137: Managing Busy

@MacSparky when you started talking about threading the needle I felt like you missed a great opportunity to say you were “maneuvering the Millennium Falcon through the Death Star.” Other good alternatives include “making the Kessel run” and “maneuvering through and asteroid field.”

Great episode!
One note I’ve been given on journaling is to look back on what you wrote and see what you still agree with and what doesn’t apply. Similar to what David said in relation to his sister’s medical situation (very happy to hear she’s okay!) it’s nice to look back at moments and realize both what you’ve overcome or alternatively how big challenges felt at the time and how little they impacted you overall.

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Good topic; thanks, fellas.

You talked about this some, but say you are one of those people who get things done by revving themselves up into a busy state. The cost of that busy state is that you can’t easily rev back down and might end up chewing through inconsequential work or tiring yourself out. But if you never enter that busy state, your work simply isn’t as good or perhaps never gets done.

What could that person do to gain the benefits of that busy state without being busy?

Yes. Our inner voices are so full of bullshit.


I had to stop listening just a few minutes in and run to order the Focused Calendar now that it will be offered in landscape mode! I had ordered one in 2020, but skipped it once I started working from home in 2021 because vertical does not cut it in my space. Thank you for thinking of different people’s needs.

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Quick question - I’m intrigued by the idea of dictating a journal into Obsidian via voice.

How do I potentially set that up in Obsidian?

Awesome podcast episode - David Allen often talks about how we need to slow down to speed up. Much better result when we can take a pause, reflect, and then follow through tactically instead of “busily” rushing into stuff headlong.

I have enjoyed the recent episodes on Toxic Productivity and Business. Today I read this article: Campbell’s Law: The Dark Side of Metric Fixation and thought it resonated with this topic. Essentially it talks about how fixation on a single metric or small number of metrics will likely end up corrupting the system to make the metric the goal rather than an indicator of achieving a real goal. Sometimes these metrics are set for us, or sometimes implied by the culture we are in, like how quickly we respond to email, or how may hours we work. Sometimes we cook them up ourselves. I really appreciate how David and Mike keep bringing the conversation back to understanding the real reason we are doing whatever we are doing. Thanks!