Faking it

I’m writing this post in addition to a post I read on the 99U-blog called It’s not about ‘productivity’. Its about living purposefully. (You should read it, it’s great!).

For some, productivity is about fiddling with new tools or shaving seconds off an ultimately meaningless task. But really, thinking about productivity means coming back to those 150 billion bits that make up who you are and who you will be.

In this post, Sam Spurlin talks about how we focus on getting more done rather than on who we want to be. I fully agree with his argument but would like to add that next to attention (and the limits of it), a big problem with productivity lies in faking.

We all fake. We go to a solarium to look as if we’ve been on a long vacation, we look for ways to look fit without having to exercise to much, we wear make-up to cover up things we’re not happy with (or to make others stand out even more), and so on. In itself, there’s nothing wrong with faking. It’s nothing more than a logical reflex we use to trick others into thinking about us more positively.

But there lies a big problem in faking it. There’s no genuine experience in faking it. A big part of the fun is the journey, not the result. You might be able to fake you’ve been on a holiday, but it’s hardly the same as having been on a holiday. When talking about working (if there is such a thing as a working and a living life), faking it might help you to climb up the hierarchical ladder, but it won’t make you a leader. It won’t make you like your job. It won’t make you successful.

If your goal is to impress others (and only that), faking it might just be your kind of thing. If you want to be remembered, if you want to do something really creative, if you want to improve the world, you’ll have to get your hands dirty. No shortcuts, no printed out step-by-step handbook.

Focus on your project rather than the statistics (Klout, Twitter-followers, LinkedIn-connections,…). Put passion in what you do and stay focussed on what is important to you.

Also keep in mind there’s a big difference between working hard and working long hours (I’ll go into that next week).


About leyssensjan

Jan Leyssens is a designer and entrepreneur who strongly believes you can’t turn sustainability into a positive story if your main focus is on negative impact. When designing, he is always looking for the overlap between activism and entrepreneurship, technology and community. His main expertise lies in strategic business model development, Circular Economy, the makermovement, and social innovation. With a background in Industrial Design, Jan quickly shifted his focus towards business design and using the design process in strategic management. Jan is the father of two kids and founder & CEO of Regenerative Design, co-founder of Full Circle, ImpactBoost, and the Circular Design map, podcaster, storyteller, and changemaker.


  1. Pingback: Working hard versus working long | Keep the game, change the rules

  2. Pingback: Urgent versus important | Keep the game, change the rules

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