The Busy Fallacy

You blink and you miss it: November is just a couple days away already here and October is a blur. Before you know it, we’ll be singing carols and sipping cocoa. Where does the time go?

I’ve had a great past few weeks and have been busy spending time with friends and family. There just never seemed to be enough time to sit down, read, learn, and work towards some of my longer term goals. Then I added up how much time I spent watching Netflix.

Ouch.

Apparently I wasn’t as busy as I told myself. The evidence was incriminating, and I realized that I had played my priorities like a game of 52-card pick up.

Here’s some food for thought, coming all the way from my [suppressed] memories of middle school:

Given a small jar, put in a couple walnuts. These walnuts represent the top priorities in your life. They almost fill up the entire jar, right? Now, carefully fill the rest of the jar with dry rice. These are the little distractions that pull us away from what matters most. They fill up the rest of our time, but fortunately, we placed our top priorities before the distractions.

Next, we repeat our little “experiment” with one small change. Begin by filling the jar with rice, followed by the walnuts. It’s a lot harder to wedge the walnuts in the jar when they come second. It’s the same thing in life. If you put off your top priorities until you’ve filled your time with distractions, they are not going to receive the time or attention they deserve.

What are some of the ‘walnuts’ in your life? Are they the first things in your jar, or are you wedging them in after all the distractions?

Think about it. Prioritize. It makes all the difference.

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