The Busy Person Is Wrong More Than Most People

So claims Seth Godin in his daily blog post today.


The key is in Seth’s next sentence.

“Those errors are dwarfed by the impact they create.”

We’ve all heard the phrase, “if you want something done, give it to a busy person.”

And Seth offers a reason why that is: “a busy person has a bias for action, the ability to ship, and a willingness to contribute more than is required.”

In other words, busy people get stuff done.

I remember back in college that I was much more productive during swim season. The hours of practice each day forced me to learn time management skills and the value of getting into a routine. That routine enabled me to use my time much more efficiently and effectively. Once swim season was over, I wasn’t as busy, but I also wasn’t as productive. There were large blocks of time that were wasted since I thought I had all of this extra time available. Not being busy, not having that routine, I wasn’t getting things done.

Fast forward 40 years, and I think about my blogging habit. It started as a simple 30-day challenge, and five years later it has morphed into a daily habit. I spend at least a couple of hours a day on blogging related tasks, between reading and commenting on other bloggers’ posts, and creating my own. I don’t know where those two hours came from out of my daily schedule, but my guess is that much like the off-season during college, there was probably a significant amount of non-productive time in my daily schedule that could be put to better use.

One other line in Seth’s post seems relevant to my daily blogging as well.

He notes that “if you get up to bat more often, you’re going to have more hits and more strikeouts, right?” So yes, the busy person is going to be wrong a lot more than other people.

And that’s why I blog daily; yes, many of the posts might be “strikeouts”, but I’m counting on the law of averages to increase the odds that at least some of them will be a hit, that they will have an impact.

That impact might be putting a smile on someone’s face, inspiring someone to pursue their dream or passion, or simply informing someone.

So if you’re busy, and you’re making mistakes, then you’re probably doing the right thing.


26 thoughts on “The Busy Person Is Wrong More Than Most People

      1. I’ve been following David’s site for seven years; I particularly like when he writes about his personal experiences. Wow – a two-week backlog! I am jealous!


      2. I’m sure at this point in your life you will not be taking college for granted and hence will get much more out of it than the typical 18-year old undergraduate.


  1. ‘…if you’re busy, and you’re making mistakes, then you’re probably doing the right thing.’
    That probably depends on the mistake… but, yes – I probably spend more time checking than I do writing my posts.


    1. Hi Cathy, Good point, not all mistakes are equal. And I know I should spend more time checking my work, but I’m usually mentally drained just coming up with the first draft, so that’s usually what I end up posting. And when I read my posts later, I notice several grammatical mistakes. Grammarly has helped quite a bit though over the past year with such issues.


  2. I am like you with the posts – I create them each day, no backup file waiting. I also somehow find the two hours a day to interact with the blog world each day. You’re right – we somehow find/make the time for what we want to do.


    1. thanks, Beth. I have noticed how good you are at engaging with other bloggers – I may have to ask you your secret! And perhaps like you, many days are a struggle to come up with one post, I can’t imagine doing more than that.


  3. I write three posts a week at the moment, though I think two suits me best. I spend a lot of time writing them. I also spend a lot of time reading and responding to others’ posts, like this one. I’d rather not make too many mistakes or write too many fizzers, but I do my share.


    1. thanks for your comment, Norah. I’ve often thought about cutting down to just a couple of posts per week, but then I’d probably put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure those posts were of high quality. By posting something every day, I feel like that pressure is somewhat relieved. Plus, I think I like the mental challenge of coming up with something to write every day (knowing full well that some days the quality is just not there).


  4. A very thought-provoking post! I definitely accomplish more when I have a routine. I used to work full time in a busy office and run an online shop, so my routine was work work work, then collapse at night. Now that I am not going to an office each day, I enjoy more free time for healthy hobbies (hiking, camping, dog walking, writing, photography), but am dreadfully unfocused on my online shop. I thrive in a quiet space where I can focus – something I haven’t really had for the past year, but that excuse only goes so far. I also blame blogging, which I have no trouble focusing on, rather it is becoming a dangerous addiction as of late!


    1. thanks for your comment, Marsi. Yes, it’s a fine line between being too busy and not finding the time for what you want to do, and squandering your free time. And blogging has become somewhat of an addiction for me as well!


  5. Absolutely agree that productive people get things done – don’t know about busy – I have seen some very busy people that go round in circles – that said Seth Godin is a guru and I am far from one – so therefore – I’m not picking apart anything he says 😁


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