned from personal observation.


  • Brian Hausser


  • Paul

    hey bud,

    awesome job on creating an e-book, i know it takes a whole bunch of work, but great job on getting it out there.

  • Steve Kwan

    Hey Scott,

    The book looks really interesting. I gotta say, though, I’m hesitant to buy it because there’s a LOT of hate being posted in your comments here. What’s the deal?

  • Scott Young


    I give 99% of my work away for free. Some people take issue with the fact that 1% of it is not free. I’d like to think the majority of my readers are more mature than that, but its an open blog, so there will always be dissenters.

    I have a completely open comment policy, so I don’t remove comments that are negative, even if I disagree with their arguments.

    As for buying the book, if you think it is interesting, I’d buy it. I have a 100% refund policy, no questions asked. So if you buy it and don’t like it, you’ll get all your money back.


  • Steve Kwan

    Hey Scott,

    I think it’s great that you have an open comment policy on your blog – I am far less tolerant on my own. 😉

    I just find it ridiculous that some people are being so immature. I’ve noticed that this “Brian” guy seems to be chasing you around on forums and posting the same nasty comments about you wherever you go. I really don’t understand it.

  • Scott Young


    I’m not really threatened my hate mail. It used to bother me, but unless there is some useful criticism in the writings, I just ignore it now. I’m not trying to please everyone.

    However, I believe strongly in an open comment policy. I want readers to feel that both their positive comments and negative comments can be expressed to the community, and that this is one of openness and not manipulation.

    It’s disappointing when the negative comments from a few misanthropes overwhelm the vast majority of positive comments I receive, but that’s a risk I take.


  • Jag

    To Brian above,

    I understand your sentiments. While I’ve not read Scott’s book, I think it’s a huge stretch to put forth accusations like “thievery”.

    Let’s face it. In the information publishing world, most of the content are used around freely. Take for example, newspapers report very similar news. Can you say they copy from each other?

    Read any best-sellers out there? Do you think you can find other books with similar ideas in some way? I’m sure you can find them.

    The fact is most all the ideas out there are NOT new. It’s a matter of re-explaining, re-packaging and re-purposing. This is extremely common. And accepted. There is nothing wrong with it.

    That’s information publishing for you.

    But credit mus the given to the author for:
    – organizing the information
    – streamlining it

    In this information age, you can get everything you want to know for free.

    But people still pay for content because it’s already packaged for them
    in the way they want it.

    Give Scott his due credit. If you don’t want to, just don’t buy the book. It’s as simple as that.

  • Jessie

    Hi Scott,

    Both you’re Think Outside the Cubicle and Little Book of Productivity interest me. I’m about to go into a graduate program, and want to get better about my study habits. Which one would you feel is best for me?



    PS. At least you only have one troll right now!

  • Scott Young


    Think Outside the Cubicle covers the same sorts of ideas in TLBOP, but is far more detailed and thorough. I’d recommend it first, but if you’re hesitant TLBOP can be a way to get your feet wet.


  • How To Stop Procrastinating

    This book helps a lot of those article writers who wants to pursue their career as one of the best-seller author. I am one of them! It inspires me that we could make a book made from our experiences and thoughts that is so huge and dimensional. I mean, how come a comment blogger write something unique without basing his experiences and learning from their lives. Being productive means having the effort to learn and discover something from your life. Is it wonderful that all of us can write and make a book out of your writing skills? This is what I mean—productivity to yourself.

  • Projet Ecommerce

    I’ve been using GTD method for quite a while and it really enhanced my productivity. I recommand it.

  • Ricardo Aleman

    Hi Scott,

    I read the preview chapter, and from that alone, I decided to buy your book. I’ve been increasingly reading your writing and using it as a model to write to other people because everything’s so understandable and easy to implement! Thanks!

  • Fran

    When an EPUB edition? 😛

    I’m waiting for it! 😛