Chris Bailey conducted a year of productivity experiments on himself from May 2013 to May 2014. A recent business school graduate, Bailey immersed himself in productivity research and interviewed productivity gurus from around the world to come up with his experiments, recording all of his findings in a blog. By the end of the year, his musings had been read over one million times by people from almost every country. He wrote a book about the experience, The Productivity Project, which became a bestseller. Now a productivity guru in his own right, he is a writer, coach, workshop facilitator and speaker.
Follett-Campbell: Why did you decide to do a year of productivity experiments on yourself originally?
Chris Bailey: It is kind of weird, isn’t it? The impetus for the project was that productivity has been a curiosity of mine for more than a decade. When I graduated university several years ago, I received three full-time job offers, but I thought if ever there was a time to explore something that I was naturally curious about, it was then. I declined the job offers to conduct a year of productivity experiments on myself. I looked at all the research on performance in a workplace-type environment and interviewed some of my favorite experts in the productivity space. It was really a burning curiosity that motivated me to start the project.
Why is productivity such an interesting subject for you?
I find it fascinating that we don’t all accomplish the same amount throughout the day. We each get 24 hours to be productive and live a meaningful life. There are some people who seem to accomplish so much more in those hours. They are more focused, they have more energy, they work more deliberately and with intention. There are some of us who work on autopilot mode, and we’re busy, but we accomplish very little. I think I have always been curious about this: what makes the most productive people tick?