I was coaching Sanjay,* a leader in a technology firm who felt stuck and frustrated. He wasn’t where he wanted to be at this point in his career.

He had come to our coaching session, as usual, prepared to discuss the challenges he was currently facing. This time, it was his plan for conducting compensation conversations with each of his employees. After a few minutes of listening to him talk through his plans, I interrupted him.

“Sanjay, you’ve had these kinds of conversations before, right?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“And, for the most part, you know how to do them, right?”

“Yes,” he said again.

“Great. Let’s talk about something else.”

“But this is what’s on my mind right now,” he protested. “It’s helpful to think it through with you.”

“I’m glad it’s helpful, Sanjay,” I said. “But you don’t want me to be merely helpful. You want me to be transformational. And focusing on what’s top of mind for you right now is not going to get us there.”

You see, the reason Sanjay is stuck — and the reason many of us feel that way — is that we focus on what’s present for us at any particular moment.

On the other hand, what most of us want most is to move forward. And, by definition, paying attention to the present keeps us where we are. So, sure, I can help Sanjay be a better “present” Sanjay. But I will have a much greater impact if I help him become a successful “future” Sanjay.

It’s a familiar story: You’re busy all day, working non-stop, multitasking in a misguided attempt to knock a few extra things off your to-do list, and as the day comes to a close, you still haven’t gotten your most important work done.

Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction. And while you can’t spend all your time pursuing those objectives, you definitely won’t get there if you don’t spend any of your time pursuing them.

If you want to be a writer, you have to spend time writing. If you want to be a sales manager, you can’t just sell — you have to develop your management skill. If you want to start a new company, or launch a new product, or lead a new group, you have to spend time planning and building your skills and experience.

Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

I want to expand my writing abilities, so I have started waking up at 5:30 in the morning to write fiction. Unfortunately — and I am not being humble here — I am a terrible fiction writer. So my writing time feels painfully unproductive. I can’t sell it. I can’t use it. I can’t share it. Honestly, I can hardly bear to read it out loud. I have such a long list of things that actually need to get done, it is almost impossible to justify losing sleep in order to do something so unrelated to my present challenges. I know this is how my clients feel when I ask them to put aside their immediate concerns and focus on more distant challenges.

A question I hear a lot is: What about all the things I actually need to get done? Don’t I need to get through my cluttered email box, my pressing conversations, my project plans in order to create space to focus on my future self?

Nope.

That’s a trick your busy self plays on you to keep you away from the scary stuff you’re not yet good at and that isn’t yet productive. Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self. You have to let the present just sit there, untended. It’s not going away and will never end. That’s the nature of the present.

You may not end up with an empty email inbox. You may not have the perfect compensation conversations. You may not please everyone. But, as your coach, I’m willing to bet that you will do those things well enough.

It’s the other stuff I worry about. The wildly important stuff that never gets done because there’s not time or it’s not urgent or it’s too hard or risky or terrifying. That’s the stuff I want to help you work on.

Even though Sanjay is delighted at the idea of focusing on his future self, he resists it because it doesn’t feel as good as solving his current challenges. He isn’t as skilled at it yet. That’s why it’s his future.

And that is exactly why he needs to focus on it.


What Pocket Users are Saying

  • Nikki Will

    May 6, 2016

    Liked this sentiment about what it means to be productive. It's far too easy to fall into the "busy" trap.

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • Callie Schweitzer

    April 3, 2016

    "Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self."

  • Hampus Jakobsson

    April 7, 2016

    How often don't we find ourselves reading and replying email instead of doing what is hard, scary and important.

  • Mostafa Lameei

    April 4, 2016

    Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self. You have to let the present just sit there, untended. It’s not going away and will never end. That’s the nature of the present.

  • Mostafa Lameei

    April 4, 2016

    if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Gangi

    April 13, 2016

    "Being busy is not the same as being productive [....]"

  • Hanan Ali

    December 13, 2016

    "Being busy is not the same as being productive"

    there

  • Oli Treadwell

    October 26, 2016

    If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction. And while you can’t spend all your time pursuing those objectives, you definitely won’t get there if you don’t spend any of your time pursuing them.

  • Chris Klosowski

    July 4, 2017

    Some interesting thoughts on Productivity vs Being Busy

  • Mats Hartvig Abrahamsen

    April 11, 2016

    You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts.

  • Melanie Renzulli

    November 28, 2016

    Food for thought

  • Aurora

    August 9, 2018

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts.

  • Ray Besiga

    April 2, 2016

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination.

  • Mr. Thoro

    March 31, 2017

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Varun Vaswani

    May 4, 2016

    Interesting read.

  • Artem Parshentsev

    April 5, 2016

    «You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts.»

  • Arjun

    August 23, 2018

    daily reminder

  • Aduke Thelwell

    May 19, 2016

    A starting point for reflection

  • Godiva Golding

    January 19, 2017

    You see, the reason Sanjay is stuck — and the reason many of us feel that way — is that we focus on what’s present for us at any particular moment.

  • Michael Tonge

    October 1, 2017

    "you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive"

  • A G

    October 25, 2016

    You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Jérémie Pottier

    April 7, 2016

    Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self.

  • Sebastian Lindemann

    October 30, 2016

    You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self - Good read on #PersonalDevelopment

    You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self

  • Sebastian Lindemann

    October 30, 2016

    You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self - Good read on #PersonalDevelopment

    You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self

  • Sahil Bhatnagar

    November 7, 2016

    Rejuvenating!

  • Jignesh Darji

    June 27, 2017

    Summary: You need to keep your present untended no matter how busy you are to tend to your future self.

  • Angela Taylor

    October 9, 2016

    A point I keep trying to get son to appreciate even as I largely focus on the day-to-day.

  • Abdulaziz Al Maqbali

    November 7, 2016

    if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Abdulaziz Al Maqbali

    November 7, 2016

    put aside their immediate concerns and focus on more distant challenges.

  • Reade Milner

    April 7, 2016

    "Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts."

  • Kenishia S. Mais

    June 16, 2017

    You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Marcus Degerman

    March 29, 2016

    Start with working towards who you want to be instead of finishing the todo-list you have today.

  • Ludovic Coullet

    April 1, 2016

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive

  • Nada Yahia Dawoud

    October 3, 2016

    Getting trapped in the present is the worst thing that could happen to us. We need to fight it and we need to be more attentive to our future.

    Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self.

  • Siya M

    November 23, 2016

    It's the tough and time-consuming stuff that your future stuff will need to be effective at, so work on that at the expense of present business. It's the only way to make progress towards that future.
    #BusyVsProductive #BigRocks #LongGame

  • Ashleigh Teo

    December 6, 2016

    If you want to be a writer, you have to spend time writing. If you want to be a sales manager, you can’t just sell — you have to develop your management skill. If you want to start a new company, or launch a new product, or lead a new group, you have to spend time planning and building your skills and experience.

  • Rohan Vaidya

    May 29, 2017

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • Josh Parolin

    June 13, 2017

    If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction. And while you can’t spend all your time pursuing those objectives, you definitely won’t get there if you don’t spend any of your time pursuing them.

  • Graham

    April 15, 2016

    You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present

  • Samuel Yu

    January 12, 2017

    Good advice.

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Osvaldo Zonetti

    September 3, 2017

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place

  • Karen Cuison

    March 2, 2018

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • Pujan Shah

    May 25, 2016

    "It’s not going away and will never end. That’s the nature of the present."

  • Aditya Muhammad

    November 14, 2016

    Being busy is not the same as being productive.

  • Yulan Cardoso

    December 31, 2017

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination.

  • Daniel Tamai

    April 4, 2016

    Obvious adivice that is easy to forget

  • Mallory Phillips

    April 6, 2016

    This is absolutely transformational. I believe!

  • Tyler Van Arsdale

    April 2, 2016

    Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self.

    Amazing.

  • Orlando Trejo

    April 2, 2016

    You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts.

  • Vesela Bodurova

    November 13, 2016

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • Nitin Maheshwari

    November 9, 2018

    Worth giving a thought.

  • Frank Holleman

    April 2, 2016

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Jozef Brenkus

    April 9, 2016

    the reason many of us feel that way — is that we focus on what’s present for us at any particular moment.

  • Jozef Brenkus

    April 9, 2016

    You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Paul Daniels

    April 17, 2016

    Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self. You have to let the present just sit there, untended. It’s not going away and will never end. That’s the nature of the present.

  • Talitha Taylor

    November 12, 2016

    Something to consider in appropriate context.

    That’s a trick your busy self plays on you to keep you away from the scary stuff you’re not yet good at and that isn’t yet productive. Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self. You have to let the present just sit there, untended. It’s not going away and will never end. That’s the nature of the present.

  • N Ahmadi

    April 20, 2018

    I think if you focus on what your heart desires or whom you want to become, somehow it's like focusing on the future.

  • Alex Woodbury

    April 9, 2016

    Invest more time in your #futureself and less time in your #presentself

  • Asri Suciati

    April 9, 2016

    "You may not have the perfect compensation conversations. You may not please everyone."

  • Ciara Orr

    May 31, 2016

    love this

  • Georgi Halachev

    November 24, 2016

    if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Rae S

    December 8, 2016

    How to not stay stuck

  • Tania Bilokin

    August 9, 2018

    great article about getting where you want to be

  • Payton Burk

    April 1, 2019

    “While you can’t spend all your time pursuing those objectives, you definitely won’t get there if you don’t spend any of your time pursuing them.”

  • Marcus Evans

    April 4, 2016

    I remember hearing the phrase: to be great you have to be good, to good you have to be bad, to be bad you have to start. This article expounds that idea.

  • Niklas A Emanuelsson

    April 5, 2016

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • Kayla Brown

    August 14, 2016

    If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction.

  • Kayla Brown

    August 14, 2016

    If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction.

  • Yowi Fy

    June 21, 2019

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • Yowi Fy

    June 21, 2019

    If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction.

  • Yowi Fy

    June 21, 2019

    You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Max Ramaciotti

    April 7, 2016

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Sathyaraj Radhakrishnan

    April 10, 2016

    Sometimes you need to

  • Frank Zheng

    June 5, 2016

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • wanyi .

    October 21, 2016

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • J Arlaud

    December 20, 2016

    a thought provoking challenge

  • Supriya Bera

    May 22, 2017

    "Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

    If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction. And while you can’t spend all your time pursuing those objectives, you definitely won’t get there if you don’t spend any of your time pursuing them."

  • Nitin Balodi

    November 7, 2017

    This is a kind of article which gives a ridiculously different idea.

  • Luanda Pereira

    March 25, 2018

    sometimes people forget that the brain needs to exercise as much as any other muscle :)

  • Anshuman Mishra

    August 3, 2018

    A simple yet surprisingly amazing solution for tackling career frustation

  • Uphar Mandal

    September 9, 2018

    Where do you see yourself five years down the line? 😂

  • Matt Gardan

    April 6, 2016

    Awesome

  • Erling

    April 11, 2016

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Serena Nehc

    April 26, 2016

    Being busy is not the same as being productive

  • paulo genargue

    April 3, 2016

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Wuffy

    April 15, 2016

    'You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present'

  • Matt Brown

    October 15, 2016

    Such a good, and scary proposition.

  • Eiji Okuda

    November 1, 2016

    It really worth the read

  • John Liwag

    November 20, 2016

    "That’s a trick your busy self plays on you to keep you away from the scary stuff you’re not yet good at and that isn’t yet productive. Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self. You have to let the present just sit there, untended. It’s not going away and will never end. That’s the nature of the present."

    That’s a trick your busy self plays on you to keep you away from the scary stuff you’re not yet good at and that isn’t yet productive. Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self. You have to let the present just sit there, untended. It’s not going away and will never end. That’s the nature of the present.

  • Cristen Haynes

    December 3, 2016

    "Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive."

    So spending my entire Saturday in bed practicing Hànyǔ wasn't a waste of a day.

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Andrew Chan

    December 5, 2016

    Great reminder to focus on long term goals

  • Ena Avila

    December 8, 2016

    Definitely a huge pro-tip for procrastinators out there (including myself)

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Natalie Ruhl

    December 10, 2016

    Great read!

  • ivanb007

    December 9, 2016

    Being busy is not the same as being productive

  • Dang Trang

    March 11, 2017

    #keywords

    "You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts"

  • Colin Bond

    April 3, 2017

    I Started to read this and nearly put it aside as not realistic. I read further, then further. Now I think it is a pivotal article for me. I encourage you to read it!

  • Kevin Thomson

    April 7, 2017

    Practice makes perfect.

  • Natalia Aguayo

    May 13, 2017

    Nice

  • Nada essam

    June 1, 2017

    "You see, the reason Sanjay is stuck — and the reason many of us feel that way — is that we focus on what’s present for us at any particular moment.

    On the other hand, what most of us want most is to move forward. And, by definition, paying attention to the present keeps us where we are. So, sure, I can help Sanjay be a better “present” Sanjay. But I will have a much greater impact if I help him become a successful “future” Sanjay."

  • Nada essam

    June 1, 2017

    "If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction. And while you can’t spend all your time pursuing those objectives, you definitely won’t get there if you don’t spend any of your time pursuing them."

  • Nada essam

    June 1, 2017

    "You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts"

  • Hasan Hasanov

    August 3, 2017

    yuruyus bandi

    treadmill

  • Rokhini Prabhu

    September 9, 2017

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • Rokhini Prabhu

    September 9, 2017

    Long game

    You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts.

  • Aleksandra

    September 29, 2017

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • jeanne keroj

    October 2, 2017

    instead of doing tasks at hands, choose to spend more time with who you want to be in the future, you will not be good at it but you have to keep going that way until you feel comfortable, or what they say, fake it until you make it, clumsily do things that you're not good at until you're good at it.

  • Aisha Sriram

    November 30, 2017

    Try being who you want to be even if you suck at it right now.

  • Amirul Salki

    December 9, 2017

    Good article👍🏻

  • Aarti Iyer

    December 22, 2017

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

    If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction. And while you can’t spend all your time pursuing those objectives, you definitely won’t get there if you don’t spend any of your time pursuing them.

  • Filip Skjoldborg Olsen

    January 31, 2018

    God pointe

  • Ella Clark

    February 23, 2018

    This is cool I would recommend to read this

  • Aditya K.

    May 3, 2018

    Like they say, “Practice make perfect ..” but yo have to take out time to practice in the first place.

  • Best Masticating Juicer

    May 24, 2018

    Soo

  • Jaclyn Thien

    September 17, 2018

    ou’re busy all day, working non-stop, multitasking in a misguided attempt to knock a few extra things off your to-do list, and as the day comes to a close, you still haven’t gotten your most important work done.

  • Kinza Ahmed

    January 15, 2019

    Much-needed advice for anyone who has big dreams which are no where close to being fulfilled.

  • Blog tvon

    May 22, 2019

    An one billion suggestion

  • Maya oz

    May 31, 2019

    You see, the reason Sanjay is stuck — and the reason many of us feel that way — is that we focus on what’s present for us at any particular moment.

  • Maya oz

    May 31, 2019

    Being busy is not the same as being productive

  • Maya oz

    May 31, 2019

    If you want to be productive, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Who do I want to be? Another question is: Where do I want to go? Chances are that the answers to these questions represent growth in some direction. And while you can’t spend all your time pursuing those objectives, you definitely won’t get there if you don’t spend any of your time pursuing them.

  • Maya oz

    May 31, 2019

    If you want to be a writer, you have to spend time writing. If you want to be a sales manager, you can’t just sell — you have to develop your management skill. If you want to start a new company, or launch a new product, or lead a new group, you have to spend time planning and building your skills and experience.

  • Maya oz

    May 31, 2019

    Here’s the key: You need to spend time on the future even when there are more important things to do in the present and even when there is no immediately apparent return to your efforts. In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • David Adamu

    June 7, 2019

    Love it...it explains alot about building up yourself and focusing on the essential part of life...

  • Claudio Sanhueza

    April 9, 2016

    That’s a trick your busy self plays on you to keep you away from the scary stuff you’re not yet good at and that isn’t yet productive. Sometimes you need to be irresponsible with your current challenges in order to make real progress on your future self. You have to let the present just sit there, untended. It’s not going away and will never end. That’s the nature of the present.

  • leef352

    August 30, 2016

    Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place.

  • Vilem Hujnak

    April 3, 2016

    Focus on your future self :)

  • Emeka Austin

    April 3, 2016

    . In other words — and this is the hard part — if you want to be productive, you need to spend time doing things that feel ridiculously unproductive.

  • Alex

    April 15, 2016

    "Don’t I need to get through my cluttered email box, my pressing conversations, my project plans in order to create space to focus on my future self?

    Nope.

    That’s a trick your busy self plays on you to keep you away from the scary stuff you’re not yet good at and that isn’t yet productive."

Discover more great stories—get Pocket.