Pseudo-productive procrastination

I think of myself as something of a connoisseur of procrastination, creative and dogged in my approach to not getting things done. Susan Orlean 1955 – Many people today engage in what I call “pseudo-productive procrastination” — usually without even realizing it. While this behavior might convey some short-term benefits, it can ultimately damage productivity and severely hinder you from reaching your long-term goals. What is pseudo-productive procrastination? Quite simply, it’s performing low-value or unnecessary tasks in order to delay working on a more valuable project. It manifests in many ways: checking email every few minutes; doing more research than necessary; over-organizing electronic files …
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Sunk costs

If things go wrong, don’t go with them. Roger Babson 1875 – 1967 Over the past week or two, some of you may have received holiday gifts you don’t like, and you might be thinking about selling them on eBay or Craigslist. There’s an important business principle called sunk costs that you ought to consider; it’s actually useful in any number of life situations, so it’s a good lesson to learn and understand. The idea of sunk costs is fairly simple: any past costs associated with a decision are irrelevant, because you can’t change the past; you should only consider current and …
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The Myth of Busyness

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 – 1882 Last time, I discussed how important it is to accept that you can’t do everything. This week, I want to touch on a related topic: the myth of busyness. These days, everyone is busy, jumping from one job to the next and forgoing sleep because we don’t have enough time for everything we need and want to do. Our culture seems to glorify busyness, assuming that anyone who isn’t busy must be either lazy or …
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