I’m about to save you time, energy, and mental clarity. For you, it might be one hour per week. For me, I’ll save 7–8.
Stop consuming “content”.
As a leader in a work setting (even if you’re just leading yourself), you only need two modes:
- Planning out clear, simple steps to take
- Taking those steps
If you don’t get this, keep reading.
If you do get this, that’s it. You can close this blog now.
Common Ways You Waste Time
- Planning in a vague sense of what you might like to do (not actionable)
- Reading business or financial newsletters (are you reading this right now to procrastinate?)
- Business books, podcasts, videos, webinars
- Attending conferences
There are exceptions to these, but not really.
If you’re gathering info just because, or just to learn about the industry, and you do not have limits on how much and when you’re doing it then I guarantee you’re wasting time.
There is a time for fun. These can all lead to growth, which is why they’re tricky. But they have to be time-boxed because the amount of content you can consume is limitless.
Teddy Roosevelt allegedly finished a book every morning. He also didn’t spend his whole day reading. He time-boxed his learning and didn’t pretend he was actually working when he was reading.
Exceptions to this command:
- Pre-determined, time-boxed 20% time (e.g. reading for one hour before work)
- Literally anything you do on non-working hours (e.g. attending cool tech conferences)
Conferences are fine. Podcasts are fine. But they are not work.
If they are work, go into your conference, book, etc with a specific goal in mind.
Doing something “just for fun” isn’t bad. It’s just a different mindset. So don’t fool yourself.