What Breaking Bad Taught Me About Productivity

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Wow — it’s hard to believe it’s over. Breaking Bad has officially wrapped it’s series up. Don’t worry there won’t be any spoilers here. Instead — just a little dedication to our dear friend Walter White and his work ethic.

Say what you will about Walt: crazy, determined, brilliant, awkward, dangerous, duplicitous, deceitful. He is also incredibly productive! He turned out his “product” time and time again and made millions in the process. (Nevermind all the other things he lost in the process.)

Here are four productivity tips I’ve learned from Walter White and Breaking Bad:

  1. Always focus on your goal. Walt isn’t lying when he says that everything
    Bryan Cranston

    Bryan Cranston (Photo credit: TomConger)

    he does is for his family. While we might not have made all of the same choices he did, by keeping his goal in mind Walt was able to get out of every dangerous and complicated situation successfully.Whenever you’re trying to accomplish a major task, there are always risks and challenges, but if you remained focused on your goal you’ll make more effective decisions along the way. Whether it’s saving to buy a house or learning to speak a new language — keep your eye on the prize.

  2. Outsource. Where would Walt have been all of these years without Jesse? I’ve posted before about the importance of saying “no” before and Walter White is a great example of how to do more by simply asking for a little help from your friends.
  3. Always try to be one step ahead. As list makers, we know the importance of being prepared. Walter White needed to think ahead in order to survive, but that forethought also majorly contributed to his success. Remember Gus Fring?
  4. Always deliver. In Walter White’s world, blue is associated with quality. Walt was able to build his empire on delivering a high-caliber product without faltering. He taught me that, regardless of your business, reputation is everything.  And he always produced no matter what — no excuses.

I’m actually shocked we didn’t see Walter making more lists throughout the series. Yes, he made a few shopping lists for Jesse here and there but I feel like he would be an amazing list maker.  Farewell Breaking Bad — you were the series I thought I would hate and yet couldn’t get enough of in the end.


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