Karim Soliman

The trap of busy

Being a busy person is a choice. It might not work for you, but you could try it out for a while. but we don't need more busy people.

Table of Contents

Everyone wants to win, succeed & achieved all his goals. We told that we will achieve that by being busy..but after sometime, many people become so busy doing their job, and they also can’t get any work done, that’s because busy is different than productive.

What is to be Busy?

Busy is simply a series of choices about how to spend the next minute.
Anyone can be busy. All you need to do to feel busy is to try to get two things done at once–or seek to beat a deadline that is stressing you out.

Our time is worth something. Too often, though, we’re guilty of spending it foolishly or out of habit, or without intention… despite our lousy track record, though, it is possible to spend it wisely, just as we try to spend or invest anything valuable.

We wouldn’t buy medicine that we knew didn’t work, or invest in ads that never ran.
It seems, though, that time doesn’t have to meet the same bar.
If you had a factory job, it wasn’t your job to worry about productivity. Somebody else was in charge.
You did what you were told, all day, every day.


Now, more than ever, you’re likely to be running a team, managing a project or deciding on your own agenda as a free agent.
Time is just about all you’ve got to spend. And yet, we hardly talk about productivity.

What is to be Productive?

Productivity, on the other hand, has little to do with busy.
Productivity requires bringing soft skills (real skills) to the table in service of the generous work you seek to do.
Productivity is learned. And productivity takes guts.

Productive requires skill, persistence and good judgment. Productive means that you have created something of value.
Perhaps your self-created busy-ness is causing you to be less productive.
Productivity is the amount of useful output created for every hour of work we do.

The thing that made you busy might have been the reputation you earned for being reliable.
Ironically, that very busy-ness might destroy your reputation.
That’s one reason that so many service providers stumble once they begin to gain traction.

The busy person has a bias for action, the ability to ship, and a willingness to contribute more than is required.
The busy person is wrong more than most people (if you get up to bat more often, you’re going to have more hits and more strike outs, right?). Those errors are dwarfed by the impact they create.

Being a busy person is a choice. It might not work for you, but you could try it out for a while. but we don’t need more busy people.

Why people love to become a busy person?

Because It’s a common safe place to HIDE.
We’re supposed to give you a pass because you were full on, all day. Frantically moving from one thing to the other, never pausing to catch your breath, and now you’re exhausted.

Busy-ness might feel good (like checking your email on Christmas weekend) but business means producing things of actual value. Often, the two are completely unrelated.
Plus, measuring busy-ness… is far easier than measuring business.

Your job is an historical artifact. It’s a list of tasks, procedures, alliances, responsibilities, to-dos, meetings (mostly meetings) that were layered in, one at a time, day after day, for years.
And if you’re doing your job, how can you fail? Get in trouble? Make a giant error?

Measurement Is Fabulous.
Unless You'Re Busy Measuring What'S Easy To Measure As Opposed To What'S Important.
Seth Godin Quote

Busy is not your job. Busy doesn’t get you what you seek. Busy isn’t the point. Value creation is.
Points are for successful prioritization. Points are for efficiency and productivity. Points are for doing work that matters.

What to do?

There are two things you can do before the crisis hits:

First, say “no.” A lot. The gigs you would have taken when you were struggling might not be the gigs you should take now.
Your reputation for reliability earns you more trust, and that trust gets you invited to work with better clients and on better projects. The cost (benefit) of that is that you’ll need to turn down opportunities that you would have been willing to take on just a little while ago.

Second, tell the truth. It’s hard at first, particularly since our self-conception might have been built around independence and invulnerability. But being reliable doesn’t mean being perfect. It means being clear.

Two mottos that might help:
One: “You’ll pay a lot, but you’ll get more than you paid for.” and “Our secret is that we don’t lie to get the project.”

Two: Instead of always searching for being busy, find your way to slowing down enough to feel the fear.
The fear that we might only hear in the quiet moments, in the gaps between crises.

The fear is a necessary part of actually being productive in doing creative work.

This post is a collection from Seth Godin daily blogs.

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