I want to first apologize to my readers for the lack of consistent daily articles this past week. I have been having a lot of trouble with regards to moving house, and on top of that, my partner is off to Paris on a work trip for a few days. I will be back to my daily posting schedule when I am successfully moved into my new home and the Internet is set up!
As for now, I want to talk about a hold up that I've noticed in my own life. I was reading a book by the famous life hacker Tim Ferriss titled The 4-Hour Workweek and I stumbled across a quote that went along the lines of this article's title. Immediately it hit me that I have not been as productive as I'd assumed I had been, I had simply been busy.
There may not be an immediate difference between the two concepts to you, so let me explain where I set the difference. To be busy is to feel your time with things to do, whereas being productive is spending your time doing things that matter. Much of what I have been doing has contributed little to any of my longer term goals and hasn't contributed significantly to my impending move.
The Most Dangerous Thing You Can Do
Following on from that then, I want to talk about one activity that I have been partaking in. This is the most dangerous thing you can ever do during your time on this planet, and I have been doing it repeatedly. No, I haven't done it seeking an adrenaline rush. And no, I haven't done it trying to impress my peers. The most dangerous thing that you can do, that I have been doing, is nothing.
I have spent a lot of time doing nothing. Don't get me wrong, I have still been working towards my goals on a daily basis, but I have spent a lot of time doing nothing.
I'm going to lay an excuse on you now that my routine has been thrown out of the water with this move, and in all honestly that has probably played some part, but it is still an excuse. I don't know about you, but around here we don't like excuses.
The progress journal has sort of taken a back seat in my life. I've identified my reasoning for it, though it isn't a good reason. I have my morning routine (which I adopted from Hal Elrod) preprogrammed into my app as a daily recurring task, but when I'm on the opening shift at work (4am start) I can't participate in my morning ritual. When I don't perform my morning ritual I tend to lose discipline by the time I make it home from work. Therefore the entire process is inconsistent.
I want to change this whole attitude of doing nothing because I couldn't do it perfectly by doing a six minute morning routine on my work days. I'm sure I can find 6 minutes. I think that should be sufficient to bump me over this hurdle.
Ferriss provided a lot of value in his book, The 4-Hour Work Week, but much of it is off-topic for this particular article. I will definitely post more of the value I gleaned from it in future articles though as it was definitely a worthwhile read.
Before I go I just want to mention something that might be useful to you. I'm noticing that I derive a different value from a book each time I read it, seemingly aligned with my life. While that makes sense, it also means that reading a book just once probably means you're leaving a lot of value left within the pages. This book identified two concepts to me that relate to my productivity, but were perhaps two of the most irrelevant concepts within the book in terms of Ferriss' aim while writing.
Always remember that reading is a conversation with the author, and a good author will provide different answers depending on the questions you ask.