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An informal, stream-of-consciousness reflection on business ideas, events and issues in modern business, modern life and with some specifics to the web-software industry by Paul Tomori, Internet Entrepreneur

Busy is as Busy Thinks?
By Paul Tomori
Monday, September 28, 2009 at 15:02:24 (EDT)

My mom always said "If you want something done, get a busy person to do it". I have often prided myself in being that "busy person". In many ways, my business successes have come from taking on enormous demands and requests from an ever-growing client base. These clients seem to have heard similar sentiments from their own moms! However, some of the most important work I do requires a feeling of non-busyness... a kind of serene attachment to the task at hand. Whether it be a creative planning process or a programming project, to actually get something worthwhile done, I need 3 or 4 hours of unbroken flowtime. I am tending to divide my days up now. A chunk of time is devoted to the hairy inbound customer requests (these tend to be 10 and 15 minute tasks)... and a chunk of time when I turn off all inbound channels so I can focus on project-oriented stuff (these generally tend to be 3 hour tasks or a string of 15 minute items).

It's working. I am getting even more done. And this matters in the context of my increasingly busy life. My personal time is not as available anymore for tidying up the day's unfinished business... I have kids to bathe and put to bed! I am forced to be more focussed and regimented in my worktime... more efficient. Here's a great quote on this very topic.

Recognize that a frenetic life is a life half lived. You should aim for 'Flow,' a concept from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a professor of psychology and education at the University of Chicago and author of the book 'Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning.' Flow is a unique state of mind where productivity and creativity are at their highest. Csikszentmihalyi says that Flow generates the grand ideas, phenomenal work, and intense, rewarding experiences that people identify with happiness.

Flow occurs when you are fully present and engaged in what you are doing the concept of time melts away in a commitment to the goal-oriented activity. This feeling requires being occupied and engaged for uninterrupted chunks of your day without ever thinking that you’re rushed for time. People who are busy do not get this feeling.

-Penelope Trunk, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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