Entertainment Self Improvement

6 Productivity Secrets Hidden in All Zombie Movies

Dann Albright 31-03-2015

Zombie movies have been coming out fast and furious for the past decade or so, and we’ve learned a thing or two to help us prepare for the zombie apocalypse 3 Sites To Fully Prepare You For The Coming Apocalypse Whatever your flavor of apocalypse may be, it's always a good idea to remind yourself that it might happen, so you really should ask yourself, "What am I going to do?" Get ready to grab... Read More . But we can draw some other lessons from zombie movies, too.


Sure, Dawn of the Dead didn’t specifically include any productivity advice . . . but here are six lessons that I’ve learned from watching a lot of zombie movies.

Be Prepared for Anything

One of the best things about zombie movies is that absolutely anything can happen. Zombies can go from isolated loners to roving bands of brain eaters in a flash. Many a horror movie character has been slain by sprinting death machines when they assumed they’d be dealing with mindless shamblers. And who thought a zombie would figure out how to use an assault rifle?


The same is true with productivity. Whether you’re big into planning or you try to fly by the seat of your pants, you have to be ready for your priorities to change, whether you like it or not. This is why it’s so important to have a central place to keep all of your thoughts.

Whether you use a paper notebook, a system of digital notebooks How & Why I Use 5 Digital Notebooks to Stay Productive I use five different notebooks. Why? Because each has a distinct purpose or feature that helps me stay productive. Read More , an app like Evernote, or just a plain text file on your desktop, having a single place (or an organized system of multiple places) to go when you need to make changes to your plans will be very helpful.


And don’t get frustrated when things change — stay calm, accept your new situation, and be mindful Practice Mindfulness With Help From Your iPhone & These Apps Inner calm and tranquility? There's an app for that. Read More about how you deal with it. This will help you stay productive. And alive.

There’s Safety in Numbers . . .

There are a few rules in horror movies 7 Bone-Chilling Classic Horror Films You Can Legally Download Or Stream for Free Read More that aren’t often broken. And one of them is that the first person to get separated from the group dies, usually in a horrible way. Being out on your own against hordes of zombies, whether they’re voodoo slaves or scientific experiments gone wrong, gives you pretty bad odds.


You can try to go it alone when it comes to being productive, but your chances are significantly reduced. Delegating work to others who are better suited to completing a task can cut hours of wasted time off your work week. Taking part in communities that share your goals How To Find An Online Community To Support Your New Year Resolutions You've made a great resolution, and you're ready to stick to it in 2015 . . . now what? Set yourself up for success by finding an online community to help meet your goals this... Read More can help keep your motivation up and give you ideas on how to better do the things you need to get done.


Reading productivity articles on MakeUseOf, creating a Twitter list Drowning In Tweets? How To Use Twitter Lists To Unclutter Your Feed By default, Twitter shows tweets from everyone you're following in one huge stream. Things tend to drown. Learn how to use Twitter lists to tame your Twitter feed. Read More of productivity experts, subscribing to productivity newsletters, and reading some relevant boards on Reddit are all good ways to connect with others.

Just be careful about the amount of things that you get involved in. It can be dangerous to be spread too thin!

. . . But Groups Can Be Dangerous

Zombies are bad, but humans can be a lot worse when they’re put into the right circumstances. The loss of humanity and the monstrosity living beneath a civilized veneer are common themes in zombie literature. Small bands of humans trying to stay alive usually have pretty good chances, but when you get to 20 or 30 people and start to rebuild society, you’re asking for trouble. Especially when hierarchies start to get contested and loyalties are questioned.



The same is true of getting things done. While it’s good to have other people that can help you accomplish the things you need to do, relying on too many people can make it easy to forget who’s in charge of what, when they’re supposed to get back to you, and what the assigned task was in the first place.

Staying organized is key — consider using Trello for a Kanban-like project management syste Trello - A Unique, Simple & Powerful Project Management System From A Good Home Does the name Joel Spolsky mean anything to you? If so, you’re going to want to read this post, because it showcases Spolsky’s latest and greatest project. And if not, you should know this is... Read More m to stay highly organized and make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing.

Tap the user-friendliness of instant collaborative tools Team Working: 10 Tips For Effective Real-Time Online Collaboration Read More at every opportunity. You can foster team productivity with the right tools and doses of motivation. That’ll help you keep disagreements, in-fighting, and infection at bay.

Choose the Right Weapon

If you don’t have a weapon, you’re zombie food. A pistol isn’t great, because it has limited ammo and can be difficult to use. An assault rifle will exhaust a clip in no time. A sword is good for lopping off zombie heads, but you need to be at very close range to use it.



While choosing between a flamethrower and a crossbow won’t get you very far in trying to be productive, choosing the right productivity or time management system How to Create the Last Perfect Time Management System You'll Ever Use Productivity is a constant search for more organization with less work. A way to accomplish everything you dream to accomplish, without losing out on sleep. Can this automated time management system do it all? Read More can be the difference between (figurative) life and death. We’ve reviewed loads of different to-do apps, but there’s not an app out there for everyone How to Be Productive When Productivity Apps Don't Work for You You should noticed that the past few years have been about an obsession with productivity. But what if productivity apps don't do it for you? Then what do you do? Read More .

Try a few, and if you don’t find one that you like, make up your own. Use a spreadsheet, or a text document, or a notepad. Just make sure that you use the method that’s right for you. Look into your personality type. Maybe, it likes something as simple and timeless as Zen To Done or Gina’s Trapani’s Simplified GTD.

Fortunately, and unlike choosing the wrong weapon, choosing the wrong productivity system doesn’t mean you’ll get eaten.

Protect Your Brains

Everyone knows that zombies eat brains. We’re not totally sure why, but by the time the zombie apocalypse hits, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not time for academic debate about zombie behavior — it’s time to stay alive. Protecting your brains is crucial when surrounded by the horde. If they get at you, it’s game over.


Your brain is even more important to you than it is to zombies (as you only have one and they have billions of options).

Using the Pomodoro method Cut Through Procrastination With These Pomodoro Technique Apps & Software Procrastination is a malady that pervades students and workers in all corners of the world and it infects amateurs and professionals alike. As a writer, I suffer from procrastination on a daily basis. Some people... Read More gives you periodic breaks that refresh your mind and help you stay focused longer.

Taking well-planned naps keeps productivity-killing fatigue from setting in.

Creating a good information diet Eating Only Dessert: Why Your Information Diet Is Probably Terrible [Feature] Email. Social networks. Blogs. Online video. People today consume more information than ever before, and typically only consume the things they really, really like. Clay Johnson compares this to a bad diet. "If you only... Read More helps you learn and stay fresh.

Learning to manage your mental energy by automating repetitive tasks Automate Your Life and Job With Todoist and IFTTT Play creatively with ToDoist's notification features, and IFTTT's ability to accomplish really cool automations with them. We show you how combining the two powers your productivity. Read More and removing inconsequential decisions means you can use your brainpower where it matters most. Don’t forget that it takes energy to work in a cluttered environment Clearing Out Clutter Is Good For You — But Why? Decluttering is a great way to start the year feeling fresh, and it gives you a big sense of accomplishment — but there's more to it than that. This simple habit can improve your life. Read More , too.

Neglecting your brain can have the most dire of consequences — not getting as much done or, in the worst cases, turning into a zombie yourself.

Know When to Run

This could be the most important lesson of all. No matter how good your defenses, how many patrols you have posted, and how confident you are that you’re prepared, you can never be absolutely sure that you’re safe. You always need to have an escape strategy and know when to use it (namely, run like hell How To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse Whether you personally believe that the zombie apocalypse is long overdue or that it's never going to happen, doesn't it pay to be prepared? Read More ).


The same is true when you’re trying to be productive. Sometimes it just won’t happen, and that’s okay. Not every day is going to be a mega-productive one; when you’re struggling to move a project forward and it’s just not happening, remember that it’s okay to call it a loss and move on. We get obsessed by productivity, but it’s important to remember that there are other, more important things in life, too.

Like not getting eaten by a zombie.

Don’t Get Eaten

There are a surprising number of parallels between good advice on preparing for a zombie apocalypse and being productive in your day-to-day life. Keep these things in mind and you’ll be prepared for the worst — whether it’s a worldwide epidemic of flesh-eating killers or just a tough day at the office.

Feeling zombie fever now? Check out the best zombie shows on Netflix The Best Zombie Series on Netflix to Watch This Halloween If you dig down, Netflix has some interesting and frightful gems. Here are the best zombie shows to watch on Netflix. Read More to enjoy.

Image Credit:Nebojsa Markovic / Shutterstock.com

Related topics: GTD, Organization Software, Planning Tool, Zombies.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Annie R.
    May 15, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    OMG, I loove it!! just can't stop laughing. I imagine how Rick from walking Dead would look like giving orders via trello or other kanban app (I use kanbantool.com btw, imho also a cool one). Sooo funny!! Thanks for that ;DD Love, Annie xxx

    • Dann Albright
      May 16, 2015 at 6:52 am

      Ha! Maybe being better organized would work well for the Walking Dead crew. They could use some improved communication. :-)

      Glad you liked the article!

  2. vickiO
    April 14, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Awesome article, Dann! My days in management would have been easier with all this great information. Some days did feel like I was being eaten by Zombies! Now I only have to worried about running into them on the golf course, or in my art studio! Thanks for the chuckles, and the great apps.

    • Dann Albright
      April 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks, Vicki! I'm glad you liked it. Watch out for those zombies on the golf course. You never know when they might strike. :-)

  3. Frank
    April 4, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Please name the other movies as well! I only recognise Resident Evil (3). Think I've seen the one from the fourth picture as well but can't remember the title.

    • Dann Albright
      April 6, 2015 at 8:26 am

      Here you go, Frank! In order, starting with the zombie holding an assault rifle:

      1. Land of the Dead
      2. Resident Evil: Extinction
      3. The Walking Dead (TV series)
      4. Zombieland
      5. 28 Weeks Later
      6. 28 Days Later

      If you haven't seen any of these, I'd recommend it! I'm not a huge fan of 28 Weeks Later, but it's worth watching. 28 Days Later, as I mentioned above, is one of my favorites.

  4. kt
    April 3, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I've always wondered why the hand weapon of choice isn't a tactical tomahawk or hatchet. They are exceptional force multipliers that require little training, little strength, and are in a compact package. Not to mention, great all round multi purpose tools.

    • Dann Albright
      April 4, 2015 at 6:57 am

      It certainly would perform multiple useful functions, but I think the reason that they're not generally cited as one of the better weapons is because they're so short that you need to get in really close. With a single zombie, that might not be a problem, but if there's more than one, the other will be on you by the time you swing through the first one.

      I'm pretty sure that's the thought, anyway.

  5. Carlos
    April 1, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    For some reason, the thing that stood out to me is the advice to use Trello to survive the zombie apocalypse...
    Challenge accepted!
    PS. This was great article.

    • Dann Albright
      April 1, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Yes, I think Trello could be a great tool for surviving a zombie apocalypse. Maybe not as good a tool as a shotgun or flamethrower, but potentially good nonetheless. :-)

      Glad you liked it, and thanks for your comment!

  6. Sam
    April 1, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Well that's a fun and creative way of talking about a boring subject (and linking a whole load of articles!). Nicely done :-) I read it purely because I love zombie films, especially 28 Days Later (the film that final frame is from).

    • Dann Albright
      April 1, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      I'm glad you enjoyed it! I had a really fun time writing it. I also love 28 Days Later; definitely one of my favorite movies, with or without zombies. I think it's fantastic.

      Thanks for reading!

  7. Doc
    March 31, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    *Always* double-tap.

    • Dann Albright
      April 18, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      There has to be a good way to appy that to productivity. Always double-check your work?