Tomas Ahlbeck
4 min readSep 28, 2022


Energy thieves will harm your productivity

We’ve all been there. Our daily planning gets interrupted by persons that want your attention. But in today’s life, energy thieves aren’t only persons. They are apps aswell.

I will write about the traditional energy thieves below, but I will start by writing about getting rid of the apps that only makes you loose focus and harm your productivity.

I have written some articles about how I have tackled the problem I had with spending too much time on apps and too little time on being productive.

My main inspiration in this has been the videos and courses of Carl Pullein. I have then adapted this into my own way of thinking, and now have a solution on task management and time management that works for me. Just to be clear: I have nothing to do with Carl or his enterprise: you can search and find other sources of knowledge to help you find your way to a calmer and more productive life.

I chose to use as many Apple standard products as possible, since they are well integrated in my system which is based on iOS and MacOS. As I mentioned in my article Your email app can save time, I use Apple mail instead of Spark, Canary, Postbox or whatever. So I don’t get all the bells and whistles they advertise as life saving, but I have found out that I don’t need them and Apple Mail just does what I want and need. As for Calendar I now use Apple Calendar. Carl Pullein has some videos on how to use Apple Calendar productively. I found my own way, but if you need some tips you can check this YouTube video. Same thing here: OK, I could use Reddits calendar app, or the hyped fantastical or … or I could just use the stock app that comes with my choise of computer and phone. Same here: well integrated, no subscription cost, and syncs well with my Apple Watch aswell. And just to go all the way I dropped Things 3 in favour of Apple Reminders. Which works fine for my needs. This means I now have a system adapted to my way to work. The important thing however is not what app you choose, it is to stay with that choise and not look for another one that might be better. Learn to live with the limitations in the productivity setup of your choise, you will soon see that it works just great anyway. And you don’t let the apps become energy thieves.

The other sort of energy thieves are more difficult to deal with. You know them , you all have them. Colleagues at work that over and over again needs your feedback, hence pulling you away from your own projects, which meant that you need to work late to get things ready before deadline, or just don’t get ready in time. Friends that need contact you 24/7, not seldom after they have consumed maybe just a LITTLE too much alcoholic beverages. And you end up listening to confusing sob stories borrowed with the words “You don’t care, well WHATEVER” when you try to tell them it is 1 o’clock at night and you really need some sleep.

Or the ones that needs you to help to finish a project a few months instead of taking that other job and of course you will get a paid once the client pays. And then after you have put your own projects on hold your friend presents the project as his own behind your back and you don’t get paid, just a “thanks mate, but I did most of the work anyway”.

And so on. Whatever the way they suck out your energy, they do. And you never get anything back. They just drain you and when you ask them for a bit of assistance in return they just are TOO busy or tyr to make you feel you are just asking them of too much. Main thing is: you end up being there for others, but you forget to be there for yourself.

My advice: DROP THEM!

Go through all your friends. Put plus and minus. Add the info you just wrote. Are they actually important parts of your life, or do they just use you and drain you of energy?

Basically: You might think it is difficult to end friendships, hut you will notice after a while that it was the right thing to do. You will have more time for your own projects, work, social life. Your family will appreciate that you are less tired and stressed and that you actually have time to be a part of your own family.

And to be honest: none of your so called friends will cry at your funeral. So why would you let them lead you to an early grave?




Tomas Ahlbeck

Swedish Standup comedian, writer & diabetic. Published a few books, done a few gigs. ‘Sweden’s own dirty uncle, brilliant writing and some very dark humour.”