I read this article this morning about the “bad” habits of productive people, and was so glad to discover that it can actually be good to be a little distracted, a little flaky, a little thin-skinned. In other words, being a vulnerable and imperfect human sometimes garners success as much as having “good” habits (a la 7, a la effective).
A couple days ago I was helping a not-so-computer-savvy friend download software updates. He had been ignoring the notices to update for so long that it literally took at least 20 minutes to get his system up to par. When it became clear that the process was going to be a little lengthy, he immediately said, “all right, now what can I do?” and picked up the phone and started making calls. I know that he works a lot, but it struck me that I would have spent at least 10 of those free minutes just to sit and let my brain ramble. Those seemingly idle moments are when my creative juices flow and also when I look at the big picture a little and figure out what I want to do next – not in terms of tasks, but in terms of projects, goals, sometimes even my life.
So who is more productive, him or me? Obviously it depends on how you define productivity. He is a project manager and his work depends on completing tasks. I am a writer and my work depends on ideas rolling around in my brain.
Am I “insanely productive”? Well no, but my habits aren’t always bad, and the next time you see me staring at the wall, rest assured that I am probably working hard on my next article.