On Top, Not Snowed Under – The “Net Profit” Productivity Hack

By on May 4, 2020

It is my firm belief that in order to be as productive as possible, you should try to create the most conducive environment you can. In particular, this means focussing on factors such as the tidiness of your home.

Your home is in many ways an outward reflection of your mental state. If your rooms are cluttered, untidy, and messy, then it will be harder to organize your thoughts and to feel on-top. You’ll be spending excess energy trying to tidy up, not to mention being constantly distracting by feelings of discomfort.


A tidy home creates more space for training, more time for reading, and a sense of accomplishment that feeds into everything else you do.

But keeping a tidy home can be a lot of hard work when you’re extremely busy. Very often, it will feel like the least important thing you have to do that day.

Thus, we end up constantly in a reactionary state. We’re constantly tidying and putting things away, but we seem to be losing the battle and gradually succumbing to more and more mess.

We end up constantly in a reactionary state.

It’s not just a tidy home that this applies to. We likewise have similar difficulty when it comes to answering emails in a timely fashion, look our best, or manage finances.

This is something I’ve struggled with a lot, especially as a busy parent. So I wanted to share a system I’ve introduced in my own life that may be able to help you too! I call it the “net profit system.”


The idea is that instead of constantly fighting a losing battle when it comes to tidiness, diet, hygiene, and correspondence, you’ll instead do that little bit extra to gradually win the war.

The aim is simple: do as much as you normally do, but then do at least one extra thing so that you have made some kind of progress.

Productivity hack

For example, I will tidy the kitchen every morning just before making breakfast for me and my daughter. Previously, I would put everything away that was left out from last night, and then empty and restack the dishwasher.

Gradually, the mess and the chores piled up.

But now, I will do those chores and then look for at least one thing extra to do. For example, I might notice that there are some pens in the corner of the room that don’t belong there. Maybe there’s a random box for a pie. Maybe a few screws, which always seem to end up in the kitchen somehow. Or I might work through 10 bits of post that have gathered on the microwave.

Maybe I’ll wipe down the sink. Maybe I’ll quickly brush up some crumbs. Often, I’ll do a few of these things.

This simple system likewise applies to many other areas of your life.

The result is that every time I clear the kitchen, it gets a little bit better. This counteracts its tendency to constantly get a little bit worse. Over time, the kitchen has become far nicer to spend time in, without me feeling like I’ve done any extra work!

Combine this net profit system with a defined time during the day or week to work on that specific thing, and you’ll find it helps you feel on-top instead of snowed-under.

This simple system likewise applies to many other areas of your life. It’s helped me anyway, so I hope it has some benefit to you as well!

About Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki, AKA The Bioneer, is a writer, personal trainer, author, entrepreneur, and web developer. I've been writing about health, psychology, and fitness for the past 10+ years and have a fascination with the limits of human performance. When I'm not running my online businesses or training, I love sandwiches, computer games, comics, and hanging out with my family.

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