Belief and conviction refer to the acceptance of, or confidence in, the truth or rightness of something. Belief is a kind of knowing based on psychological, ideological, or spiritual certainty rather than objective, proven fact (belief in God, popular belief that garlic repels vampires). Conviction suggests unshakeable, deep, and sincere belief that something is true or right, and often has a moral or religious basis. Like belief, conviction can refer either to a subjective state (speak with great conviction) or to a particular thing that is believed (act on one's convictions). The word tends to have a positive connotation of strength of character and integrity. The commitment entailed by a conviction is illustrated in the idiomatic expression, “to have the courage of one’s convictions,” which is to do what one believes is right.
Productive describes a person or thing whose output, in the form of work, products, or positive consequences, is of a quantity to be valuable or profitable. A productive person accomplishes a lot in a day. Productive soil can generate an ample crop. Prolific suggests production of an exceptional amount, often at a fast pace. It’s most frequently used of creative workers–writers, composers, painters, inventors, directors (a prolific composer, who composed over 1000 works in his lifetime), although it is also applied to production of offspring (prolific apple orchard) and many other cases of profuse generation.
The verb shorten is used a few different ways: you can shorten a dress or a pair of pants, which means that you are reducing physical length, or you can shorten a performance or a travel route, which means you are reducing duration. The synonym curtail means “to cut short": measures to curtail the pandemic. But it’s often used with a meaning closer to “limit,” with the suggestion of deprivation: The court’s decision curtailed Congress’s ability to pass legislation. Early uses of the verb were in reference to the docking, or shortening, of an animal’s tail; such an animal was known as a curtal.