I read somewhere once that the maximum amount of pleasure you can derive from eating dessert comes in the first two bites. Any bite beyond the second bite doesn’t increase the pleasure. In fact, it reduces it.
The same is true for the distractions and novelties that engage your time and attention. Television is an interesting distraction. There are dozens and dozens of excellent television shows you might watch. Devoting one hour to television each week is one thing, but devoting four hours a day to television is quite another. The Internet isn’t any better. And neither is living in your inbox.
I bring this up for one important reason. If you are doing something that doesn’t help further your goals, and does not also create a tremendous amount of value in the way of pleasure, then you are wasting your time.
Look at the activities that you engage in. Are you engaged in these activities because they are moving you closer to your goals? Are you doing what speaks to your highest calling? Are you engaged in activities because they create the most value for you and the people you care most about? Is what you do for pleasure really about relationships, the important stuff? If the answer to these questions is no, then you really should be doing something else.
There is no such thing as time management, there is only “me management.” What you give your time, your focus, and your full attention to is your experience of life. What you give yourself to will represent the quality of your life and the quality of your contribution.
Are you spending time on novelties and distractions and avoiding the work you really should be doing now? Are you sitting down to eat dessert (and nothing but dessert) for hours and hours on end? Two bites is enough. There is no greater pleasure beyond that.
Decide what’s most important, and do that instead.
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Filed under: Productivity