The Economy of Time

Once upon a time, I think it was in March or thereabouts, I signed up to receive e-mail updates from Michael Hyatt‘s web site. I signed up for the option labelled “Once a week update” but I get three or four e-mails from the site every week. I’ve never put much effort into learning math before, so I suppose the error is in my understanding of the arrangement, not that his web site lied or his e-mail service is in error. Okay, you got me, I’m blaming his side of the arrangement completely. But I don’t mind, too much, because the content he sends is worth the time it takes to read it.

I’ve learned a few things from the articles Mr. Hyatt writes. They are usually about writing or blogging or personal development; areas that interest me. Occasionally he throws in some hipster mumbojumbo about buzz word type stuff that doesn’t interest me, I just delete those messages. If you haven’t asked it already, you should ask it now, “what does Michael Hyatt’s overactive e-mail notification service have to do with the economy of time?” That’s a great question. I have an answer, read on.

When I opened my e-mail today I found another Hyatt update. This one is titled HOW DO BUSY LEADERS FIND TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA [PODCAST]I don’t consider myself a “busy leader,” but the part about finding time for stuff hits home. I was contemplating time today. Specifically, my use of the time allotted for a single day. At work I have plenty of time to think. I’m working as a sort of lab assistant, running a few tests over and over on a beverage product and collecting the data for the technicians to analyze. Today I thought about all of the things I want to do but can’t seem to find the time to do them. It’s an issue of time management, prioritizing, and pretzels


Viipurinrinkeli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pretzels aren’t related in any direct way, I thought I had three factors, but couldn’t come up with a third, so I added pretzels. The way I see it, time can be spent, or it can be invested. If I want to spend my time then I focus on time management, making schedules and using a day planner. If I want to invest my time then I need to focus more on prioritizing. Or maybe I focus on both at the same time. They are probably the same thing, just being approached from different angles. How do busy people find time for anything? That’s the question I am trying to answer.

I don’t care for feeling  busy, and I don’t like to define myself that way. I’d prefer to say anxiously engaged in good things. I think that sounds happier and more productive. Busy is so drab and cliche. And yet busy is how I would describe myself right now.

I don’t have any profound statement today. Only a question: what do you do to be productive rather than just busy?

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About paulbrodie

I am a writer and a musician. My education is in psychology with emphasis in industrial/organizational psychology. My work experience has been primarily with electronic document management. Academically and intellectually I am interested in criminology and sociology. I am married to my favorite person in the world and we have one daughter.
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11 Responses to The Economy of Time

  1. Ed Raby Sr says:

    I write down goals. I work better with a few goals that I put all my effort rather than lots of goals and scattered efforts. Deadlines are key.

    • paulbrodie says:

      Thanks, Ed. Self-imposed deadlines have always been a weak point for me. I guess goal setting and formal planning are as well. I think things out in my head before I do them, but without having it written down there is less accountability for actually following through.

      Your method of focusing on a few goals rather than spreading yourself too thin is similar to what Christal commented on as well. From the mouth of two witnesses…

  2. Chris"TAL" says:

    Paul, great post! Also, I see your blog is doing very well so I would like to say congrats! Moving right along, productivity is an interesting topic which I enjoy learning about. I enjoy testing new ‘tools’ as MH would call them. To stay anxiously engaged I have narrowed down my life. I think people in any age bracket are so bombarded by opportunity because of the internet. We know that we can now learn anything via the web. This causes us to make lofty and sometimes excessive goals. So, I decided to narrow down my life a little bit. Instead of putting 30% effort in blogging, photography, videography, creative writing, hiking, kayaking, building relationships, eating cookies, and work…I’ve decided to focus on my current job, photography, and investing in relationships with family and friends. I still blog, but there’s no ‘have to’ for me. I am no longer building up crazy expectations and I’m honing my focus. It’s working 🙂

  3. Chris"TAL" says:

    Oh…and I use and it saves me SO MUCH TIME.

    • paulbrodie says:

      Thanks! Not having a full time job for the last few months allowed me to put a lot of energy towards writing and it has been great! But now that I’m working out of the house again, there’s scheduling conflicts.

      I’ll check out bufferapp. I think feedly was another one that MH (you even save time when talking about the guy) mentioned in a podcast. It sounded like it could be helpful to me.

      Your message about honing focus is a good one. I’ve decided to take some time off from posting and do that. I saw MH was doing it and thought it sounded like a good idea. I need to spend some time at the fortress of solitude. Whatever that equates to for non-Supermans. I think I’ll decide on three projects to work on and not start any others until they are completed.

      Also, I’m saddedned that cookies didn’t make your prioritized focus list. I’ll include cookies in my list so that they don’t feel left out.

      • Chris"TAL" says:

        Cookies not so much. Maple frosted doughnuts – I cannot get enough! Also, pretzels with nacho cheese, or cinnamon sugar pretzels are bomb.

        • paulbrodie says:

          Have you met Ned Hickson? He’s also a pretzel enthusiast. He has a blog all about it, I highly recommend his pretzelly hijynx and capers.

  4. Ned's Blog says:

    I’ll have to think on this while eating a pretzel.

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