Busy bee

I’m perfectly capable of wasting a day of my life working hard, but stupidly, with my butt glued to my cubicle chair getting nowhere. An ineffective day is not much better than a procrastinated day, except that guilt makes the latter taste especially bitter.

The laziest people are “busy bees” who distract themselves with frantic activity from the hard work of thinking, questioning and understanding.

According to Robert J. Ringer

Beware the Mad-Hatter Syndrome: So many people seem to be in such a terrible hurry to get somewhere in life, but when you talk to them it’s obvious that they don’t have the vaguest notion where they’re going. It’s as though they believe that expending energy is a satisfactory substitute for reason.

More blog entries on Effectiveness.



  1. Amen to that! As long as I’ve learned a few ‘new’ things in the day, I feel successful.

    Today at lunch I headed to a downtown Chandler, AZ barbershop and paid for a straight razor shave.

    I’ve not been to a real barbershop in years. It was cool, the stream of customers, the banter, sports on the television, newspapers in the waiting chairs. The relaxation while someone else shaved my head and face.

    Not inexpensive by any means, but every once in a great while, it’s time/money well spent.

    Had a surprisingly productive afternoon, even with the deluge of last minute ‘Friday, the sky is falling’ requests from the customer.

    Sometimes stepping back from things or taking time out helps you re-energize . Today was one of those days for me.


    • You might also like “The end of alone? Probably not” and “You don’t even know what you’re procrastinating on“.

      According to Jane Wagner

      All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific.

      According to William Deresiewicz

      See, things have changed since I went to college in the ’80s. Everything has gotten much more intense. You have to do much more now to get into a top school like Yale or West Point, and you have to start a lot earlier. We didn’t begin thinking about college until we were juniors, and maybe we each did a couple of extracurriculars. But I know what it’s like for you guys now. It’s an endless series of hoops that you have to jump through, starting from way back, maybe as early as junior high school. Classes, standardized tests, extracurriculars in school, extracurriculars outside of school. Test prep courses, admissions coaches, private tutors. I sat on the Yale College admissions committee a couple of years ago. The first thing the admissions officer would do when presenting a case to the rest of the committee was read what they call the “brag” in admissions lingo, the list of the student’s extracurriculars. Well, it turned out that a student who had six or seven extracurriculars was already in trouble. Because the students who got in—in addition to perfect grades and top scores—usually had 10 or 12.

      So what I saw around me were great kids who had been trained to be world-class hoop jumpers. Any goal you set them, they could achieve. Any test you gave them, they could pass with flying colors. They were, as one of them put it herself, “excellent sheep.” I had no doubt that they would continue to jump through hoops and ace tests and go on to Harvard Business School, or Michigan Law School, or Johns Hopkins Medical School, or Goldman Sachs, or McKinsey consulting, or whatever. And this approach would indeed take them far in life. They would come back for their 25th reunion as a partner at White & Case, or an attending physician at Mass General, or an assistant secretary in the Department of State.

      That is exactly what places like Yale mean when they talk about training leaders. Educating people who make a big name for themselves in the world, people with impressive titles, people the university can brag about. People who make it to the top. People who can climb the greasy pole of whatever hierarchy they decide to attach themselves to.


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