I just got back from dinner with web content guru Gerry McGovern. I so enjoy our conversations; Gerry is such a smart guy. (BTW, hire him if you have a website or intranet and you want to learn how to make the content better). One of the many things we discussed was the concept of living a busy but unproductive life. So much of our lives is spent being “busy” but not terribly productive. It’s an easy trap to fall into. I found in one of his past newsletters some wise words from Gerry on the topic of being busy:
“How often have you claimed to be ‘too busy?’ What exactly does that mean? For me it’s an excuse. It means that I didn’t do something because it just wasn’t important enough for me to do. Or else it means I did something quickly, being too busy to do it right.
Being too busy is never an excuse. There have been 24 hours in a day for a long time now. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, seven days in a week. If you can’t manage your own time, you shouldn’t be allowed manage anyone else’s.
Those who are always too busy are always on the phone. They’re always on the Internet. Always firing off emails. Always flicking channels. Always late for meetings. Never get their reports in on time. Never can give you any time. Always communicating. Always communicating.”
If only they’d stop and think sometimes.
This evening Gerry shared with me this quote from Edward de Bono: “Think slowly.” He goes on to say: if youâ€™re lucky, you may find one big idea during your lifetime. So, take your time because youâ€™ve got plenty of time.
For me, what really puts this rat race called life into perspective is the following quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
â€œTo laugh often and much
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children
To earn the appreciation of honest critics, and to endure the betrayal of false friends,
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition
To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,
This is to have succeededâ€?