7 Productivity Lessons From the Ancient Stoics That Will Help You Get More Done


Anyone who spends their days in front of a computer (which is to say at least one billion of us) knows how it feels to sit down at their desk in the morning and feel like they’re absolutely swamped, overwhelmingly busy and constantly being pulled in a million directions.

And yet, at the end of the day, it often feels like despite all that busy-ness, you didn’t actually get anything done.

In a modern world in which we’re constantly bombarded by emails, instant messages, Zoom meetings and other electronic distractions, it might seem hard to believe that some of the best lessons for being more productive come from a small handful of men who didn’t live long enough to see the invention of pants.

Stoicism is a philosophy founded by the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno and later spread to the Roman empire, which focused on how to reach what the Greeks called eudaimonia, or happiness.

Though the philosophy is multifaceted, fundamentally it’s based on the idea that happiness lies in accepting our present reality as it is, and focusing on virtue rather than external things or material possessions.

In the video above, bestselling author Ryan Holliday, who explored stoicism in his books The Obstacle is the Way and Ego is the Enemy, explains how, even though they lived thousands of years before the invention of the internet, the stoics actually had an approach to productivity that can be incredibly helpful today.

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