In his book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, author Greg McKeown asks this question:

What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?

We wear our busy-ness as a badge of honor. If we’re not as busy as we believe the people around us to be (and it’s likely they’re not as busy as they claim but want you to think to the contrary), we start to feel guilty, as if someone will catch us not being pushed to distraction and issue a reprimand.

The irony is that what we all need is the contrary: we need to be pushed to focus.

One way that can be achieved, according to McKeown is to travel the “way of the Essentialist,” which he sums up as the “relentless pursuit of less but better…it isn’t about setting New Year’s resolutions to say “no” more, or about pruning your in-box, or about mastering some new strategy in time management. It is about pausing constantly to ask, “Am I investing in the right activities?” There are far more activities and opportunities in the world than we have time and resources to invest in. And although many of them may be good, or even very good, the fact is that most are trivial and few are vital.”

As a startup, we at Changelane are constantly introduced to opportunities which we simply do not have the time or resources in which to invest. We’ve learned from experience what can happen if we become distracted by stuff that makes us busy.

If you eat too much, you get indigestion. Eat less.

If you take on too much, you get busy. Choose to do less.

Talk to people at a truly successful enterprise – whether it’s a startup or a mature business. They won’t tell you they’re suffering from being too busy. They might, though, ask you to wait for just one moment while they enjoy the passion of focus.

The two states might appear to look quite similar. Try them both. One is far more productive.

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