Could giving make you more productive?

By Justine Clay

Image courtesy of

I love hearing about the unexpectedly positive side effects of doing something nice for others.  So, it was with interest that I read this article about organization psychologist, Adam Grant.  Grant, a professor at Wharton and the go-to productivity guru for the likes of Google, maintains that the key to being ridiculously productive is giving more of your time to others.  

Apparently Grant practices what he preaches, devoting several hours of his days (and evenings) to giving advice to his his students and sharing his resources and contacts with them.  In spite of this (or he would say, because of it), he is enormously productive.  

I thought I’d give it a try.  When a friend asked me a favor, instead of mentally calculating how that time would impact my own to-do list, I agreed right away.  We got the job done very quickly, it really helped him out and I felt good being able to contribute positively to his day.  On top of that, it gave me a kick start (I was jet lagged) and I got way more done because of it.  Why not give it a try? It sounds like a win-win to me.