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Quest for Sense

If you want to get effective, get busy.

Rating: 9 votes, 5.00 average.
Ever heard the saying "if you want to get the job done, give it to a busy person"?

You'd think the right answer would be to give it to a person who has time to get the job done, but that's exactly what that old adage is warning against. And I've just come to realise, it is shockingly true.

For most of my life I've been a very busy person - to the point of wondering if I'm not taking on too much. But I've always got through the load, and with pretty good results to show for it. So good in fact, for the last few years I've been able to taper back to the point of "taking things easy."

I have pulled back from most of my non-core commitments that used to chew up so much time. (I've done my bit, time to make some time for myself and hand over to the next generation).
And I've delegated ruthlessly. (OK - I've always delegated ruthlessly).

To the point where most days I only have a couple of things I have to do, a moderate list of things I really should do "sometime", and a list of things I like to do.

Doing the first effectively, and the last in leisurely fashion has been no problem.
It's that list of things I really should do "sometime" where things have been going wrong.
As Stephen Covey classified it - the 3rd Quadrant, Important, not urgent.

If it's something with a deadline, I'm still getting it done in good time. But if there's no deadline, particularly if it's not a deadline that I have taken to heart - it tends to end up on the "just not going to happen" heap.

I've recognised it as a challenge.
I've had enough time to think about it lots.
I've even identified solutions.
But I also know I'll have time to fix it tomorrow. And right now I've got other things to do:

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And bit by bit you quietly die inside.

Well, I've found a solution that actually works - just pile on the commitments to get going again.

When you're busy and your time is under pressure, you tend to start and finish stuff straight away just to get it out of the way.
You don't have the luxury of putting it off until tomorrow because you know there's a fair chance there's more important stuff that's going to need to get done.

It's a bit of a jolt to the system at first. But after a couple of weeks you're back in your stride, and stuff just gets done.

If you feel you're not using your time effectively, give it a try. Don't look for less to do - Take on More!
Maybe it'll work as well for you as it has for me.

TOP TIP: Put in something there that excites you, and make sure you do it last each day. And watch the drudge chores get eaten up.

BTW. My wife is gobsmacked. At this rate she's going to run out of stuff on her nag list.

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Updated 08-Aug-14 at 10:04 AM by Dave A

Tags: productivity


  1. philip_p's Avatar
    That answers so many things for me. Your story really translates into mine. Now that I am able to sum it all up - I know that it's healthy for me to pile commitments. This way I feel good - I feel there is something for me to do, never really getting bored. In addition, the days when I used to feel stressed out about the long list of tasks are gone - because, like you, I saw that, no matter of deadlines, requirements, etc., I've always been able to handle my stuff and with good results to show. I feel this especially close to me because I just relocated in another country, and whilst I've got no friends or many people to go out with (or that I want to go out with), I still manage to enjoy myself more than ever - coping with all those commitments that await every day. #productivity at its finest. GREAT!
  2. PbZepplin's Avatar
    It is a human condition to procrastinate until deadlines force us to work. Those of us that have disciplined ourselves to work consistently are the most productive and get the best results. I think that is perhaps where that saying you refer to originates from.