Being busy all the time isn’t impressive. It is not a badge of honor. In fact, it is usually the opposite.

When you are busy, here are ten questions to ask yourself:

  1. Trust: Why don’t you trust people enough to delegate your work to them?
  2. Focus: Why do you still try to multitask even though you know it never really works?
  3. Ego: What made you believe that you are the only person capable of doing this work?
  4. Remove: Are you competent enough to know which of your daily tasks are unessential?
  5. Sociotropy: Why is it easier for you to say ‘no’ to your family than say ‘no’ to your co-workers?
  6. Develop: Why haven’t you invested the time and energy to develop and teach people how to do this task?
  7. Automate: Why haven’t you taught yourself how to make technology work for you instead of the opposite?
  8. Prioritize:  Why do you use work as a pacifier while the more important things in your life suffer from neglect?
  9. Complaining: Why does complaining about ‘working so hard’ and ‘working long hours’ give you a dopamine hit?
  10. Perfectionism: Why won’t you give yourself permission to leave the office even when you haven’t reached inbox zero?

Reflection: Which question do you need to ask yourself more consistently?

Thought: Beginners say that busy is better than bored. Experts say that bored is better than busy. Selah.

Reminder: Use work to build skills. Use skills to win money. Use money to buy freedom. Don’t forget the errand.

Corollary: Working hard is not only virtuous, it is essential – and no successful person would ever argue against it. But the ongoing question I keep asking myself is why do people work so hard on their career but won’t put the same amount of effort into their marriage, their kids, their physical health, their spiritual life, their financial wellbeing? I’ll never understand why people give so much energy to their work and then turn into complete slobs the moment they return home? To me, this is the ultimate paradox of American culture.


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