How to be productive rather than busy

October 22, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More

Eric Barker offers some excellent advice on how to stop being busy. I’m really appreciating and implementing many of the ideas he so succinctly presents. This article urges that you stop being busy and start being productive. Here’s the nutshell:

Just because the other people at the office are overscheduled and the other parents are doing 1000 things doesn’t mean you need to.

We all only have 1440 minutes a day. Accept you can’t do it all, focus on what’s important and do that well.

We’re all jealous of the people who are calm and cool under pressure. Be that person.

Next time someone asks how you’re doing, don’t talk about how busy you are. Don’t get sucked into thinking busy means important.

Busy doesn’t make you important. Doing the important things you need to do makes you important.

I could spend hours reading Barker’s summaries of his science-based self-improvement advice, which seems counter-productive.  But I’m going to work hard to implement many of these suggestions–many of them ring true.

Related excellent article by Eric Barker: 6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day Here’s the intro:

People work an average of 45 hours a week; they consider about 17 of those hours to be unproductive (U.S.: 45 hours a week; 16 hours are considered unproductive).

Lots of good advice on how not to fritter away one’s time.

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Category: Quality of Life, Self Improvement, Simple living

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Being busy is a form of laziness–lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
    Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.

    http://fourhourworkweek.com/2013/11/03/productivity-hacks/

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Tim Ferris offers this guidance for maximizing one’s productivity, even if one is neurotic”

    1) Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. E-mail is the mind killer.
    2) Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper.
    3) Write down the 3-5 things — and no more — that are making you most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually = most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict.
    4) For each item, ask yourself:
    – “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?”
    – “Will moving this forward make all the other to-do’s unimportant or easier to knock off later?”
    5) Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions.
    6) Block out at 2-3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow.
    7) TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2-3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work.
    8) If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.

    http://fourhourworkweek.com/2013/11/03/productivity-hacks/

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