Being busy has became a badge of honor. For me, it’s just plain stupid. I do a lot of things but I’m not busy. In fact, one of the questions people ask me a lot is “How do you find time?”
First of all, you cannot find it. It’s not a pair of sun glasses which you left at a beach. You can’t find time or lose it… but you can spend it on stupid things or lasting valuable good things.
Let me give some examples of stupid thing that I generally avoid doing and some time tips:
- Avoid texting with friends - just freaking call or talk in person when you want talk, and use text is only for scheduling hangouts
- Use activities which do not require focus like folding laundry, washing dishes or writing HTML to listen to audio books and good podcasts. That’s how I was able to consume over 200 books in the last three years.
- Avoid reading Facebook timeline or looking at Instagram news feed. Only post, don’t consume.
- Avoid checking Twitter feed and when you do only subscribe to a handful of people, no more than 200 people and look into “In case you missed it”
- Watch movie trailers instead of full movies. I only watch movies trailers in planes that’s enough to see all the good scenes and in 80% of the cases understand the plot… but even that makes me want to puke either because modern movies are so brain-dead or full of loser-oriented propaganda (e.g., Hangover)
- Pretend TV and cable do not exist and skip commercials by getting Netflix or Amazon Prime if you want some dumb entertainment
- Ignore surveys or providing feedback beyond stars or thumbs on hotels, flights, books, apps, services
- Avoid writing reviews unless I really want for my own notes/thinking as I did with Managing Humans or Antifragile
- Avoid being tired because when you are tired you want to take a break, a long weekend or a vacation. Don’t get tired in the first place! To do so, eat property, exercise and have a good sleep every night.
- Avoid reading popular magazines, Medium, blog posts, news—ignorance is a bliss in these cases
Don’t confuse activity with results. Being busy is not equates with achieving a lot. Observe what things are wasteful and not productive. Just the act of observing will help you to gain more time to be more productive while spending less time and being less busy and tired!