How to Achieve More While Working Less | Summary and Q&A

January 16, 2024
Ali Abdaal
YouTube video player
How to Achieve More While Working Less


Feelgood productivity is a new approach that focuses on well-being first, leading to increased creativity, energy, and success.

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Key Insights

  • 🤩 Hard work alone is not the key to success; focusing on feeling good and positive emotions can lead to higher productivity and fulfillment.
  • ❓ Positive emotions have a profound impact on cognitive functioning, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.
  • 🥺 Feeling good increases energy, reduces stress, and enhances overall well-being, leading to higher levels of motivation and persistence.
  • 🍉 Positive emotions have a long-term impact, building cognitive and social resources that contribute to future success.
  • 👻 Positive emotions can reverse the physiological effects of stress, allowing for quicker recovery and improved overall health.
  • 🥺 Success and happiness are not separate entities; feeling good leads to success, not the other way around.
  • 😒 Feelgood productivity is a philosophy that encourages individuals to prioritize well-being and use it as a driver of productivity and success in various aspects of life.


Merry Christmas Ali try not to kill anyone with these words my consultant breezily hung up the phone leaving me to handle an entire ward of patients alone I was a newly qualified Junior doctor and 3 weeks previously I'd made a rookie error forgetting to fill out a form to request the holidays off now here I was managing a hospital Ward on my own on... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did the author's obsession with productivity lead to burnout?

The author believed that working harder was the key to success, but this mindset led to overwhelming stress, unhappiness, and a lack of fulfillment. He realized that his approach was unsustainable and ineffective.

Q: What is the role of positive emotions in productivity?

Positive emotions, such as happiness and contentment, have been found to broaden our awareness, increase creativity, and improve problem-solving skills. They also help reduce stress and create an upward spiral of positivity and success.

Q: How does feeling good enhance energy and motivation?

Feeling good triggers the release of hormones, such as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, which increase energy and motivation. These hormones boost focus, inspiration, and the ability to pursue goals effectively.

Q: Can positive emotions undo the effects of stress?

Yes, according to the undoing hypothesis, positive emotions can reverse the physiological effects of stress. Feeling good can reset the nervous system, leading to a more relaxed state and a quicker recovery from stress.

Q: How does Feelgood productivity lead to success?

Cultivating positive emotions and well-being at work enhances problem-solving abilities, creativity, resilience, and social connections. This results in higher productivity, better relationships, increased job satisfaction, and overall success.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The author, a junior doctor, finds himself overwhelmed and unhappy with his work, leading him to question conventional notions of productivity.

  • He discovers the concept of Feelgood productivity, which emphasizes well-being and positive emotions as drivers of success.

  • Positive emotions increase energy, reduce stress, and enhance overall cognitive functioning, leading to improved productivity and fulfillment.

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