Book review: Feel-Good Productivity

I first heard about this book from a famous YouTuber, whose content I love to watch. The book, recently published by him, seemed like an interesting read for the beginning of the year.

The book adopts an interesting approach to productivity, focusing on a kind of productivity that feels good about what you’re doing. It’s not precisely about doing more, but about doing more of what matters the most to you.

I particularly like how the book is organized and how the topics are divided. It is split into energize, unblock, and sustained productivity sections. It offers a framework to motivate you to do what you need to do and also how to keep doing it once the motivation is gone. Most importantly, it discusses how to sustain this for long periods.

The book emphasizes the kind of productivity needed to complete big projects. I have come to believe that great achievements in life result more from consistent habits than from short, intense sprints. Everything I have achieved has taken a long time, involving many everyday activities rather than a single prolonged effort.

The proposed framework in the book aligns well with what I believe constitutes a good productivity system.

Other books offer frameworks for productivity, like “Getting Things Done” and “Taking Smart Notes,” among others. I have even reviewed those on this blog.

Nevertheless, none of them focus specifically on how to sustain a productivity system for many years.

I don’t fully agree with the author that it’s only about doing more of what matters to you. Sometimes, you have to do things that don’t feel great, but they still need to be done.

Depending on your field of work, you need to sustain productivity and motivation for long periods in those activities too. But the way the author offers a framework to not only get started but also to sustain productivity for a project you are working on, was well expressed.

I have written in this blog about how to avoid burnout, emphasizing the importance of sustainability in the field of coding.

The computer science field is rich in opportunities. I’ve seen everyone dedicated to growing in this field become very successful financially. Even those who don’t love to code or aren’t passionate about technology can succeed. However, the number of people who are burned out and unable to maintain a work-life balance for long periods is staggering.

I believe this is a good book if you are struggling with motivation or if you want to achieve more. It’s a new book, so we will have to give it time. Ali will probably mature as an author.

So, give him the opportunity to be your first read this year. If you have heard about him and want to learn a new framework for sustaining productivity over long periods, this book may offer you a good perspective.

If you had to adopt one thing from the book, I would suggest the 12-month celebration. The way he categorizes celebrations really aligns with my own practices. Every year, I do a presentation for myself at the end of the year that sets the tone for the next year.

He divides the categories into health, work, and relationships. In my self-presentation year after year, I also divide my goals and reviews into these categories, with a few metrics to track to ensure I am heading in the direction I planned.


Would I recommend this book? I am not entirely sure for whom I would recommend this book just yet; however, it was totally worth it for me to read. If you are looking for an easy read to start your year, this might be a good start. It’s easy to read, not too compelling, and doesn’t require a lot of energy to finish. Yet, it offers some great exercises that you may incorporate into your life. If you take up the 12-month celebration milestone, that’s a win already. If you prefer something more traditional and battle-tested, then this might not be the book for you.

Where to Find the Book

Written on January 30, 2024