There’s this adage: “if you have something that must get done, give it to a busy person.” I hate that adage, because I am a busy person. The adage makes me feel like the butt of some psychic joke. I often wonder why I’m good about being busy, why it is so fulfilling to do a lot. Tonight, as I am implementing David Allen’s GTD system (as I have been for 6 months), which manifests my cult-like love for personal productivity, I keep interrupting my own work with other work (that is also mine by varying degrees of “mine-ness”). I have levels of relationships to my work like Dante has circles of hell. At the center, there’s my never-stop-burning urge to transfer everything I know to anyone who could use it. If you read my first book, Speak Up & Succeed: you know that 1.5 pounds was just breaking a sweat on the deep dive into business communication that I want to you to take with me. So deep, that just to keep my lungs from bursting, Pegasus Media World just released my ebook: Library of Success, which is a wiki of every possible piece of content you can bring into a meeting. I owe big thanks to Molly Jo Rosen for her contribution to that, and a note to my book design team to give her credit. That is the great thing about eBooks: you can make a much-needed correction without burning 25,000 books.
But, I digress. I wanted to tell you that the secret to my success is: I have so much to do that procrastination looks like productivity. When I want to drag my heels on prepping for a media interview, I can mind-map a client’s product portfolio. When I want to delay producing my newsletter, I can answer a reporter’s request for an expert on producing small company events cheaply in Texas. Yes, I get very detailed requests because part of my job is to know the world’s most important people. If I’m home so my staff can get work done in the morning, I can clip Mo’s dog’s nails instead of completing an RFP. When I’m procrastinating, a lot gets done. Sunday night, our house became gluten-free, ahead of my sorting through the weekend’s email.
So I think the key to productivity is procrastination. If you always have a lot to do, there’s always something you can stick ahead of what you simply don’t want to do. Except when the fire feels really hot – because you’re hurtling into the brick wall of a hard and fast deadline, can’t you hear the angels sing? On a wing and a prayer.
What are you waiting on?