Velocity > Speed: The Physics of Peak Productivity

In a world addicted to speed, your only leverage is velocity

Thomas Oppong
3 min readApr 22, 2022


Photo: Rawpixel

Never mistake speed for progress. Busyness doesn’t guarantee progress.

Speed is how fast an object moves; velocity is speed with direction.

These are the simplest ways to define these two physics terms. Of course, there is more to speed and velocity, but physicists explain them better.

So what do speed and velocity have to do with productivity?

“There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Most people think speed guarantees better output.

They are proud of how busy they are or how much they can do in a single day. They care more about speed than velocity (direction).

They rarely think about where they are headed and whether speed is helping them make progress. And they don’t measure how much they’ve achieved over a period of time.

Speed alone is not enough to get anywhere. You need direction. If I’m on the fastest plane but have no direction, the plane’s speed is of no value.

Add direction to the speed, and everything changes. Once you acquire a destination, speed…



Thomas Oppong

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