The 3 Waves of Productivity - from Shawn Blanc's email. When talking with Cal Newport a while back, he shared with me about the 3 waves of productivity:. First there was Efficiency. Then Intentionally. Now Meaning. These three waves go in order and each one serves the next. You begin by just trying to be more efficient. Then, once you’ve discovered how to save time, you begin to focus more on making sure you’re being proactive with how you spend your time. And then, lastly, you move toward meaningful productivity — where you take back all that time you are saving and you use it for the things that matter.. Thus, as you can see, you need all three to get the true benefits, and it’s not until you get to the third wave that you start to see all the benefits. It is in the third wave — Meaningful Productivity — where you start to produce more valuable work and you find your work more meaningful.. This is helpful because I felt disoriented when I suddenly had time on my hands and felt guilty I was not busy enough. But what's really happening is that I've moved from wave 1 to wave 2. I should be proud, not guilty.